Hong Kong Yearbook - Annual Report for the Year 1983








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Series HM200C

Edition 8 1984


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Main Road

Shelter Island


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Cartography by Survey Division

Lands Department Hong Kong Government

Scale 1:200 000





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A review of 1983




Melinda J. Parsons,

Government Information Services


Arthur Hacker,

Government Information Services

Photography: David H. P. Au and other staff photographers,

Government Information Services.

Statistical Sources:

Photograph of the Huan by Derek Allan. Photographs of designer fashions courtesy of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

Census and Statistics Department

The Editor acknowledges all contributors and sources

Copyright reserved


Ace. No.


Clan 951.25




Frontispiece: Mist falls on Hong Kong Island with Pok Fu Lam and High West providing an opaque backdrop to the shipping carefully navigating its way through the Lamma Channel.















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Social Welfare





10 LAND, Public Works and UTILITIES









Immigration and Tourism









Religion and Custom













2 2 2

















Tuen Mun


Tsim Sha Tsui East

The Arts





Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories


Hong Kong Climate

Between pages









































29-30 Land, Public Works and Utilities























When dollars are quoted in this report, they are, unless otherwise stated, Hong Kong dollars. Since October 17, 1983, the Hong Kong dollar has been linked to the US dollar, through the creation of a Hong Kong dollar notes market at the fixed rate of HK$7.80=US$1.




Some figures in the text are estimated; actual figures appear in the appendices.


Education at the Crossroads

APART from the future of the territory, few public issues elicited such widespread interest in Hong Kong during 1983 as education. The year saw the final stage of a process which had begun in 1980 with a government decision that an overall review of the education system should be undertaken by an independent Panel of Visitors, chosen on the advice of the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development for their wide collective experience of different education systems.

      The panel of four - the 'four wise men' as they came to be known - had been given a very broad brief which required them to identify the future aims of the education system, to consider the coherence and effectiveness of the existing service, to identify areas which might require strengthening and to make recommendations on priorities in the further development of the education system.

       The initial suggestion that an overall review should be carried out was made by the Board of Education, the oldest-established of the government's three main advisory bodies on education. The decision to launch such a review reflected the government's belief that no statement of policy should seek to impose a fixed pattern on future development. Education policy must be subject to a continuous process of review and be receptive to new ideas. Education policy had undergone successive stages of development since World War II. While there had undoubtedly been major educational advances - in particular, the recent achievement of nine years' free and compulsory education for the vast majority of the six to 14 age groups, together with greatly improved opportunities for higher age groups - it was felt that progress had been piecemeal, much of it in response to specific social and economic pressure. The time had come for an overview. This would begin by taking stock of what had been achieved in primary and secondary education over the previous 30 years or so.

Post-war Problems and Progress

When World War II ended in 1945, school enrolment in Hong Kong was under 50 000. School buildings lay in ruins, equipment had been destroyed, textbooks were almost non-existent and there was a serious shortage of trained teachers. The process of rehabilitating the school system was laborious and difficult. The enormous growth of the school system since then (it now caters for about 1.3 million pupils) began in 1949, when immigrants from China began to arrive in tens of thousands. With a predominantly young and rapidly growing population it was clear that a massive school building programme was called for and that the foremost priority was the development of primary education and teacher training. Extensive government building programmes were launched in the 1950s: at their peak about 45 000 primary school places were being added each year. In 1965 the White Paper Education Policy announced the reorganisation of the structure of primary and secondary education, set universal primary education as the immediate aim and



     established the principle that expansion of school education would henceforth be through the aided sector wherever possible.

     There was considerable consolidation and enhancement of educational provision in the 1960s and early 1970s: for example, improved programmes of teacher education were introduced in the Colleges of Education, with the re-structuring of initial training courses and their extension from one year to two years, and with the introduction of third-year courses in selected subjects; the Advisory Inspectorate was expanded and its range of advisory and supporting services greatly extended; development programmes were in- troduced for special education; the Curriculum Development Committee was formed; the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination was re-organised to allow greater flexibility in the choice of language used by candidates; a regionalised administrative system was introduced in the Education Department to secure closer liaison with schools; and an educational television service was provided for primary schools (with progressive extension to the secondary sector at a later stage).

      The 1965 White Paper stated that the final aim of any educational policy must be to provide every child with the best education which he or she is capable of absorbing, at a cost which the parents and the community can afford.' With the achievement of the primary education target in sight, it was possible to improve on the recommendation that between 15 and 20 per cent of those completing the primary course should receive subsidised secondary education. In 1970 it was decided that a further major expansion of secondary education was necessary, and steps were taken to increase the provision of subsidised secondary education to a total of 50 per cent of the Forms I-III age group. By 1971 free primary education was available to all.

The 70s and 80s

In 1974 a White Paper affirmed the ultimate objective of a place for all children of the appropriate age who qualified for and wanted a secondary school education. Meanwhile, the public (subsidised) sector was now to be expanded to accommodate all children in the 12-14 age group for the first three years of secondary schooling, and sufficient places in senior secondary forms in the public sector found for at least 40 per cent of the 15-16 age group by 1979. The 1974 White Paper was thus a blueprint for secondary education over the next decade. The target was nine years of general education for all by 1979, i.e. six years in a primary school followed by three years in a secondary school. All children should follow a common course of general education throughout these nine years. It was also intended that there should be a significant expansion of places for those wishing to continue their education thereafter. The target of 1979 was subsequently brought forward one year, and it was announced that from 1978 all primary school leavers opting for public-sector places in secondary schools would be provided with three years of junior secondary education which would be free. All children in Hong Kong could now look forward to at least nine years of free education, all of it to be compulsory as a further safeguard.

      With the introduction of universal free junior secondary education it was possible for the 1974 White Paper to envisage a more appropriate system of allocation to replace the Secondary School Entrance Examination (SSEE) with the emphasis on allocation rather than selection. It was also decided that on the conclusion of the nine years' general course of education there should be a form of selection by which 40 per cent of the 15-16 age group would progress to senior secondary forms, with places provided in 'grammar' and technical streams at the ratio of 6:4. The government then turned to a consideration of senior secondary and tertiary education, and after extensive public consultation issued a White



Paper on the subject in 1978. This improved the quantitative and qualitative targets for the 1980s, a major target now being to provide subsidised senior secondary places for about 60 per cent of the 15-year-old population in 1981, rising to more than 70 per cent by 1986. Teacher education was to be further strengthened, the school curriculum enriched and the facilities and support services available to schools improved.

Balanced Development

In the 1970s particular emphasis was placed on the balanced development of general, practical and cultural subjects in the school curriculum and, in order specifically to strengthen and develop practical and technical education, prevocational schools were established. Five technical institutes were built and equipped to offer a wide range of disciplines, and the Hong Kong Technical College became the nucleus of the Hong Kong Polytechnic, which by the end of the decade was providing places for about 26 000 full-time and part-time students. There was thus a continuous link between vocational and technical education throughout the secondary system, leading to a technological outlet in tertiary education.

Concurrent with plans for the development of the senior secondary and tertiary system in the late 1970s was a comprehensive policy on rehabilitation in the 1977 White Paper Integrating the Disabled into the Community: a United Effort, which included a co-ordinated plan for the development of special education, training and related services. Plans for the development of personal social work among young people in Hong Kong were also formulated and were presented as an integral part of the 1979 White Paper Social Welfare into the 1980s.

       In recognition of the principle that investment in the young is valuable not only for its own sake but for the continued well-being of Hong Kong, the government published a White Paper in 1981 concerning services to children aged from three to 11. Entitled Primary Education and Pre-primary Services, the White Paper announced a package of measures designed to improve standards in child-care centres, kindergartens and primary schools. These included the introduction of a fee-assistance scheme for pre-primary children, reduction of class sizes and a comprehensive programme of teacher training and curriculum development for kindergartens, re-training and refresher programmes for primary teachers, the strengthening of moral education, the expansion of the child-centred 'Activity Approach' and a reduction in the size of classes adopting the approach, together with improved resource materials and services including the establishment of class libraries. Because of the wide range of ability in the intake of children to primary schools, it was also decided to increase the staffing ratios of primary schools to enable them to provide remedial teaching programmes in the three basic subjects of Chinese, English and Mathematics. A system for the control of entry to primary schools was also set out in the 1981 White Paper. This was designed specifically to eliminate competitive entrance tests and so reduce the pressures imposed on young children by the intense competition to enter popular primary schools, which was also having adverse effects on kindergarten education.

        In late 1981 an Education Branch was established in the Government Secretariat. The appointment of a Secretary for Education reflected government recognition of the rapid development of education, the increasing complexities of its administration and its crucial importance in the future development of Hong Kong. In 1983 the Secretary's brief was extended to include manpower, and its development, thus securing both a closer co- ordination between education provision and the needs of the economy and an overview by one policy Secretary of the balance between social and economic demand in education.



A further highlight of 1981 was the government's announcement of a $320 million programme of co-ordinated measures to improve the standard of the Chinese and English languages in schools and in the community. This programme included the revision of language syllabuses to give students more opportunity to use Chinese and English purposefully as a tool of communication; the provision of a wire-free induction loop system to support language lessons; research projects on the medium of instruction in secondary schools; the provision of additional teachers in secondary schools for remedial language teaching; and the establishment, in 1982, of an Institute of Language in Education whose first and most urgent task was to be the re-training and updating of non-graduate teachers of the two languages. At the same time a working party was established to study the feasibility of setting up an independent Chinese Language Foundation to promote and facilitate the use of Chinese within the community as a tool for communication, study, work and leisure.

The Overall Review

Against this background of educational development the Panel of Visitors began their task of reviewing the system early in 1981. Led by Sir John Llewellyn, former Director-General of the British Council and Vice-Chancellor of Exeter University, the panel carried out the review in eight stages between April 1981 and November 1982. It was recognised from the outset that there was bound to be a substantial body of criticism within the community of a system which then provided for more than 1.4 million children in school (some 27 per cent of the total population) as well as supporting a widely diversified post-school educational sector, and that no review of the system, however searching, could possibly take into account every facet of that criticism. There were nevertheless certain themes that were common to the voiced opinions of many individuals and groups with otherwise divergent views on various aspects of education and these attracted much publicity as the review began.

     There was, for example, a strongly-held belief that the low growth rate of student numbers in the universities (at the time three per cent, later revised to four per cent, per annum) and the then ceiling of 12 000 full-time equivalent students at the Hong Kong Polytechnic, would have uncomfortable implications for Hong Kong's economic pros- perity and social wellbeing: hence the University and Polytechnic Grants Committee had recommended that there should be a survey of all tertiary and higher level education, taking fully into account the type and range of courses offered by the Polytechnic and the technical institutes. The Advisory Committee on Diversification had also expressed concern that the current higher education targets might not produce sufficient skilled and professionally trained personnel (particularly in the technological field) to meet the demands of potential students and the needs of the economy; that the technical institutes should achieve greater flexibility of response to the needs of industry; and that part-time adult education should be a means for upgrading Hong Kong's manpower.

There were several important factors to take into account in securing a balance between social and economic demand in the provision of higher education in Hong Kong. These were the recent increase in fees and other restrictions which had curtailed the numbers of Hong Kong students obtaining places in tertiary institutions overseas; the likely increase in the number of post-sixth-form candidates suitable for further education as a result of the expansion of secondary education; and the need to establish the right mix of educational opportunities so as to produce a balance of trained manpower suitable for probable employment demands. The apparent conflict between social demand (given the







  Previous page: The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, Lord Hailsham, gives the opening address at the 7th Commonwealth Law Conference held in Hong Kong in September and attended by more than 1 000 overseas delegates. Above: Her Royal Highness. The Princess Anne, chats with residents at Ap Lei Chau Housing Estate during her visit to Hong Kong.

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by the Governor, Sir Edward Youde, tours the Mai Po Marshes Nature Reserve in the northern New Territories during his visit to Hong Kong in October 1983.



  A well-drawn shot by a Hong Kong bowler sets the pace during the 1983 Lawn Bowls International Classic Pairs tournament which the home team went on to win.



characteristic respect for education shown by the community) and the needs of the economy was a source of general concern in regard to senior secondary education. A widespread criticism of the 1978 White Paper was that it stressed economic needs at the expense of individual development.

'Problem Areas'

Just before the overall review began, a number of unofficial members of the Legislative Council highlighted what they saw as the problem areas in education. Echoing the Governor's statement in his address at the 1980 opening session of the Legislative Council that, after housing, education was one of the principal concerns of our population and one of our biggest and most complex programmes, the unofficials cited the following as the main causes of current concern in the education system and in higher, technical and adult education: There was a need to integrate the various sectional reviews of education which the government had carried out in recent years since the present system was too much of a patchwork; there was a need to develop more rapidly the quality of our education and to diversify its content to include far more of a vocational nature, while supporting services must also be greatly increased if our nine years of free and compulsory education was to have any proper value or meaning; a suitable balance should be maintained between economic and social demand for higher education, and the development of Hong Kong's economy in the 1980s should not be inhibited by a shortage of high-level technological manpower; there was a need to increase the annual growth rate of the universities; training facilities must be expanded for our existing workforce to upgrade their technical skills; in increasing the output of manpower at the professional and graduate level, more attention should be paid to the need for a solid infrastructure of skilled support at the technician and craftsman level; part-time or external degree or associateship courses should be introduced to meet the needs of the large number of highly motivated people in commerce and industry who, because of unfortunate circumstances, had been unable to complete a full course of formal education; and the government should ensure that adult education courses for employees after working hours reflected the need to improve skills for better pay and career prospects, and prepare adults for the changes brought about by the diversification and sophistication of industry and business.

On school education, the unofficial members took the view that there was a great deal of untidiness at the senior secondary level leading to wastage of economic resources and manpower years; sixth-form education was having to be too many things at the same time; a final and definitive decision must be taken on the question of the language to be used as the medium of instruction in Forms I-III of Anglo-Chinese schools; the time was right to consider the teaching of Putonghua in order to put Hong Kong in the mainstream of Chinese cultural and economic development; a concern that character development should become a major objective in education in accordance with the Chinese concept of education which accepts that correct behaviour and attitudes can and should be inculcated; the modernisation of Hong Kong was eroding the family system and forcing it to undergo certain structural and functional transformations and the resulting problems could be tackled more effectively if there were better co-ordination among the various government departments responsible for providing services for children; there was insufficient man- power available to provide social work services for schoolchildren; and there was a growing problem of psychological strain on young people unable to cope with the rigid academic curriculum and the pressure of examinations.


The Panel's Task


Sir John Llewellyn and his panel began their task in their home bases with a study of all major policy documents with educational implications issued since 1963, together with background information prepared by the Hong Kong Government on the education system its nature, development, structure and inter-relationships with other areas of government and community endeavour. Because it was considered vital that the panel should be fully apprised of public opinion on the system, the Secretary for Education issued an open invitation for written representations to the panel on any educational matter. A total of 56 representations was received, many of them from large interest groups, and these were forwarded without comment to the panel. In November 1981 the panel made a two- week visit to Hong Kong where members met the individuals and groups who had made representations to them and visited a sample of schools and other educational institutions. Between December 1981 and February 1982 the panel prepared a working draft of their report as a basis for further discussion. In April 1982 Sir John and his team returned to Hong Kong to discuss their draft report with the UMELCO Education Panel, the Board of Education, the University and Polytechnic Grants Committee, government officials and six invited overseas experts whose participation enabled the international perspectives of the review to be greatly extended and enhanced. The overseas participants were drawn from Malaysia, Singapore, Denmark, Canada, and Japan. They included Mr Arthur Maddocks, United Kingdom representative to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), on whose advice the Llewellyn team had been appointed. The discussions were supplemented by a broader debate in two very lively public sessions chaired by Mr George Papadopoulos, Deputy Director for Education, OECD, in which representatives of the main educational interest groups participated actively.

The panel revised their report during the period May to October 1982 in the light of the discussions and views expressed during their second visit, additional material coming to hand and changes to policy and practice which had occurred during the 18 months which had passed since the review had begun. The panel's final report, referred to popularly as the Llewellyn Report, was submitted to the Governor via the Secretary for Education in November 1982.

The Panel's Recommendations

In their letter of transmittal the panel members pointed out that while their report contained a number of suggestions for change and improvement, they understood full well the unusual challenges that Hong Kong educators faced:

"The range and complexity of educational objectives and the requirements they imply for learning resources places exceptionally high demands on your system. Consequently we have kept in mind that our recommendations need to be considered within the context of a unique area of the world, bridging as it does several cultures and societies. We recognise the great educational strides made in the recent past, but also the need to sustain efforts to enable further progress to be made. The task is not an easy one and we do not underestimate the challenges involved.

'We have resisted the temptation to become embroiled in fascinating but diverting technical detail... and we have left some problems untackled because, however significant, they are not central to the charter given to us. Instead we have concen- trated on matters of broad principle relating particularly to the articulation of the several cycles of formal education and hence the smooth progression from pre-school to university.



'There could, of course, be a whole book written on each one of the topics which form chapters of this report... We have been selective about the key issues those which have most to do with the linkages across the sectors and which affect students in their progression from kindergarten onwards.

'We try to be practical in our commentary. The only proposals that have an even chance of becoming real solutions are those which the people of Hong Kong adopt for themselves, albeit prompted and assured by sympathetic visitors like our- selves. We prefer to point to desirable directions rather than to prescribe treatment for immediate ills.'

In pursuing this approach to its brief, the panel pointed out that the expansion of education in Hong Kong had been very rapid in terms both of the size of the system and the range of services it provided; nevertheless there was still very considerable room for further expansion, coupled with improvement in quality in most sectors. The panel recognised the vast achievement of the last 30 years in welding a disparate and ad hoc collection of schools (reduced to virtually nothing during World War II) into the large and complex system that operates today. However, in creating a climate for change this rapid development had also spawned a host of problems which had been exacerbated by sharpening public awareness. The call for their solution was making the search urgent.

The panel identified five critical areas bearing on the immediate future development of education in Hong Kong: all warranted urgent policy attention as a basis for a coherent plan of action and for securing the resources necessary for their implementation. In the panel's view, all five areas were of major importance and should be handled concurrently:

     'One priority is the establishment of a comprehensive language policy for the education system which does not neglect the current emphasis being placed on English in the schools. Lack of language confidence and competence is one of the main impediments to learning throughout the population. We favour a shift towards the universal use of the mother tongue in the formative years accompanied by the formal teaching of English as a first foreign language; this would lead progressively to genuine bilingualism in the senior secondary years.

'A second priority is related to teacher improvement, given that the effectiveness of any education system is largely determined by the capacity and commitment of the teaching service. A critical issue is the language competency of teachers in Hong Kong schools, which largely falls short of the bilingual proficiency needed for effective teaching.

     'A third priority concerns the efforts being made to attenuate selection and allocation as it operates throughout the school system. Examinations dominate the Hong Kong education system, to its detriment. There is a need to relieve the strain of the present examination system on both teachers and students; there is also the need to improve the curriculum by making it more relevant to the developmental needs of students.

     'A fourth priority is related to the organisation of post-school education and access to it. Tremendous social pressures from students, parents and industry reveal a need for greater diversification of the educational opportunities available beyond Form VII, so that pressure on tertiary institutions can be relieved and individuals encouraged to choose from more varied provisions related more closely to their interests, to the requirements of the labour market, and to the community generally.

'A fifth priority is the need to build up a standing capability to conduct research, to analyse and formulate policy options and to plan developments. This impinges on the


community, the profession, the bureaucracy and statutory policy-making bodies. The governance machinery needs to be thoroughly overhauled."

      The panel concluded that whichever social and economic path Hong Kong followed it would require greater allocation of staff, buildings and equipment for educational purposes, and that more could be allocated without detracting from other human- welfare services.

Future Prospects

Decisions on the implementation of the Llewellyn Report will ultimately lie with the Governor-in-Council. No attempt is made in this chapter to predict future trends in education policy. However, there are certain educational issues whose importance merits particular attention and to which the government invited the attention of the panel and the other overseas participants at the beginning of the review by posing the following questions:

(a) In what ways should we shape and develop the school system to meet the challenges

of universal basic education?

(b) Are our present educational priorities appropriate?

(c) Is there sufficient access to education and are the various sectors satisfactorily


(d) Is the existing role of teachers in the educational system appropriate to their


(e) Are the measures concerning language in education now being implemented

sufficient to bring about a rational language situation in schools?

(f) Is sufficient emphasis being placed in our development plans on adult and con-

tinuing education?

Each of these themes gave rise to related observations and questions which are set out below:

Universal Basic Education

In 1981 the first cohort of pupils completed the nine-year course of basic compulsory education. Problems associated with the response of the less able to compulsory schooling have begun to take root in junior secondary schools and to cause concern among school authorities. School education in Hong Kong is still very formal by present-day standards and parental preference is markedly in favour of academic education of the type characteristic of the traditional grammar school. Technical education is gaining favour but is no less rigorous in its demands on the pupil: technical subjects are quite properly offered not as easy options for the less able but rather as part of a co-ordinated curriculum which attempts to encourage the development of the whole person through complementary intellectual and practical skills. Schools are finding it difficult to identify and meet the needs of pupils who are not academically inclined.

Part of the problem undoubtedly lies in the rapid pace at which the public-sector school system has recently expanded: the system has in a sense outrun itself. Early attempts were made by the Curriculum Development Committee to address the problem by issuing flexible syllabuses built around a common core and allowing adaptation within schools to the needs of particular groups of pupils. This proved to be only moderately successful for various reasons: the resources available for curriculum development have been limited; schools have been hard pressed for sufficient space and facilities to diversify the curriculum; teachers have had insufficient experience of less able pupils at this level to be able to


      understand and provide for their needs; there has been tension between the language needs of pupils and the language practices of individual schools; there is disparity of provision in the public sector and a growing inability to reconcile an anxious concern for academic standards with a recognition that different kinds of standard should be evolving for different kinds of pupil. There appears to be a growing feeling that the situation is too complex to be successfully tackled by individual schools.

This prompts several related questions. Should Hong Kong be moving towards a form of comprehensive schooling? Should there be greater diversity within the school system to provide more appropriate forms of education for the less able? Should there be positive discrimination in the provision of staff and resources to favour particular groups of pupils? If there is resistance on the part of some schools to admitting the less able in significant numbers, should the development of an elite private sector be encouraged in order to provide a viable alternative to the public sector for those willing to pay high fees in return for academic standards? Should major initiatives be taken in curriculum development to provide forms of education to which children will respond positively, whatever their level of ability? What contribution is teacher education able to make, given that most existing teachers (and, for that matter, educational administrators, lecturers and inspectors) are themselves products of an academically-oriented system?

Educational Priorities

As a matter either of necessity or of policy priority, major educational developments over the past few decades have tended, as the panel recognised, to be sectorally-based; and from time to time progress on different fronts has been somewhat out of phase. With a nine-year basic school course now established, questions need to be asked about the priorities to be accorded to different aspects of educational development, having regard to the returns from the money and effort invested in different sectors. Should resources be spread evenly (apart from obvious areas such as special education where more generous provision is a necessity) or should priority still be given to strengthening specific sectors at the risk of (or in spite of) continuing imbalance? The view has been taken that present forms of academic education are still strongly favoured because alternative forms are less attractive. Should we make these alternatives more attractive by allocating more resources to their development? Given a choice between senior secondary education and a place in a technical institute, most pupils will opt for the senior secondary place, whatever their academic limitations. Would better technical institutes offering shorter courses, perhaps on a full-time rather than a part-time basis and linked with improved apprenticeship schemes, help pupils and their parents to make a more appropriate choice? Should priority be given to general education or to vocational education at school or post-school level? Is it wise, given the long-term effects of kindergarten education on children's attitudes to learning, that the pre-primary sector should remain totally private, albeit with the qualitative improvements announced in the 1981 White Paper? Is the servicing of the school system appropriate - are the Education Department and the government adequately organised to serve the system they have created and are the schools adequately staffed and organised, with buildings, facilities and resources appropriate to their needs at the present stage of Hong Kong's educational development?

In terms of internal priorities within individual schools, should school authorities in the public sector be given more freedom over the allocation of the resources made available to them?


Access and Interface


Closely associated with questions of priority is the problem of access to education and the stress caused by the competition to secure the best advantages that education can offer. Given present circumstances, are our systems of selection and allocation appropriate, efficient and just? Are the arrangements described in the 1978 White Paper for those continuing in full-time education after Form III satisfactory - are we providing enough places at this level and are the arrangements made for pupils to progress from junior secondary to senior secondary education appropriate?

Are the educational choices available to pupils appropriate to the stage of development which they have reached when exercising choice? In particular, is the government right to develop prevocational education and is it reasonable for parents to commit their children to this form of education at the age of 12?

Given the disjointed appearance of the various sectors of education and the various hurdles that children face when moving from one sector to another, what beyond existing and proposed policies can be done to ensure smoother progress through the system, and to reduce competition to the level where it stimulates achievement rather than generating anxiety? Could any additional measures be introduced within the existing system to reduce the discontinuity which pupils face at the various transitional points?

Role of Teachers

The Education Department's measures to strengthen the links between school management and teachers appear to be encouraging harmonious and efficient working relationships within schools and promoting a more responsive situation to problems as they emerge, rather than when attitudes have hardened. It is not possible, however, to assess the long-term effects or to determine whether they will always provide fully adequate consultative arrangements within schools and between the schools and the department. Questions which arise include whether employment practices within schools are generally satisfactory, whether teachers have an adequate voice in the management of schools and whether they have sufficient opportunities to influence the managerial practices of the school system as a whole.

On the professional front, are teachers generally given enough freedom within schools (consistent with overall discipline and efficiency) to pursue teaching styles or to exploit learning opportunities which make the best use of their individual talents and creativity? In what ways can individual originality be encouraged in teachers without risking any undue loss of cohesion in the performance of the teaching staff as a whole? Are individual teachers given enough shared responsibility for curriculum development within schools so that they operate as a team with objectives which they have personally helped to determine? Are senior staff sufficiently alive to their professional responsibilities towards junior staff - for example, in providing appropriate induction arrangements for newly-qualified recruits? Do senior teachers display appropriate qualities of leadership in professional matters and in the development of the curriculum areas for which they are responsible, over and above their proper concern with managerial and organisational matters?

Teachers have significant roles to play in the work of the Curriculum Development Committee and the CDC Textbooks Committee, their membership of subject committees and panels enabling syllabus development, in particular, to reflect the needs and interests of pupils as perceived by the teachers themselves. The system of continuous evaluation of Educational Television programmes also depends very much on the direct participation of teachers. Could additional opportunities be found for teachers to participate in planning and policy-making and, if so, in what areas would their contribution be most useful?



      Are our present arrangements and development plans for teacher education sufficient to meet the challenges of universal education? In particular, is teacher training making teachers flexible enough to be able to respond to change? Is it enabling teachers to prepare pupils for tomorrow's world, rather than duplicating in the classroom the conditions under which they themselves were taught? Are teachers sufficiently alive to the world of work which their pupils will enter? In this connection should teachers be drawn from a wider net, with credit given for experience outside education?

Language in Education

On language, the basic question which needs to be considered is whether the measures now being put into practice are sufficient by themselves to bring about a rational language situation in school education, and whether they represent a reasonable balance, given the conflicting interests and demands which at present influence schools in the choice of language as the medium of instruction.

Adult and Continuing Education

Is our existing provision for adult and continuing education adequate, given that universal basic education has only recently been achieved and that many adults have therefore not had the opportunity of a full basic education? Set against this fact are the practical constraints on proceeding rapidly on all fronts simultaneously and the consequent need to decide priorities in educational development.

       In considering priorities in this area it is perhaps expedient to separate adult education for retrieval, social and recreational purposes from more advanced forms of general education which can be tailored, either directly or indirectly, to suit the convenience of adults. Part-time degree courses would be an obvious example. Is there sufficient oppor- tunity for adults who have completed secondary education to proceed further on a part-time basis, and to what extent should such opportunities be seen as a way of meeting social demand among school leavers who, for whatever reason, are unable to proceed to tertiary education? Should there be an emphasis in the provision of resources at the sub- degree level? Having regard to the need for Hong Kong to diversify its economy and to be capable of responding quickly to changing economic circumstances in its overseas markets, is there sufficient emphasis in continuing education and management training on re-training and refresher training? Is continuing education sufficiently co-ordinated with the needs of commerce and industry?

Tertiary Education, Technical Education and Industrial Training

The overall review took account of the many facets and types of education, examining their inter-relationships, strengths and weaknesses. Now, to complete the picture, we must turn to recent developments in tertiary education and the closely linked provision for post- school technical education and industrial training, against which the future directions of the school system may be more clearly considered.

Tertiary Education

Hong Kong's tertiary education system has been considerably expanded in recent years. Before 1978, the provision of post-secondary or higher education mainly centred upon the two universities, the Hong Kong Polytechnic, the Colleges of Education for the training of teachers, and a number of post-secondary colleges. Since the introduction of the 1978 White Paper on the Development of Senior Secondary and Tertiary Education, much



greater emphasis has been placed on a more adequate provision of higher education. On higher education, the White Paper specifically recommended that the approved expansion programmes for tertiary education be achieved partly through the post-secondary colleges, to which financial assistance would be provided, and that the number of students taking degree courses should be increased by an expansion of the two universities, by the introduction of part-time degrees at the universities and subject to the advice of the University and Polytechnic Grants Committee (UPGC) - by a limited degree programme at the Hong Kong Polytechnic.

       Shortly after the publication of this White Paper, a Committee to Review Post Secondary and Technical Education was appointed by the government to advise on, among other things, the adequacy of the present pattern and range of institutional provision for post-secondary education as well as on the current and projected educational training needs at different levels including university education, teacher education, vocational, profes- sional and technical education. It was also to advise on policy options relating to the expansion of existing institutions, the creation of new institutions and the use of distance learning. The committee submitted its report to the Governor in June 1981. Many of its recommendations have since been adopted and are being put into practice.

       At the first degree level, for example, the two universities have been expanding their student population at four per cent a year compound since 1981, as opposed to the three per cent growth stipulated in the 1978 White Paper. In approving this rate of expansion, the government recognised the importance of striking a proper balance between courses at different levels of the education system in Hong Kong, so that the education structure could meet the range of employment opportunities and the aptitudes of the students. Recognising the serious manpower shortage in certain areas, the government has asked the universities to provide, on a temporary basis until the end of the 1988 triennium, additional places in such areas as medicine, law, social work, accountancy, economics and business studies, computing science, architecture and building, and engineering, over and above the four per cent annual expansion target. In order not to affect the normal development of the universities, these additional places will lapse after the 1988 triennium when the universities will revert to the normal four per cent annual growth rate. At the approved rate of expansion, the two universities combined would have a student population of 15 000 by the end of the 1985-8 triennium - 8 000 at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) and 7 000 at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).

       In 1982, only two per cent of the 17-20 age group in Hong Kong was provided with first-year first degree places, compared with about five per cent in Singapore and 10 per cent in Britain. This was subsequently increased in Hong Kong to 2.8 per cent in 1983. The present government policy is to increase the provision of first-year first degree places to six per cent by 1989-90 (5 200 places) and to eight per cent by 1994-5 (7 000 places increasing to 8 000 places by 2001-2). To meet these targets, the government has asked the UPGC to examine the possibility of further expanding the two universities. Nevertheless it should be noted that the universities cannot expand indefinitely because of such inhibiting factors as space, staffing and other problems.

Dental School

A milestone in the history of the HKU was the establishment of a dental school in 1980. A total of 76 students was admitted in the same year to its pre-clinical course. These students, together with those admitted in the following year, are now being given clinical training in the purpose-built Prince Philip Dental Hospital under the management of a statutory board.



Previous page: Leaving studies and the city behind, young people in Hong Kong enjoy a variety of outdoor pursuits sponsored by various organisations and government departments. Above: Playtime after school for youngsters in Tuen Mun where children make up 30 per cent of the population.


These young cub scouts members of the 40 000-strong Scout Association of Hong Kong - take a break during events at the annual St. George's Day Rally attended by the Governor, - Sir Edward Youde.



This image is unavailable for access via the Network due to copyright restrictions. To view the image, please contact library staff for a printed copy of the copyright work.


  A thrilling display by members of the Hong Kong Cycling Association at the territory's first cycle velodrome at the Jubilee Sports Centre in Sha Tin.



More than 10 000 young people took part in the series of events organised for the 1983 Summer Youth Programme, such as this Interschool Olympiad run by the Education Department in support of the government's Anti-Smoking Campaign.







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Testing their strength in a tug-of-war is part of the fun for these contestants during filming for the Swinging Summer television series, watched by more than one million viewers.







    Soaring and spectacular, fireworks light up the city providing an evening of excitement in October as part of the Urban Council's centenary celebrations.







  Opened in April, the 12 500-seat Hong Kong Coliseum - one of the largest and best equipped multi-purpose indoor stadig in Asia is shown here from its skeleton-like early days in 1978 to its completion in 1983.














Not only is the dental faculty the first of its kind in Hong Kong but the collaboration between the faculty and a statutory body in the provision of clinical teaching facilities is also unique in the Hong Kong medical system. Day-to-day working relationship between the two parties within the broad management structure takes time and effort to develop, but it is encouraging to see that the dental faculty is flourishing in a congenial environment.

Medical Course

Just as the HKU made history by establishing a dental school, so the CUHK made its mark again by offering a medical course, beginning in 1981 when 60 students were admitted to the first year of its pre-clinical course. In the same year, CUHK admitted students into the first year of its science faculty as potential medical majors. These students were admitted following the recommendation of the Medical Sub-Committee of the UPGC that opportunities to follow a medical career should be provided to some candidates who had not had the opportunity to qualify for the advanced-level science requirements necessary for entry to the first year of the pre-clinical course. The first batch of students are now undergoing their clinical training at the United Christian Hospital in Kwun Tong pending the completion of a new teaching hospital, the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin. This is expected to be completed and commissioned, at least in part, to receive medical students by the summer of 1984. The current intake into the medical course at CUHK is 80. The intake will be increased to 120 in 1984 and to 140 in 1985 as more training facilities become available at the Prince of Wales Hospital. HKU also intends to expand its medical faculty and, subject to the provision of more clinical teaching facilities, its annual intake will be increased from the present 150 students to 225.

Polytechnic Degree Courses

Another significant development in the tertiary education system of Hong Kong is that the Hong Kong Polytechnic has been permitted to offer five degree courses, beginning in 1983-4, in social work, computing studies, applied sciences and mathematics, electronic engineering, and mechanical and marine engineering. Three additional degree courses in design, electrical engineering and civil engineering have also been approved for introduc- tion in 1984-5. The Polytechnic is in the process of making other degree proposals which will be validated by the British Council for National Academic Awards before submission to the government for approval. Apart from offering degrees, the Polytechnic is also being expanded to provide more students with polytechnic education. In 1982 the government approved an increase in the capacity of the Polytechnic from 12 000 full-time equivalent students to 13 500 by 1988. Thirty per cent of this student population would ultimately be at degree level. In order to meet Hong Kong's needs for more highly qualified technicians, the Polytechnic has transferred most of its ordinary diploma and certificate courses to the technical institutes so that more places can be provided at the higher diploma level.

A Second Polytechnic

Largely as a result of the recommendations of the Committee to Review Post Secondary and Technical Education, a Planning Committee, composed of the entire Council of the Hong Kong Polytechnic, was appointed in June 1982 to plan a second polytechnic for Hong Kong. This polytechnic was to be established by the late 1980s with an initial capacity of 8 000 full-time equivalent students and be capable of expansion to 13 500 if warranted by demand. The Planning Committee forwarded its first report to the govern- ment in December 1982, and the recommendations have since been accepted.



The City Polytechnic of Hong Kong will be allocated a site of 12.2 hectares in Kowloon, advantageously situated 200 metres from the Mass Transit Railway/Kowloon Canton Railway interchange station at Kowloon Tong. The master plan allows for a two-stage development of the site. Phase I should be completed in 1988 to provide for up to 8 900 full-time equivalent students. Phase II can be put into force if it is decided eventually that the second target of 13 500 students should be achieved. The full development would cost $823 million at mid-1983 prices, of which $562 million will be required for Phase I.

One major recommendation of the Planning Committee is that the first courses of the City Polytechnic should begin in October 1984 in temporary accommodation, before the completion of the permanent campus. This is because the demand for technically trained and educated manpower, from both the public and private sectors in Hong Kong, is still exceeding supply and there is a pressing need to increase the supply speedily. Furthermore, it is necessary to build up the student body at a realistic annual rate of growth towards the target of 8 000 full-time equivalent students in the early 1990s.

To acquire this temporary accommodation, the Planning Committee has recommended that a conveniently located commercial building in the heart of Kowloon be purchased with a commercial bank loan. No decision has been made on choice of building, but the Planning Committee is optimistic that a suitable building can be found. Several banks are prepared to provide the necessary loan which is expected to be more than $250 million. The government has approved the financial implications of the start in 1984, including the annual financing charges to service the loan. The government will also make good any capital loss when the building is disposed of.

      It is estimated that the 1984 start will produce, on a notional calculation, about 9 500 graduates at various levels between 1987 and 1990.

      The City Polytechnic will eventually have six schools of study: engineering, architecture and building, computing studies, social work, business studies, and accountancy. The first enrolment in October 1984 will be about 700 full-time equivalent students on courses in business studies, accountancy, computing studies and social work which do not require major physical services. The City Polytechnic will concentrate on higher diploma and, to a lesser extent, degree courses which will ultimately make up 30 per cent of the total student population. A director has already been appointed and other senior administrative and academic staff are being recruited.

Baptist College Upgraded

Another notable development in the field of tertiary education is that the Baptist College, formerly an approved post-secondary college, has had its status upgraded to that of a publicly-funded institution of higher education, its funds coming from the UPGC.

      The college has a Board of Governors, which is its governing body, and a council responsible for its management and made up chiefly of independently appointed members. This is in line with the other publicly-funded higher education institutions and this form of governance, with community interests predominating, is internationally accepted and recognised. The Baptist Convention, which founded the college some 27 years ago, is represented both on the Board of Governors and the council in recognition of its traditional link with the college. The Baptist College is a liberal arts college but with an orientation more towards preparation for local employment than post-graduate education. Although the college continues to provide sixth-form courses, these will be run down to allow post-advanced level courses to be developed up to a total student population of 3 000. In time it is expected that some of the courses will be at degree level.


A Third University


Despite all these ambitious plans to expand Hong Kong's tertiary education, the UPGC has advised the government that another university will be needed in the 1990s if Hong Kong is to continue to provide degree education to a reasonable proportion of its young people. In the opinion of the UPGC, this proposed university should have a grouping of professional schools with a strong research and postgraduate dimension. This advice is receiving the government's careful consideration, and already an area at Bowring Camp, north of Tuen Mun New Town, has been tentatively short-listed as a campus site.

Part-time Degree Education

Turning from full-time education, some progress has also been made in the provision of part-time degree education. In accordance with the 1978 White Paper on the Development of Senior Secondary and Tertiary Education, the Chinese University of Hong Kong has been offering a part-time undergraduate degree programme since 1981 which started off with a modest enrolment of 24 students. To date, nearly 200 students have enrolled and there are plans to increase this to between 500 and 600 by 1986-7. The University of Hong Kong has also proposed an external degree programme for a much larger student population, and this is being considered by the government with a decision expected before long. Conscious of the importance of, and the public's growing demand for continuing education in Hong Kong, the government is seeking the advice of the UPGC on the feasibility of introducing more distance learning schemes in Hong Kong such as an open university type of institution providing both degree and non-degree programmes, and extending Educational Television.

      The expansion programme outlined above has resulted in very heavy expenditure. In 1978-9 the total recurrent and capital expenditure on the two universities and the Hong Kong Polytechnic amounted to $340 million and $65 million respectively. In 1983-4, the corresponding figures were $987 million and $210 million, representing increases of 190 per cent and 223 per cent respectively in money terms and 48 per cent and 149 per cent in real terms.

Technical Education and Industrial Training

      Significant strides have been made in recent years in the field of technical education and industrial training, and the contribution of the Hong Kong Polytechnic will be comple- mented in future with the output of the City Polytechnic.

Technical education was formerly the responsibility of the Education Department and industrial training that of the Labour Department, but in 1982 a new government department, the Technical Education and Industrial Training Department, was formed. This came about through the merger of the Technical Education Division of the Education Department and the Industrial Training Branch of the Labour Department, in recognition of the relationship between these two areas and the importance of co-ordinated planning and development. Most of the staff of the department have been seconded to the Vocational Training Council (VTC), which was established in 1982 with the object of advising the Governor on the measures required to ensure a comprehensive system of technical education and industrial training suited to the developing needs of Hong Kong; instituting, developing and operating schemes for training operatives, craftsmen, technicians and technologists needed to sustain and improve industry; and establishing, operating and maintaining technical institutes and training centres.




      There are at present five technical institutes run by the VTC, the Lee Wai Lee, Haking Wong and Kwun Tong Institutes in Kowloon, the Morrison Hill Technical Institute on Hong Kong Island and the Kwai Chung Technical Institute in the New Territories. Three further technical institutes are to be built, at Sha Tin and Tuen Mun in the New Territories and at Chai Wan on Hong Kong Island. It is expected that the Tuen Mun and Sha Tin institutes will be ready to open in September 1985 and Chai Wan in September 1987. Work is also in hand to modify the existing technical institutes to make them more easily accessible to disabled students, while the capacity of Haking Wong Technical Institute is being increased by the construction of a four-storey annexe connected floor-to-floor to the existing building.

The technical institutes provide courses at craft and technician levels roughly at a 40:60 ratio on a full-time, block-release, part-time day release and evening basis. The main disciplines include construction, electrical and mechanical engineering, marine and fabrica- tion, textiles and clothing, commercial studies, industrial technology, design, printing, hotel-keeping and tourism, and motor vehicle engineering, as well as general studies. In 1984-5 it is planned to include new courses in clothing technology, gas fitting, Pitman 2 000 shorthand and advanced typewriting and audio-typing.

      The duration of full-time craft courses is mostly one year. The normal duration of part-time day release craft courses is three years, but students who have studied relevant subjects at a prevocational school, or a relevant full-time craft course, are admitted directly into the second year.

      Most full-time technician programmes take two years and lead to the award of a diploma. The duration of part-time day release or part-time evening technician programmes, which lead to the Higher Certificate, is four years or either five or six years respectively. Students take a certificate examination after either two or three years' study in a technical institute and may then go on to the Polytechnic for a Higher Certificate course. The minimum entry requirement to technician courses is normally passes in four relevant subjects at Grade E or above in the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination. Normally one of the four subjects must be English Language (Syllabus B).

The technical institutes also offer a wide range of short courses, lasting from a few days to several weeks, throughout the calendar year. They are mostly designed to cater to the needs of those who are employed in industry or commerce and who wish to acquire new knowledge or update their knowledge of particular aspects of their work. There are also a few technically-biased leisure-interest courses. Apart from providing a wider service to employees of industry and commerce, the courses will also serve the public at large. The VTC intends to place increasing emphasis on the development of upgrading and re-training as well as leisure-interest courses.

Industrial Training

The Vocational Training Council has 19 training boards covering the following sectors of the economy: accountancy; vehicle repairs and servicing; banking; building and civil engineering; clothing; electrical; electronics; hotel, catering and tourism; insurance; jewel- lery; journalism; machine shop and metal working; merchant shipping; plastics; printing; shipbuilding and ship repair; textiles; transport and physical distribution; and wholesale/ retail and import/export trades. It has also six general committees dealing with training areas which affect more than one sector of the economy. These areas are apprenticeship and trade testing, training in electronic data processing, training in management and supervisory fields, technical education, training of technologists, and translation.



The training boards and two of the general committees (the Committee on Electronic Data Processing Training and the Committee on Management and Supervisory Training) are required to perform some or all of the following tasks in respect of the areas for which they are responsible: to determine the manpower needs and recommend measures to meet those needs, to prescribe job specifications, to design training programmes and trade tests and, where appropriate, to operate and maintain training centres or other training schemes. The Capital Works Programme for Training Centres includes the construction of two training centre complexes in Kowloon Bay and Kwai Chung to accommodate the following industries: vehicle repair and servicing, electrical, electronics, hotel, machine shop and metal working, plastics, printing, textiles, and welding. Assuming that construction, equipment installation and staff recruitment can be completed on schedule, these centres will have the capacity to offer some 9 000 mainly full-time training places from the end of 1984 or early 1985.

Additional Training Centres

In 1983 the Vocational Training Council launched a post-graduate training scheme for engineering graduates. It is designed to help engineering graduates from the universities and the Polytechnic, as well as local graduates of overseas universities, to obtain the practical training they need to complete their overall training as engineers and gain recognition for full professional status by the professional institutions.

At the government's request the council is establishing a temporary Seamen's Training Centre at Little Sai Wan to train about 5 000 serving seafarers to a level where they will meet the standard required by the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers which will come into force in April 1984.

The council has also begun the initial phase of establishing a Management Development Centre. The centre's main functions will be research into and development, co-ordination and promotion of management education and training in Hong Kong. To validate the programmes it develops, the centre will also conduct courses.

Consideration is also being given to the establishment of an Insurance Training Centre to provide courses for new entrants to the industry as well as up-dating courses for serving personnel.

Problems Unresolved

Hong Kong has certainly come a long way in the last decade or so in meeting the needs of its people for more and better education. There remains, however, a number of questions to be answered at the tertiary level. For example, should the two universities adopt the same basic degree structure of either three years, as is the case of the University of Hong Kong, or four years, as is the case of the Chinese University of Hong Kong? Should there be a common entry to Hong Kong's tertiary institutions? To what extent should the conven- tional education system be complemented by distance learning such as an open university? What should be the role of part-time and external degrees? If we are to build another university, what type of university should it be and what should our approaches be to professional education, advanced teacher training and validation of academic awards? Also what should be the role of the City Polytechnic vis-a-vis the Hong Kong Polytechnic? The list is not exhaustive.

As regards technical education and industrial training, care must be taken to ensure that the expansion is in the right direction. In a nutshell, the aim must be to match the skills taught at the technical institutes and training centres to the needs of Hong Kong's



economy. To do this, is there a case for adjusting the ratio of craft to technician courses? In the light of the strong demand for full-time, as opposed to part-time, education in Hong Kong, should there be more full-time courses offered by the technical institutes and fewer part-time day release courses? Is the current apprenticeship system the most appropriate in Hong Kong's circumstances? Will the training courses offered now continue to be relevant in a few years' time? If not, where should the emphasis be placed? These are some of the questions under examination at present in order to make the most of the educational and training opportunities available.

The Task Ahead

As might be expected, public response to the Llewellyn Report touched on a number of the themes and questions posed by the government at the outset of the review. The immediate task ahead is for the Administration to analyse the public comments on the Llewellyn Report before approaching the Executive Council for a decision. Altogether, a total of 554 comments were made by 305 individuals and organisations, including the district boards and education interest groups which took a great interest in the report. The comments received included 176 written submissions, 266 news reports and comments given in forums, seminars, speeches, etc., and 112 educational editorials or feature articles, totalling 2 280 pages! The recommendations in the report most commented on were:

(a) the setting up of an education commission;

(b) the use of the mother tongue as the language of instruction;

(c) abolition of the Junior Secondary Education Assessment (JSEA);

(d) making kindergartens a part of the aided sector of education;

(e) more and better training for kindergarten teachers;

(f) more resources for training of teachers;

     (g) subsidised post-compulsory education up to Form V for all who want it; and (h) expansion of study opportunities at degree and higher technician level. Views were generally in favour of considerable development in education, broadly in line with the panel's recommendations. On a number of issues, the submissions agreed in principle with the panel, but had different views on how their objectives should be achieved. Unofficial Legislative Councillors themselves contributed a very lively debate in the proceedings of the Legislative Council on July 13, 1983, on the motion:

"That this Council receives with approbation the report A Perspective on Education in Hong Kong and comments to the Government as a basis on which continuing improve- ment of education in Hong Kong should be implemented.'

      A total of 14 Unofficial members spoke and a remarkable degree of consensus was achieved on the general principles which received their support. These were summarised by the Revd the Hon P. T. McGovern in his speech in which he conveyed the 'Twenty-four points of our collective wisdom' to the government. The Official members of the council gave their support to the motion once it was clear that the motion was not intended to exclude consideration of all the other public consultation which was then proceeding or to imply that the report was to be the only basis for the formulation of policy.

      This wide-ranging and stimulating debate covered many aspects of education and its review with members paying particular attention to the language of instruction, teacher training, the planning and administration of education, the future of the JSEA, the need to bring kindergarten education more into the system, the entry to tertiary education institu- tions, the financing of education, and the phasing out of bought places. It would be difficult to summarise the debate briefly here but the spirit of it was well encapsulated by the Revd the Hon Joyce Bennett in her opening remarks:



'The motion under debate is one of the most important which this Council has had before it for some time. It involves the whole future of our children. Their future is in our hands to-day as we consider whether or not the Government should use the report A Perspective on Education in Hong Kong as a basis for continuing its improvements in the education of our children. I sincerely urge all our members to support the motion and I shall show that such improvements are the natural continuation of policies already accepted by this legislature.'

There is much in the Hong Kong community's perception of education and its attitudes towards the existing system which is well worth protecting. The characteristic resourceful- ness of the Hong Kong people, their readiness to accept challenge and their determination to do the best for their children that circumstances will allow have all helped to shape the education system and at the same time throw into clear relief the educational problems that have emerged. There is still among Hong Kong young people a marked resilience to problems and a determination to work hard. It is felt by some of those who place great value on these qualities that a number of the proposals made by the Panel of Visitors, drawn as they were from Western models of education, may be inappropriate to Hong Kong, and that adoption of overseas pedagogical methods may result in a weakening of Hong Kong students' willingness to spend time in concentrated study.

This is a problem of which the panel members were themselves fully aware. They pointed out at the beginning of their report that 'the only proposals that have an even chance of becoming real solutions are those which the people of Hong Kong adopt for themselves, albeit prompted and assured by sympathetic visitors like ourselves. We prefer to point to desirable directions rather than to prescribe treatment for immediate ills.' They reaffirmed this approach by concluding their report with the statement: 'Here we end where the people of Hong Kong must begin: by talking about curriculum, by coming to grips with those theories of education, structures of knowledge and cultural maps which are to be harmonised so that their education system may flourish and hence their society continue to prosper.'



Industry and Trade


WITH economic recovery in most of Hong Kong's major trading markets, in particular the United States, the manufacturing industry performed well in 1983. The value of domestic exports in 1983 amounted to $104,405 million - 26 per cent more than in 1982.

The major factors that have given Hong Kong its international reputation as a leading manufacturing and commercial centre continued to work well. Among these are the consistent economic policies of free enterprise and free trade, low earnings and profits tax rates, an industrious workforce, a sophisticated commercial and industrial infrastructure, a modern and efficient seaport in which is located the world's third largest container port, a centrally-located airport with a computerised cargo terminal, and excellent world-wide communications. There are no import tariffs; and revenue duties are levied only on tobacco, alcoholic liquors, methyl alcohol and some hydrocarbon oils. A levy is also payable on first registration of motor vehicles, except franchised buses.

      Apart from ensuring the provision of the necessary infrastructure, either through direct services or by co-operation with privately-owned public utility companies and autonomous bodies, the government's principal role in the economy is to provide a stable framework in which commerce and industry can function efficiently and effectively with minimum interference. The government normally intervenes only in response to the pressure of economic and social needs. It neither protects nor subsidises manufacturers.

Industrial Development and Industrial Land

     Light manufacturing industries, producing mainly consumer goods, predominate in Hong Kong. About 67 per cent of the total industrial workforce is employed in the textiles, clothing, electronics, plastic products, toys, and watches and clocks industries. These industries together accounted for 75 per cent of Hong Kong's total domestic exports in 1983 and are likely to continue to predominate, despite the fact that industrial diver- sification has continued to be a feature of the overall economic scene.

The Hong Kong Industrial Estates Corporation, a statutory body established in March 1977, develops and manages industrial estates which are intended to accommodate industries with a relatively high level of technology that cannot be operated in ordinary multi-storey factory buildings which house the bulk of Hong Kong's industries. The first two stages of the Tai Po Industrial Estate now provide 46 hectares of land for allocation to industries while the third stage, presently under construction, will produce a further 20 hectares by 1985. A second estate at Yuen Long provides an additional 67 hectares of land. By the end of 1983, 79 of the 202 applications received by the corporation had been approved and sites had been granted to 40 companies in the Tai Po and Yuen Long Industrial Estates. During the first six years of its operation, the corporation has offered land at fixed premium, varied from time to time to take into account the cost of production




of the estate and market conditions. In 1983, the corporation also adopted measures aimed at increasing the up-take of its land.

       Besides offering sites to industrialists for the construction of their own purpose-built factory buildings, the Hong Kong Industrial Estates Corporation also offers pre-built factory premises for purchase or rental by those who wish to commence production with the minimum of delay. The standard factories are fully serviced four-storey buildings with units constructed with maximum flexibility to suit the varied requirements of potential occupiers.

Outside the industrial estates, 10 sites with an overall area of 28 818 square metres were sold for industrial use in 1983. Special development conditions were attached to one of them. These lease conditions called for the provision of heavy floor loading capacities and high ceilings on some floors to accommodate certain types of machinery; and, up to July 1983, in the case of smaller sites for a minimum of 20 per cent of the space provided to consist of units not larger than 75 square metres to cater for small industries.

The government also proceeded with the construction of flatted factories to accom- modate, in permanent buildings, squatter workshops and small operators cleared for public purposes. One such factory block is due to be completed in 1984.

Industry Development Board

To provide greater impetus to the board's work and to rationalise the government's consultative machinery for industry, the Industrial Development Board was merged with the Industry Advisory Board to form the Industry Development Board (IDB) in October 1983. This new board, like its predecessor, is chaired by the Financial Secretary and comprises representatives from trade and industry, tertiary education institutions and civil servants. Its terms of reference are to advise the government on all industrial matters other than labour and those falling within the purview of the Textiles Advisory Board.

During 1983, the Industry Development Board and its precursors continued to work towards improvements in the provision of industrial support facilities and technical back-up services for industry. As a result of their deliberations, the government took steps to establish a standards and calibration laboratory in the Industry Department; commis- sioned a consultancy on accreditation of testing laboratory services in Hong Kong; completed two techno-economic studies on the electronics and the metal and light engineering industries; and funded three micro-electronic projects at the two universities and the polytechnic. Additionally, with their support, a conference on quality assurance was held in October to encourage quality consciousness within industry.

Industrial Investment Promotion

Following a decision to reorganise and strengthen Hong Kong's industrial investment promotion work, the Industry Department set up four industrial promotion offices overseas in 1982 in Tokyo, London, Stuttgart and San Francisco - and increased its specialist industrial promotion staff at the head office. As a result, the number and range of industrial investment promotion activities in Hong Kong and overseas were increased during 1983. Missions were organised to the United States, Japan, Sweden and West Germany, for the first time including Hong Kong industrialists in addition to Industry Department officials, providing opportunities for the industrialists to meet potential overseas partners. The missions to the United States, Sweden and West Germany were combined with industrial investment promotion seminars and factory visits in the main cities to acquaint the industrialists with the latest developments in technology and modern



factory operations. In addition, two industrial investment promotion missions, comprising officials from the department, visited Australia where they found substantial interest in Hong Kong as a location for overseas industrial investment.

      The four overseas offices carried out a wide range of activities. These included arranging for groups of overseas industrialists to visit Hong Kong, organising and participating in seminars, attending trade and industrial fairs and visiting individual companies with an expressed or potential interest in Hong Kong. The offices are provided with back-up by the Industrial Promotion Consultancy Division of the Industry Department.

By far the largest proportion of investment in Hong Kong industry - between 80 and 90 per cent - is by local manufacturers and businessmen. The department therefore continued to publicise its industrial promotion services locally through local industry and trade associations, contacts with individual industrialists and a series of industrial investment seminars held in conjunction with the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, the Hong Kong Industrial Estates Corporation and the Hong Kong Productivity Centre. Several hundred local companies are registered with the department as having expressed an interest in co-operation with overseas firms. During the year, the department's promotional film, 50 000 Can't Be Wrong, was up-dated and a second film, entitled Two-steps Ahead, was produced. This new film aims to keep local manufacturers and businessmen abreast of the latest technological and other developments. As a result of these activities, the department received a continuing flow of industrial investment enquiries and was involved in 20 industrial investment projects, involving either direct overseas investment or co-operation between Hong Kong and overseas companies, which were successfully concluded during the year. The main sources of interest are the United States, Japan and Australia.

Although most industrial enterprises are Hong Kong-financed and managed, at the end of the year there were at least 531 factories either fully or partly-owned by overseas interests. These factories employed some 96 000 workers or 11 per cent of the total workforce in the manufac- turing industry. The main sources of such investments are the United States, Japan, Britain, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The principal industries involved are electronics, textiles and garments, building and construction materials, chemical products and electrical products.

The Hong Kong/Japan Business Co-operation Committee continued to work closely with its counterpart in Japan. During the year, it provided assistance and support to the Industry Department in organising industrial missions to and seminars in Japan.

Textiles and Clothing

The textiles and clothing industries are Hong Kong's largest, together employing about 41 per cent of the total industrial workforce and producing some 40 per cent by value of total domestic exports. The export performance of the spinning and weaving sectors improved significantly in 1983 compared with the previous year. Export earnings by the clothing sector also improved despite the continued enforcement of measures contained in the export restraint agreements which Hong Kong has negotiated with its most important overseas trading partners. Total domestic exports of textiles and clothing in 1983 were valued at $41,448 million, compared with $33,876 million in 1982.

The output of cotton yarn was 141 million kilograms in 1983, compared with 126 million kilograms in 1982. Production of man-made fibre yarn and cotton man-made fibre blended yarn was 27 million kilograms in 1983, compared with 27 million kilograms in 1982, and production of woollen and worsted yarn was three million kilograms, compared with four million kilograms the previous year. Most of the yarn produced was used locally.



       The weaving sector, with 22 443 looms, produced 692 million square metres of woven fabrics of various fibres and blends, compared with 630 million square metres in 1982. The bulk of the production - 90 per cent was of cotton. Much of the fabric produced was exported in the piece, but local clothing manufacturers used the major proportion of locally woven and finished fabrics.

The knitting sector exported 19 million kilograms of knitted fabrics of which 27 per cent was of man-made fibres or blended cotton man-made fibres, and 73 per cent was of cotton compared with 13 million kilograms in 1982. In addition, a large quantity of knitted fabric of all fibres was used by local clothing manufacturers.

The finishing sector of the industry provides sophisticated support facilities to the spinning, weaving and knitting sectors. It handled a large amount of textile fabrics. for bleaching, dyeing, printing and finishing. The processes performed included yarn texturising, multi-colour roller and screen printing, transfer printing, preshrinking, permanent pressing and polymerising.

The clothing sector is the largest single sector within the manufacturing industry, employing some 283 860 workers or about 33 per cent of the total industrial workforce. Domestic exports of clothing in 1983 were valued at $34,365 million, compared with $28,824 million in 1982.

Other Light Industries

The electronics industry performed remarkably well in 1983 and maintained its position as the second largest export-earner among Hong Kong's manufacturing industries. Domestic exports of electronic products in 1983 were valued at $18,532 million, compared with $12,475 million in 1982. The industry comprises 1 351 factories employing 94 631 workers. It produces a wide range of products, including radios, computer-memory systems, calculators, transistors, integrated circuits, wafer chips for integrated circuits, semi- conductors, prepackaged electronic modules, television sets, electronic games, smoke detectors, burglar alarm systems, micro-computers and telecommunication equipment comprising digital dialers, cordless telephones and telephones with built-in memories. The distinction between this industry and others, notably toys and watches, is becoming increasingly difficult to define because of the widespread application of electronics technology to consumer products in various other industries.

       The plastics industry fared well in 1983. Domestic exports during the year were valued at $8,019 million, compared with $7,869 million in 1982. The industry has 5 092 factories and 83 187 workers. Hong Kong continues to be the world's largest supplier of toys, which represented the bulk of the plastic industry's output.

       The watches and clocks industry performed well in 1983. Domestic exports during the year were valued at $8,566 million compared with $7,452 million in 1982. The industry has 1848 factories employing 42 210 workers. Production includes both mechanical and electronic watches, clocks, watch cases, dials, metal watch bands, assembled watch movements and watch straps of various materials.

       Other important light industries produce travel goods; handbags and similar articles; metal products; jewellery; domestic electrical equipment; electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances; and optical and photographic goods.

Heavy and Service Industries

Hong Kong shipyards provide a competitive repair service and build a variety of vessels. Several large shipbuilding and repair yards on Tsing Yi Island provide services to the shipping industry and the construction of oil rigs for exploration activities.



      The port of Hong Kong, which ranks among the top three container ports in the world, handled approximately 1.83 million TEU's (20-feet equivalent units) in 1983.

     The aircraft engineering industry has a high international reputation and provides maintenance, overhaul and repair facilities for most Asian airlines.

The manufacture of machinery, machine tools and their parts provides support to other local industries and also contributes to Hong Kong's export trade. Of particular importance are blow moulding, injection moulding, and extrusion machines of up to 9 070-gram capacity for the plastics industry; power presses; lathes; shapers and drilling machines; polishing machines; printing presses; textile knitting and warping machines; and electroplating equipment.

Industry Department

The department comprises four divisions. The Environment and Resources Division handles a wide variety of issues involved in looking after the interests of the industrial sector. It maintains close liaison with local trade and industrial organisations in represent- ing their views to relevant government departments. Among specific subjects dealt with are the monitoring of raw material supplies (in particular fuel and other essential oil products), the provision of adequate infrastructural facilities including the smooth movement of freight within and outside Hong Kong at equitable freight rates, and the examination of the effects of environmental legislation on industry.

The Industrial Development Division is responsible for the policy aspects of industrial investment promotion, including the formulation of an overall promotion strategy. It co-ordinates the organisation of industrial promotion programmes with industry and trade organisations and advises the government on industrial land matters.

The Promotion Consultancy Division is responsible for providing comprehensive information about Hong Kong to potential investors and assisting them in evaluating and setting up manufacturing projects in Hong Kong, liaising with the department's overseas industrial promotion offices.

The Science and Technology Division comprises the secretariat for the Industry Development Board, formerly the Industrial Development Board. The division is also responsible for the administrative aspects of product standards and quality certification services; for up-dating legislation on weights and measures and its subsequent implemen- tation; and for the management of an overseas consultancy planning an international exhibition centre in Hong Kong. On technical support aspects, it is responsible for setting up the government's new standards and calibration laboratory; for management of the consultancy on accreditation of testing laboratories; and for the provision of technical input to the Industry Development Board on applied research and development and transfer of technology matters. The division also provides technical advice and assistance to the Industry Department as a whole.

External Trade

Total merchandise trade in 1983 amounted to $336,142 million, an increase of 24 per cent over 1982. Imports went up by 23 per cent to $175,442 million, domestic exports by 26 per cent to $104,405 million and re-exports by 27 per cent to $56,294 million. Domestic exports and re-exports together, valued at $160,699 million, registered an increase of 26 per cent. Appendices 3 and 4 provide summary statistics of external trade.

Hong Kong is almost entirely dependent on imported resources to meet the needs of its population of more than 5.3 million and its diverse industries. In 1983, imports of raw



materials and semi-manufactured goods totalled $75,258 million, representing 43 per cent of total imports. The principal items imported were fabrics of man-made fibres ($6,804 million), transistors, diodes, semi-conductors and integrated circuits ($6,239 million), woven cotton fabrics ($4,737 million), iron and steel ($4,334 million), watch and clock movements, cases and parts ($4,259 million) and plastic moulding materials ($4,246 million). Imports of consumer goods, valued at $46,659 million, constituted 27 per cent of total imports. The major consumer goods imported were clothing ($8,537 million), radios, television-receivers, gramophones, records, amplifiers and tape recorders ($3,900 million), diamonds ($3,844 million), watches ($3,678 million) and medicinal and pharmaceutical products ($1,708 million).

Imports of capital goods amounted to $22,540 million, or 13 per cent of total imports. Imported capital goods consisted mainly of electrical machinery ($3,818 million), transport equipment ($3,242 million), office machines ($1,915 million), electronic components and parts for computers ($1,636 million) and industrial machinery other than electrical and textile machinery ($886 million).

Imports of foodstuffs were valued at $19,732 million, representing 11 per cent of total imports. The principal imported food items were fish and fish preparations ($3,051 million), meat and meat preparations ($2,555 million), fruit ($2,498 million) and vegetables ($2,364 million).

       Some $11,253 million of mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials were imported in 1983, representing six per cent of total imports.

China and Japan were the two principal suppliers of imports in 1983, providing 24 per cent and 23 per cent, respectively, of the total. China alone supplied 46 per cent of Hong Kong's imported foodstuffs. The United States ranked third, providing 11 per cent of total imports, followed by Taiwan, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Korea and West Germany.

Clothing remained the largest component of domestic exports in 1983, valued at $34,365 million or 33 per cent of the total. Exports of miscellaneous manufactured articles. consisting mainly of plastic toys and dolls, jewellery, goldsmiths' and silversmiths' wares. and artificial flowers, were valued at $16,642 million, representing 16 per cent of total domestic exports. Photographic apparatus, equipment, supplies and optical goods, watches and clocks amounted to $9,399 million or nine per cent of the total. Domestic exports of telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment, valued at $8,410 million, contributed another eight per cent to the total. Other important exports included electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, consisting mainly of transistors and diodes and household type appliances (eight per cent of the total), textiles (seven per cent) and office machines and automatic data processing equipment (five per cent).

       The direction and level of Hong Kong's export trade is very much influenced by economic conditions and commercial policies in major overseas markets. In 1983, 63 per cent of all domestic exports went to the United States and the European Economic Community. The largest market was the United States ($43,802 million or 42 per cent of the total), followed by the United Kingdom ($8,538 million or eight per cent), West Germany ($8,043 million or eight per cent) and China ($6,223 million or six per cent). Domestic exports to Japan and Canada increased to $3,910 million and $3,731 million respectively, with Japan representing four per cent and Canada four per cent of total domestic exports. Other important markets were Australia and Singapore.

       Re-exports continued to increase in 1983, accounting for 35 per cent of the combined total of domestic exports and re-exports. The principal commodities re-exported were



textiles ($7,822 million), electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances ($4,931 million), clothing ($4,495 million), photographic apparatus, equipment, supplies and optical goods, watches and clocks ($4,258 million). The main countries of origin of these re-exports were China, Japan, the United States and Taiwan. The largest re-export markets were China, the United States, Singapore and Indonesia.

International Commercial Relations

Hong Kong's external commercial relations are conducted by the Trade Department within the framework of a basically free trade policy. Hong Kong practises, to the full, the rules of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). Virtually the only restrictions maintained on trade are those required by international obligations. Most prominent among these are restraints on textile exports to major trading partners in Europe and North America. All these restraint arrangements were negotiated under the Arrangement Regarding International Trade in Textiles, commonly known as the Multi-Fibre Arrange- ment (MFA). A feature of the MFA is the Textile Surveillance Body (TSB) which supervises its implementation. A Hong Kong representative sat on the TSB as a full member in 1983.

Co-ordination with other developing exporting members of the MFA remained an important activity for Hong Kong in 1983. Members continued to exchange views and information on issues relating to trade in textiles and clothing, particularly on the study being carried out in the GATT following the decision adopted in the GATT ministerial meeting of November 1982. They also discussed the format of future co-ordination among them. Hong Kong participated fully in these exchanges.

Hong Kong's exports of cotton, man-made fibre and wool textiles to the United States are subject to the provisions of a bilateral agreement covering the period 1982-7. Under the terms of the agreement, exports in 24 categories of textile products are subject to specific restraint limits while exports in all other categories are subject to an export authorisation (EA) surveillance system. Under the EA system, the United States may seek consultations with Hong Kong with a view to reaching agreement on an appropriate level of restraint in any one year where it considers that its imports from Hong Kong in any particular category are disrupting its market. During 1983, consultations were held and limits set for the year in response to the United States' requests on 13 EA categories.

      The new bilateral textiles agreement between Hong Kong and the European Economic Community (EEC), concluded at the end of 1982, has a duration of four years from January 1983 and covers virtually all Hong Kong's exports of cotton, man-made fibre and wool textiles to the EEC. Exports in 44 categories of textile products are subject to specific limits in respect of all regions of the EEC. A further six categories are subject to limits in respect of certain regions, and the remaining categories are subject to EA surveillance. Consultations were held in June 1983 under the terms of the agreement to determine the amount of advance use of 1984 quotas (carryforward) available to Hong Kong during 1983. In almost all cases, Hong Kong was able to obtain a higher percentage than the minimum one per cent carryforward provided for in the agreement.

A bilateral agreement between Hong Kong and Canada covering the period 1982-6 provides for specific restraint on 16 textile categories and EA surveillance on 10 other categories. Consultations under the terms of the agreement were held in June, as a result of which a limit was agreed on exports of denim fabric to Canada in 1983. In further consultations held in August, Hong Kong rejected a Canadian request to modify the terms of the agreement in certain respects.



The two-year bilateral textile agreement concluded between Hong Kong and Sweden in 1981 was due to expire in March 1983. Following two rounds of negotiations held in February and March, the agreement was extended for five months to August 31, 1983, as an interim arrangement. A third round of negotiations held in May led to the conclusion of an agreement of four years' duration from September 1, 1983. Under the new agreement, exports in 16 categories of textile products are subject to quantitative restraint, while exports in four other categories are subject to an export authorisation surveillance system operated by the Trade Department.

Under the MFA, bilateral agreements were renegotiated during the year with Switzer- land and Austria. The agreement concluded with Finland in 1982 remains effective until July 1984. Under the terms of the agreements, exports of certain textiles from Hong Kong to these countries are subject to restraint or surveillance.

Norway's action against certain textile imports which was introduced in January 1979 under Article XIX of the GATT remained in force during 1983. Early in the year, Norway proposed negotiations with Hong Kong for a bilateral agreement under Article 4 of the MFA. Following two rounds of inconclusive negotiations, the Norwegian Government extended its Article XIX action until June 30, 1984, pending the outcome of further negotiations with Hong Kong and other exporting members of the MFA.

       France maintains unilateral quantitative restrictions against imports from Hong Kong in respect of a number of products, including quartz watches. After numerous rounds of inconclusive consultations with France and the EEC Commission to seek the removal of the restrictions, Hong Kong requested the GATT to convene a panel to consider its complaints against the French action and to make a ruling on the matter. The GATT panel concluded in its report that the restrictions were maintained by France without any justification under the GATT and recommended that they be terminated. The report was adopted without reservation by the GATT Council in July 1983.

Generalised schemes of preferences (GSP) are operated by most developed countries to promote the export of goods from developing countries and territories by providing duty-free or reduced import tariff treatment. Except for Finland, all developed countries operating such schemes include Hong Kong as a beneficiary. Hong Kong has consistently made it clear that it seeks no special advantages under these schemes, but simply treatment similar to that accorded to its close competitors. However, certain products from Hong Kong are specifically excluded from the schemes operated by Australia, Austria, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the United States. The difference in treatment has been the subject of continuing official exchanges between Hong Kong and the countries concerned which have resulted in gradual improvement of Hong Kong's position in certain schemes. In 1983, Japan removed two further items from its GSP exclusion list for Hong Kong.

The current US Generalised Scheme of Preferences is due to expire in January 1985. Hong Kong made a detailed written submission to the United States administration which conducted public hearings on the renewal of the scheme, and has used other opportunities to make its views known.

Documentation of Imports and Exports

      Import and export licensing formalities are kept to a minimum in line with Hong Kong's international obligations. The most complex licensing formalities are those resulting from Hong Kong's obligations to restrain certain exports of textile products. All import licences and export licences covering products other than textiles are issued free. However, a fee is charged on each application for a textile export licence and certain other applications under Hong Kong's textiles export control system.



     Since August 1, 1980, all textile imports have been subject to licensing. The main purpose of this requirement is to monitor the flow of textiles into Hong Kong to help identify possible breaches of the textile export control system. A major review of the textiles export control system, the third of its kind after similar reviews in 1976 and 1980, was carried out in 1983. Modifications were introduced to ensure that the system remained effective and continued to meet the demands of the changing patterns of trade.

     With Hong Kong's dependence on the export of manufactured goods - mostly made from imported materials - and on the substantial re-export trade, a certification of origin system to meet the requirements of overseas customs authorities is important. The Trade Department issues certificates of origin and accepts responsibility for safeguarding the integrity of the entire Hong Kong certification system. Close liaison is maintained with the Customs and Excise Department, overseas customs authorities, and with five government- approved certification authorities: the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, the Indian Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong and the Chinese General Chamber of Com- merce. The value of domestic exports covered by certificates of origin issued by the department and the five approved organisations in 1983 was estimated at $27,221 million, of which $16,431 million was covered by government-issued certificates.

     Form 'A' certificates are issued by the Trade Department to support exports claiming preferential entry into certain countries which grant tariff preferences to Hong Kong under generalised preference schemes: the EEC, the United States, Japan, Canada, Norway, Austria, Sweden, Switzerland and New Zealand. The five government-approved certifica- tion organisations are authorised to issue Form 'A' certificates for exports to Austria, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Norway and Switzerland. In 1983, the value of exports covered by Form 'A' certificates amounted to $21,146 million. An estimated 46.1 per cent of Hong Kong's domestic exports are covered by origin certificates of one type or another 35.5 per cent of them by government-issued certificates.

Trade Department

The responsibilities of the Trade Department include the conduct of Hong Kong's external commercial relations, certification of origin, and export and import licensing, including textiles and reserved commodities. On matters of policy affecting trade, the Director of Trade relies on advice from the Trade Advisory Board and the Textiles Advisory Board, through the Secretary for Trade and Industry.

     The department's work is assisted by five overseas offices of the Hong Kong Govern- ment, in London, Brussels, Geneva, New York and Washington. Details are at Appendix 2. These overseas offices are administered by the Councils and Administration Branch of the Government Secretariat, although much of their business is trade-related. They represent Hong Kong's commercial relations interests on a day-to-day basis and provide information on international developments which may affect Hong Kong.

     The department consists of the Multilateral and North America Group and the Rest of the World and Systems Group, together comprising five divisions. One division is responsible for the multilateral aspects of Hong Kong's external commercial relations and for gathering information and formulating policy recommendations on issues affecting Hong Kong and general commercial interests. Three divisions are responsible for Hong Kong's external commercial relations and textile export control in respect of North America (USA and Canada); EEC, Portugal, Spain and Turkey; and other regions. Their work includes the preparation for, and conduct of, trade negotiations, and the collection



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Putting on the Style

Keeping ahead as the world's foremost garment exporter means continual up- grading of quality by Hong Kong manu- facturers. And today, the territory is also winning world-wide praise for its design. At the Paris Prêt-à-Porter in March 1983, a dozen young Hong Kong designers -- in a dynamic promotion staged by the Trade Development Council (TDC) - proved to the world's most discerning fashion audi- ence that the territory has a distinctive flair for design in addition to its talent for production. Much of Hong Kong's designer talent comes from the Hong Kong Polytechnic where the Swire School of Design provides a higher diploma course in fashion. As well as enhancing Hong Kong's reputation in the fashion world, improved quality is a means to overcome the restraints imposed by pro- tectionism. Added to this, manufacturing has seen a shift to higher value-added fashion through the use of silk, leather and fur - all of which are quota-free - while new markets, such as Japan, are opening up. In April, the TDC presented an in- store promotion in seven cities throughout Japan featuring Hong Kong-made gar- ments and, later in the year, a ready- to-wear knitwear festival attracted 400 Japanese buyers to Hong Kong. Compu- terisation and advanced technology, too, are helping add an essential sophistication to the textiles and clothing industries which together produce by value some 41 per cent of Hong Kong's total domestic exports.

Previous page: High fashion in glamorous beaded and appliquéd silk and leather from one of Hong Kong's talented young de- signers. Left: Computerisation in the cloth- ing industry for embroidery; for pattern marking; and for knitwear manufacturing.


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As the world's second largest knitwear exporter, after Italy, Hong Kong is renowned world-wide for its top-quality knits, including casual knitted sportswear in bright colours and easy-to-wear fabrics.

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The Trade Development Council took its ready-to-wear show on the road again in 1983 - to Tokyo in February and to the Paris Prêt-à-Porter in March -featuring collections from a new generation of Hong Kong fashion designers.

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Hong Kong is the world's leading exporter of fur garments in terms of value. High sules in leather and silk, too, enhance its reputation as a source of up-market, high-quality


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Many of the territory's designers are graduates of the Hong Kong Polytechnic's Swire School of Design. Here, students prepare their final collections for the graduation fashion show,

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The school's two-year higher diploma course prepares students in all aspects of fashion design

- from sketching to finished garment production - for all sectors of the clothing industry.

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To complement the clothes, and help ensure the success of the 1983 Poly Design Fashion Show, hair and make-up are vital ingredients of the whole fashion story.



      and dissemination of information on trade policy measures taken by the countries concerned which may affect Hong Kong. The fifth division is responsible for the Hong Kong textile export control system, the planning and implementation of the programme to computerise that system, origin certification, the import and export licensing of commodities other than textiles, and a rice control scheme.

Customs and Excise Department

The department comprises the Customs and Excise Service and the Administration and Trade Controls Division.

The Customs and Excise Service is a disciplined and uniformed force. Its main duties are to enforce Hong Kong's laws on dutiable commodities, dangerous drugs, import and export controls and copyright protection. Chapter 12, Public Order, gives a detailed account of the work of the service.

       The Administration and Trade Controls Division is responsible for the receipt of trade declarations and the collection of the ad valorem charge and clothing levy on imported and exported goods, and for routine inspections of factories and consignments in connection with applications for certificates of origin, import and export licences, trade declarations, manifests and reserved commodities. It also investigates fraud relating to imports and exports, enforces the Trade Descriptions Ordinance and design copyright aspects of the Copyright Ordinance, and handles trade complaints.

In 1983, the division completed 46 774 inspections of factories and consignments, 1 599 costing checks in connection with applications under the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (Form 'A'), and 40 668 inquiries and verifications relating to trade declarations and manifests. It conducted 5 332 associated assessments resulting in the collection of $3.6 million in ad valorem charges and administrative penalties.

The division also completed 1 572 cases, resulting in the imposition of fines totalling $4.8 million and prison sentences of up to six months. Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, goods with a market value of $21 million were seized, and goods valued at $5.7 million were forfeited to the Crown.

Hong Kong Trade Development Council

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council is a statutory body responsible for promoting and developing Hong Kong's overseas trade and publicising the opportunities and advan- tages of Hong Kong as a trading partner.

The chairman is appointed by the Governor and the 16 other members include representatives of major trade associations, leading businessmen and industrialists, and two senior government officials. The council is financed by the net proceeds of an ad valorem levy on all exports and on imports other than foodstuffs; and by miscellaneous income from sources such as advertising fees and sales of publications.

       The council was established in 1966 and has built up a network of 27 offices throughout the world in addition to the head office and Tsuen Wan branch office in Hong Kong. All offices process trade enquiries, provide up-to-date trade and economic information and offer advice to businessmen interested in developing trade with Hong Kong. The overseas representatives and consultants can put traders in touch with any Hong Kong manufac- turers and exporters registered in the computer in the Trade Enquiries Department.

       The staff of the council carried out an extensive trade promotion programme in 1983, organising more than 80 major international projects. In the United States, these included the Winter Consumer Electronics Fair in Las Vegas and the Summer Consumer Electronics



Fair in Chicago, the American Toy Fair in New York, the National Hardware Show in Chicago and the New York Premium Show, as well as a three-city 'Made In Hong Kong' exhibition. In Europe, the council participated in the International Toy Fair in Nuremberg, the INHORGENTA and the International Sports Equipment Fair in Munich, the Frankfurt International Spring Fair, and the Birmingham Spring Fair as well as mounting an exhibition of watches and jewellery to coincide with the Swiss Industries Fair in Basle. It also took part in the International Toy and Sporting Goods Toy Fair in Sydney.

      A variety of Hong Kong business groups under the auspices of the council visited the Middle East, Japan and Australia to enhance old, or establish new, trade contacts. The council also received more than 140 inward missions from more than 35 countries, most notably from the United Kingdom, Japan, the Middle East, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Jamaica and China. The council sponsored several economic missions which help develop trade opportunities by strengthening high-level contacts with senior government officials, plus business and industrial leaders. These missions visited France, Sweden, Finland, Austria, Cyprus, the United Kingdom and the United States.

       On the fashion front, Hong Kong designers' clothes were shown at a special fashion. promotion in Tokyo and at the annual Prêt-à-Porter in Paris. To further promote exports of garments to Japan, the council organised an in-store garment promotion with leading chain stores in Japan. With the International Wool Secretariat, it jointly promoted the Hong Kong Wool Knitwear '84 Show in Hong Kong, primarily for Japanese buyers. Also in Hong Kong, the council organised the Hong Kong Toy and Gift Fair for the ninth year and acted as an advisor to the Hong Kong Electronics Fair and the second Hong Kong Watch and Clock Exhibition. All three were held in October.

The council produces five publications which are distributed to 173 countries. They are the Hong Kong Enterprise, a monthly general products magazine; Hong Kong Household, a new monthly featuring household and hardware products; the annual Hong Kong Toys, Hong Kong Apparel, a bi-annual fashion magazine which took top honours in the 1983 British Association of Industrial Editors awards competition; and the Hong Kong Trader which changed from a bi-monthly magazine into a monthly newspaper in July, giving news and views of the territory.

      The Trade Enquiries Section of the council was fully computerised in 1983 and processed more than 100 000 overseas trade enquiries. The Research Department continued to publish special market surveys and detailed product reports, specifying opportunities in overseas markets for Hong Kong exports. The council expanded and up-graded its international network with the opening of an office in Miami to take better advantage of the economically fast-growing southeastern United States and the Caribbean. The London office moved to larger premises and has a computerised on-line trade enquiries system linked to the head office.

Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation

The government-owned Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC) pro- vides protection for Hong Kong's manufacturers and traders against the possibility of non-payment for goods or services supplied abroad on credit terms.

      Protection against country and buyer risks is provided by the ECIC at 90 per cent indemnity. Increasing use of the corporation's facilities continued during the year: more developing countries were suffering from a shortage of foreign exchange, while in developed countries where Hong Kong's major customers are found - the incidence of bankruptcy grew considerably, reflected in a noticeable increase in claim payments. Due



solely to the insolvency of two European buyers, claims amounting to some $20 million were paid.

        The ECIC covers all manner of short term credits and payment methods such as open account invoices, documents against acceptance, documents against payment, and a range of letters of credit, up to a maximum credit period of 180 days after delivery. The corporation's protection is also available for the export of capital and semi-capital goods sold on medium or long-term credit with instalments over five years or longer. It provides its clients with a credit control service, and through an international credit information network checks the credit rating of all overseas buyers of its policy-holders. Trading and financial records are kept of some 40 000 overseas buyers the most comprehensive confidential reference library of its type in Hong Kong.

       Bankers who finance exports from Hong Kong also benefit from the corporation's services. Their exporting clients who hold an ECIC policy can authorise the corporation to pay any claims to their financing bank. In addition, to assist in the funding of manu- facturers who export capital or semi-capital goods on medium to long-term credit, the corporation is prepared to provide the financing bank with gilt-edged security in the form of its unconditional guarantee. This involves the full payment by the ECIC of any overdue instalments and interest, irrespective of the cause of delay.

As a member of the International Union of Credit and Investment Insurers (the Berne Union) the corporation has access to up-to-date and confidential assessments of the international economic scene, and the techniques used by other nations in support of their export industries.

The corporation's paid up capital of $20 million was provided by the government which also guarantees the corporation's liabilities arising from its insurance and guarantees operations. The statutory limit now stands at $3,000 million. The corporation does not receive any subvention and operates on a break-even basis taking one year's results with another. In its daily business activities, the corporation resembles private enterprise and markets its services in a commercial manner.

       ECIC benefits from the guidance and advice provided by the 11 members of its advisory board, which currently consists of eight prominent figures from the private business sector and three senior government officials.

       During 1983 close to $4.4 billion worth of goods and services were insured by ECIC, which earned a premium income of more than $24 million. Some 129 claims were paid, involving a total of nearly $45 million. ECIC's computer systems were further developed during the year. A new Comprehensive Shipments Policy is being drafted and is to be launched in early 1984.

Hong Kong Productivity Council and Centre

The Hong Kong Productivity Council, a statutory organisation established in 1967, is responsible for promoting the increased productivity of industry in Hong Kong. The council has a chairman and 20 members, all appointed by the Governor, representing management, labour, academic and professional interests as well as government depart- ments closely associated with productivity. It is financed by an annual government subvention and by fees earned from its services.

       The executive arm of the council is the Hong Kong Productivity Centre which provides consultancy and technical services ranging from electronic data processing, feasibility studies and production management, to techno-economic studies and technology transfer. It conducts a wide range of training programmes in industrial technology, management



techniques and electronic data processing. It also organises industrial exhibitions and overseas study missions, and operates a technical information service.

The centre's facilities include nine classrooms, electronic data processing facilities, a microprocessor application laboratory, a low cost automation unit, an industrial chemistry laboratory, a metal finishing laboratory, a heat treatment unit, a die-casting unit, an environmental control laboratory, a technical reference library and an on-line information retrieval service.

Following the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Diversification, the centre has expanded to provide industry support services. During the year, a techno- economic study on the electronics industry was completed with specific recommendations submitted to the then Industrial Development Board. A study of the scope for designing purpose-built multi-storey factory buildings was completed by the end of the year. Funding was approved for a study of technology transfer in selected industries.

Despite the economic recession, there was a sustained demand for industrial consultancy services from a broad spectrum of the manufacturing industry, as well as the government and the tertiary industries. The centre completed more than 200 consultancy projects, including feasibility studies, production management, personnel recruitment and technical studies. In metals technology, some 1 200 heat treatment and metal finishing assignments were completed. In electronics technology, the centre carried out 20 client-sponsored consultancy projects. It also began to promote the application of microprocessors in management control and process control to upgrade the productivity of industry. In electronic data processing, several computer projects were conducted. With the installa- tion of a new computer system, work was in progress on the conversion and enhancement of an internal information data bank and financial reporting system. In environmental control, 51 projects were undertaken for industrialists.

The centre organised nearly 300 training courses, covering management and supervisory techniques; advanced programming courses and EDP appreciation courses; and a diver- sified range of technology programmes for various industries. It also continued its publication programmes to provide up-to-date information on local industry, trade, employment and products; and technical news on electronics, metals and plastic household products. It organised exhibitions on microprocessor and garment technology, as well as three study missions to Japan to see the latest techniques of quality control management, die casting, and precision sheet metal stamping and die making.

As a member of the Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), the centre handles all APO matters on behalf of the government. During the year it hosted a basic research meeting on management systems and practices, a five-day symposium on market research on exporta- ble product development and the twenty-third meeting of heads of National Productivity Organisations. It also arranged for 44 participants to take part in training courses, symposia, seminars and workshops organised by the APO.

Other Trade and Industrial Organisations

The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, founded in 1861, is the oldest and largest trade and industrial association in the territory. It comprises more than 2 800 companies representing all branches of commerce and industry. The chamber is actively involved in promoting Hong Kong's trade and attracting new industries. It is a member of the International Chamber of Commerce and has been approved by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific to arbitrate in commercial disputes. The chamber provides a wide range of services to its members and to more than 6 000 non-member



companies. These include the issue of certificates of origin, commercial carnets, endorse- ment of invoices and the processing of trade and industrial inquiries. The government regularly consults the chamber on important issues affecting trade, industry and aspects of social development.

       The Federation of Hong Kong Industries, established in 1960, has a membership broadly representative of all industries. To encourage and improve industrial design, the federation set up the Hong Kong Industrial Design Council which offers practical training and advice to designers and those who use design services. The council operates a design depository for people who wish to obtain copyright protection, and organises annual design competitions and exhibitions. The federation also set up the Hong Kong Packaging Council to promote the development of packaging education and technology, and skills in packaging.

The Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong was established in 1934 and now has some 2 600 members. The association, a member of the International Chamber of Commerce, has played an important role in the industrial development of Hong Kong. It promotes product development and holds the annual Hong Kong New Products Competi- tion. It operates services to introduce new technology, encourage investment and promote trade. The association's Testing and Certification Laboratories provide a variety of services including product testing, certification, production and pre-shipment inspection, and technical consultancy. The association is active in promoting industrial safety and takes a keen interest in community and social services. It runs a prevocational school which offers technical education for more than 1 000 students, and a second prevocational school is being built.

Consumer Council

      Established in 1974, the Consumer Council is a statutory body charged with the respon- sibilities of protecting and promoting the interests of consumers of goods and services. Its chairman and members, appointed by the Governor, are drawn from various walks of life. The council, with a staff of 84, is primarily financed by an annual subvention from the government.

The council is engaged in a variety of consumer protection activities including consumer representation, legislation, complaints, advice, comparative product testing, research and surveys, education and information, and publications. It is represented on many govern- ment committees to tender advice on matters affecting the interests of consumers. These include metrication, insurance, toxic substances, pharmaceuticals, trade descriptions and advertising, school textbooks and supplies, weights and measures, and unfair contract terms. An important function of the council is the investigation of complaints and the dissemination of information and advice. During the year, it dealt with 9 200 complaints and 59 000 enquiries for advice representing an increase of 15 per cent and 31 per cent respectively over the previous year. In September, a new Consumer Advice Centre was opened in Aberdeen bringing the number of centres throughout Hong Kong to nine. The fluctuations in the exchange rate of the Hong Kong dollar were among the factors which contributed to a considerable number of complaints and enquiries from consumers, particularly in the trade of basic foodstuffs, electrical appliances and package holiday tours. These were quickly resolved to the satisfaction of consumers.

The council's programme in comparative product testing continued to receive wide- spread attention from both consumers and traders. Results of the tests, complete with information on brand names, are published in the council's monthly magazine Choice. In the field of consumer education, the council maintains close liaison with the media



and community organisations, and with schools and the Education Department, in a continual effort to make people aware of their rights - and responsibilities - as consumers. A comprehensive consumer rights publicity campaign will be launched in March 1984.

       The Consumer Council is a council member of the International Organisation of Consumers Unions (IOCU) and its Executive Director is the Chairman of the IOCU Consumer Education Committee.

Trade in Endangered Species

The possession, importation and exportation of endangered species of animals and plants, including parts and certain derivatives into and out of Hong Kong is strictly regulated by the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance which gives effect to the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). While the licensing policy allows legitimate trade in scheduled specimens, import licences may not be granted in certain cases to help the survival of a species. For example, there has been a total ban on the import into Hong Kong of rhino products of all species of Rhinocerotidae since 1979.

       The ordinance is administered by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department and is enforced by officers of the department and the Customs and Excise Department. The Trade Department is authorised to issue certificates for ivoryware carved in Hong Kong. Illegal trade is investigated and prosecutions follow if there is evidence of a breach of the ordinance. During 1983, there were 167 seizures and 52 prosecutions under the ordinance.


In the field of metrication, the government's objective is to facilitate progressive adoption of the International System of Units (SI) in those areas for which it is responsible, and the positive encouragement of the use of metric units by the private sector. The Metrication Ordinance, enacted in 1976, provides for the eventual replacement of non-metric units by SI in all legislation in Hong Kong.

A Metrication Committee, consisting of representatives of industry, commerce, manage- ment and consumer affairs and government officials appointed by the Governor, is the focal point of liaison on all matters concerning metrication. It advises and encourages various groups within the private sector in the formulation of their programmes for metrication. In recent years, there has been increased public awareness of the topic and progress has been made in the adoption of SI particularly within the government and in specific areas of the private sector.

Most government departments including the Royal Observatory, the Post Office and the Building Development, Engineering Development, Urban Services, Government Supplies, Rating and Valuation and Education Departments are now using metric units exclusively. All other government departments are well advanced in their implementation programmes In the private sector, a continuing effort was made in the field of publicity and public education. In addition to the production of promotional leaflets, posters and radio and television commercials, a territory-wide 10-day metric public awareness and participation programme, with a variety of events, was conducted in January. The clothing industry began its metric conversion in March, with a transitional dual-labelling period in prepara- tion for a complete changeover by early 1984; the transitional changeover period for the piece goods and the tailoring industries was extended to the end of 1983; the electrical wires and cables industry conversion programme commenced in September and is scheduled for completion by June 1984; and the programme to encourage the use of metric units in the



      sale of electrical appliances was extended. Metric conversion programmes were drawn up for the timber and furniture industries, dairy products, household products, prepackaged foods and drinks. The sale of consumer goods at the wholesale level is almost entirely in metric units, while adoption of metric units at the retail level is becoming more widespread.

Trade Marks and Patents

Trade Marks are registered under the Trade Marks Ordinance, which is based on the United Kingdom Trade Marks Act 1938. The procedure is laid down in the Trade Marks Rules, and the prescribed forms may be obtained free from the Trade Marks Registry, Registrar General's Department. Every mark, even if already registered in Britain or any other country, must satisfy all the requirements of the Hong Kong Trade Marks Ordinance before it may be accepted for registration.

During 1983, 6 374 applications were received and 2739, including many made in previous years, were accepted and allowed to be advertised. Of the 2 820 marks registered, the principal countries of origin were: United States, 684; Hong Kong, 633; Japan, 358; United Kingdom, 293; France, 207; West Germany, 149; Switzerland, 119; Italy, 88; Australia, 38; Netherlands, 27. The total number of marks on the register at December 31, 1983, was 40 915.

Although there is no original grant of patents in Hong Kong, the Registration of Patents Ordinance provides that any grantee of a United Kingdom patent or European Patent (UK) may, within five years from the date of its grant, apply to have the patent registered in Hong Kong. Registration of a United Kingdom patent or European Patent (UK) in Hong Kong confers on the grantee the same privileges and rights as if the patent had been granted in the United Kingdom with an extension to Hong Kong. The privileges and rights run from the commencement of the term of the patent in the United Kingdom, and continue as long as the patent remains in force there. A total of 740 patents were registered during the year, compared with 558 in 1982.

Companies Registry

The Companies Registry of the Registrar General's Department keeps records of all companies incorporated in Hong Kong and of all foreign corporations that have estab- lished a place of business in Hong Kong.

       Local companies are incorporated under the Companies Ordinance which is, to a large extent, still based on the Companies Act 1929 - formerly in force in Britain but now replaced by the Companies Acts of 1948 to 1981. However, following recommendations made by the Companies Law Revision Committee (June 1971 and April 1973), several parts of the Companies Ordinance notably those dealing with prospectuses, accounts and audit - were amended and now incorporate most of the relevant provisions of the Companies Acts of 1948 and 1967. Most of the remainder of the recommendations in the committee's second report are given effect in a lengthy Companies (Amendment) Bill 1983 which is expected to be enacted in 1984. It is a revised version of the 1980 Bill and incorporates amendments made to the latter as a result of public consultation.

       On incoporation, a company pays a registration fee of $600 plus $6 for every $1,000 of nominal capital. In 1983, 11 558 new companies were incorporated - 1 425 less than in 1982. The nominal capital of new companies registered totalled 3 469 million. Of the new companies, 84 had a nominal share capital of $5 million or more. During the year, 3 764 companies increased their nominal capital by amounts totalling $12,928 million on which fees were paid at the same rate of $6 per $1,000. At the end of 1983, there were 118 680 local companies on the register, compared with 108 302 in 1982.



      Companies incorporated overseas are required to register certain documents with the Companies Registry within one month of establishing a place of business in Hong Kong. Only small filing fees are payable in such cases. During the year, 257 of these companies were registered and 84 ceased to operate. At the end of 1983, 1872 companies were registered from 55 countries, including 436 from the United States, 279 from the United Kingdom and 223 from Japan.

      The Company Registry also deals with the incorporation of trustees under the Registered Trustees Incorporation Ordinance, and with the registration of limited partnerships.

Insurance Registry

The Insurance Companies Ordinance 1983 was enacted on February 8, 1983, and came into operation on June 30. It repeals or amends insurance legislation previously in force and replaces them with a system which is largely based on United Kingdom legislation. It restricts the transaction of all classes of insurance business in or from Hong Kong to a company authorised to do so by the Insurance Authority, to Lloyd's of London, and to an association of underwriters approved by the Governor-in-Council.

       The Registrar General, who has been appointed the Insurance Authority for the purposes of the ordinance, must be satisfied that certain conditions are met before authorising a company. These include the suitability of the directors and controllers of the company; a minimum paid-up capital requirement of $5 million ($10 million in cases of companies undertaking both long term and general business or statutory business, the latter meaning insurance cover required by statute); and a solvency margin requirement of $2 million ($4 million or $6 million in different cases depending on whether both long term and general business are carried on, and whether statutory business is included. Any company, irrespective of the place of incorpora- tion, which is authorised to carry on insurance business in the United Kingdom is given certain exemptions under the new ordinance and may be authorised by the Insurance Authority on the strength of its compliance with the United Kingdom Insurance Companies Act.

      There are 300 insurance companies, including 136 local companies, authorised to transact insurance business in Hong Kong.

Money Lenders

Under the Money Lenders Ordinance which came into force in December 1980, anyone wishing to carry on business as a money lender must apply to a Licensing Court, consisting of a magistrate and two lay assessors, for a licence. In the first instance, the application is submitted to the Registrar General as Registrar of Money Lenders and a copy is sent to the Commissioner of Police, who may object to the application. The application is advertised, and any member of the public who has an interest in the matter also has the right to object. The ordinance provides severe penalties for a number of statutory offences such as carrying on an unlicensed money lending business. It also provides that any loan made by an unlicensed money lender shall not be recoverable by court action. Any person, whether a licensed money lender or not, who lends or offers to lend money at an interest rate exceeding 60 per cent per annum, commits an offence and agreement for the repayment of any such loan or any security given in respect of such loan shall be unenforceable. At the end of the year there were 524 licensed money lenders.

Bankruptcies and Liquidations

In Hong Kong, the number of business failures leading to formal insolvency proceedings in court is always comparatively small in relation to the total number of businesses closing down, but nevertheless it has increased considerably since 1980.



       During the year there were 184 petitions in bankruptcy and 334 petitions for the compulsory winding-up of companies. The court made 136 receiving orders, one adminis- tration order and 280 winding-up orders. As in past years, the Official Receiver was appointed trustee or liquidator in almost every case. Assets realised by the Official Receiver during 1983 amounted to $93.4 million. In addition to these compulsory liquidations, 709 companies went into voluntary liquidation - 661 by members' voluntary winding-up and 48 by creditors' voluntary winding-up.




The Economy

THE Hong Kong economy staged an export-led recovery during 1983. Domestic exports, re-exports and imports all grew in real terms, in contrast to the decreases recorded in 1982, and in October domestic exports broke the $10 billion mark for the first time, rising 48 per cent over October 1982 to $10.48 billion. While domestic demand was still relatively weak, the growth rate of the gross domestic product improved. During the year some areas of the economy were affected by unfavourable political factors.

Structure of The Economy

Because of Hong Kong's limited natural resources, it has to depend on imports for virtually all of its requirements, including food and other consumer goods, raw materials, capital goods and fuels. And it must therefore export on a sufficient scale to generate the foreign exchange earnings to pay for these imports, and exports must rise over time if the population is to enjoy a rising standard of living.

The externally-oriented nature of the economy can be seen from the fact that in 1983 the total value of visible imports and exports (including domestic exports and re-exports) amounted to 162 per cent of the gross domestic product. Between 1974 and 1983 the average annual growth rate of domestic exports in real terms was about nine per cent, roughly twice the growth rate of world trade. As a result, Hong Kong now ranks high in the list of the world's top trading nations.

Contribution of Various Economic Sectors

The relative importance of the various economic sectors can be assessed in terms of their value-added contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) and their shares of total employment.

Primary production (comprising agriculture and fishing, and mining and quarrying) is very limited and its contribution to the GDP is relatively insignificant. Within secondary production (comprising manufacturing, electricity, gas and water, and construction), manufacturing still accounts for the largest share of the GDP as well as employment. This is despite a decline in its relative contribution to the GDP, from about 31 per cent in 1970 to about 26 per cent in 1974 and to about 23 per cent in 1981. The relative importance of the construction sector, however, increased from about six per cent in 1974 to about eight per cent in 1981.

      The relative importance of the tertiary services sectors (comprising wholesale and retail trades, restaurants and hotels; transport, storage and communications; the financial and related business services sector; and the community, social and personal services sector) remained stable in the 1970s: their total contribution to the GDP was 64 per cent in 1974 and 1981. However, the relative contribution of the financing, insurance, real estate



and business services sector increased significantly from 18 per cent in 1974 to 24 per cent in 1981, roughly the same as manufacturing.

       In terms of employment, the most significant change in recent years is that employment in the manufacturing sector, though still accounting for the largest share of the total employed labour force, has declined in relative terms from 47 per cent in 1971 to 41.2 per cent in 1981 and to 36.2 per cent in 1983, while the share of the tertiary services sectors increased from 43.7 per cent in 1971 to 49.7 per cent in 1981 and to 53.7 per cent in 1983.

Nature and Relative Importance of Manufacturing

Though trade statistics indicate that Hong Kong's domestic exports are still dominated by a few major product groups, much has been developed to upgrade quality and to diversify within existing product groups. The increasing pressure of protectionism and growing competition from other developing countries have resulted in efforts to diversify, not only in respect of products but also markets. It is estimated that up to 90 per cent of Hong Kong's manufacturing output is eventually exported. In 1983, manufactured goods accounted for 99 per cent of total domestic exports by value.

Hong Kong firms must be flexible and adaptable to cope with the frequent changes in demand patterns and to maintain their external competitiveness. The existence of many small establishments and an extensive sub-contracting system has greatly facilitated the necessary shifts in production and increased the flexibility of the economy. Because of the limited amount of usable land, manufacturing industries in Hong Kong are generally those which can operate successfully in multi-storey factory buildings. In practice this has meant a concentration on the production of light manufactures.

       Since the post-war years, many new industries have emerged and grown, the more prominent being plastics and electronics. Other new industries include fabricated metal products, watches and clocks, toys, precision and optical instruments, and genuine and imitation jewellery.

Between 1973 and 1981, the average annual growth rate of value-added for the manufac- turing sector was 15 per cent, while the growth rate of employment was four per cent. During this period, the most significant change was the textiles industry's declining share in the value-added by manufacturing, from 27 per cent to 13 per cent, and in manufacturing employment, from 21 per cent to 13 per cent. The decline was largely matched by the relative expansion of the clothing, electrical and electronics, and professional and scientific equipment (including watches and clocks) industries. Their shares of value-added increased from 20 per cent to 25 per cent, from nine per cent to 16 per cent, and from one per cent to five per cent respectively; and their shares of employment increased from 26 per cent to 29 per cent, from 11 per cent to 14 per cent and from two per cent to six per cent respectively. Domestic exports in 1983 consisted principally of articles of apparel and clothing accessories (33 per cent of the total value), electronics (18 per cent), watches and clocks (eight per cent), plastic products (eight per cent), textiles (seven per cent), electrical household appliances (four per cent) and metal products (two per cent). In terms of domestic export shares, the most significant changes in recent years relate to the decline in relative importance of clothing (from 45 per cent in 1974 to 33 per cent in 1983) and textiles (from nine per cent in 1974 to seven per cent in 1983), and the increase in relative importance of electronics (from 13 per cent in 1974 to 18 per cent in 1983), and watches and clocks (from two per cent in 1974 to eight per cent in 1983). Interestingly, the share of value-added for the clothing industry has been increasing while its share of domestic exports has been decreasing, which suggests that an increasing proportion of the output of the clothing industry has been absorbed by the domestic market.



       Market diversification, partly as a result of the promotion efforts of the government, has long ended the predominance of the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth coun- tries as Hong Kong's main export markets. Since the establishment of the 'certificate of origin' system in the late 1950s, the United States has become Hong Kong's largest export market. Gradually the share of exports going to other countries such as West Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia, and those in Southeast Asia, has also increased. In recent years, Hong Kong has also diversified into new markets, particularly China but also countries in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa.

Nature and Relative Importance of the Financial Sector

      The financial sector has also grown rapidly in both domestic and international importance in recent years. Hong Kong now ranks as one of the world's leading international financial centres. Banks and other deposit-taking institutions, insurance companies, pension funds, unit trusts and similar operations, foreign exchange and money brokers, stock and commodity brokers, and other financial organisations combine to provide a wide range of financial services to both local and international customers. While Hong Kong's links with Southeast Asian countries are traditionally strong, its position as a bridge in the time gap between Japan and Europe, assisted by its excellent communications with the rest of the world, has given the territory an important role to play in the world money market. But the emergence of Hong Kong as a financial centre has not simply been a matter of geography. The government has continually worked towards developing a favourable environ- ment, with sufficient regulation to ensure, as far as possible, sound business standards and confidence in the institutional framework but without unnecessary impediments of a bureaucratic or fiscal nature.

       Unlike most major economies, Hong Kong has no central bank. Those functions which might typically be performed by one - such as supervising financial institutions, managing official foreign exchange reserves, or providing banking services to the government - are carried out by various different government offices or by the note-issuing banks. Since the government has not needed to issue any conventional government debt in recent years because of consistent budget surpluses, and since there are no controls on foreign exchange dealing in Hong Kong, the range of central bank functions that has to be undertaken is narrower than in many other economies.

      The financial sector in Hong Kong is now characterised by its newly established three-tier structure, which comprises three distinctive classes of deposit-taking institutions: banks, licensed deposit-taking companies and registered deposit-taking companies.

       Banks may accept deposits from the public of any size and any maturity, but the interest rate rules of the Hong Kong Association of Banks result in the setting of maximum rates payable on bank deposits of original maturities up to 15 months less a day, the only exception being deposits of $500,000 or more for terms of less than three months, for which banks may compete freely. As at the end of 1983, there were 136 licensed banks in Hong Kong, of which 35 are local companies. They maintained a total of 1 531 offices in Hong Kong. In addition there were 115 representative offices of foreign banks.

Apart from banks, no company may take deposits from the public unless licensed or registered under the Deposit-taking Companies Ordinance. Licensed status, which is granted at the discretion of the Financial Secretary, is reserved for larger companies which have a minimum issued share capital of $100 million and paid-up capital of $75 million, and which meet certain partially subjective criteria regarding size, ownership and quality of management. Licensed deposit-taking companies may take deposits of any maturity from



the public, but in amounts of not less than $500,000. At the end of 1983, there were 30 licensed deposit-taking companies.

       Registered deposit-taking companies are restricted to taking deposits of $50,000 or more with an original term to maturity of at least three months. The authority to register deposit-taking companies rests with the Commissioner of Deposit-taking Companies. Since April 1981, the commissioner has, at the direction of the Governor, restricted new registrations to companies which, as well as meeting certain basic criteria such as minimum paid-up capital of $10 million, are more than 50 per cent owned by banks in Hong Kong or elsewhere. At the end of 1983, there were 319 registered deposit-taking companies.

The Commissioner of Banking, who is also the Commissioner of Deposit-taking Companies, exercises prudential supervision over all institutions in this three-tier structure, as provided for by the Banking and Deposit-taking Companies Ordinances. Amendments made to these ordinances in 1983 provide an improved and somewhat tougher regulatory environment for financial institutions, and enable information obtained during supervisory duties to be released for criminal investigation and proceedings. The commissioner's office includes a small, but active, international division which obtains monthly returns from the overseas branches of Hong Kong incorporated banks and deposit-taking companies, and sends teams overseas to examine such branches (where this is permitted by the local authorities).

Exchange Fund and Currency

The Hong Kong Government Exchange Fund was established by the Currency Ordinance of 1935 (later renamed the Exchange Fund Ordinance). From its inception, the Exchange Fund has held the backing to the note issue, with notes being issued by the two note-issuing banks - The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and the Chartered Bank - against their holdings of certificates of indebtedness. These are non-interest-bearing liabilities of the Exchange Fund, and are issued or redeemed as the amount of the notes in circulation rises or falls. In 1976, the assets of the Coinage Security Fund (which held the backing for coins issued by the government) as well as the bulk of the foreign currency assets held in the government's General Revenue Account were transferred to the fund. In both cases, the transfers were made against the issue by the fund of interest-bearing debt certificates denominated in Hong Kong dollars. On December 31, 1978, the Coinage Security Fund was merged with the Exchange Fund and all the certificates held by the Coinage Security Fund were redeemed.

The Exchange Fund was further expanded in 1978 when the government began to transfer the Hong Kong dollar balances of its General Revenue Account (apart from working balances) to the Exchange Fund against the issue of interest-bearing debt certificates. Thus the bulk of the government's financial assets are now held in the Exchange Fund. Today, the principal role of the fund is to manage these assets although it retains the power as defined in the Exchange Fund Ordinance to influence the exchange value of the Hong Kong dollar. The Exchange Fund is managed by the Monetary Affairs Branch under the direction of the Financial Secretary, who is also advised by an advisory committee which includes prominent members of the banking community. The fund's assets are held in bank deposits in Hong Kong dollars and in certain foreign currencies, and in various interest-bearing instruments in foreign currencies.

Another function related to the fund is the supply of notes and coins to the banking system. Currency notes in everyday circulation are $10, $50, $100, $500 and $1,000 and may only be issued by the two note-issuing commercial banks against holdings of Exchange



      Fund certificates of indebtedness, apart from a very small fiduciary issue, which is backed by securities issued or guaranteed by the British or Hong Kong Governments. When the Hong Kong dollar was pegged to sterling prior to June 1972, certificates of indebtedness were issued to and redeemed by the note-issuing banks against payment in sterling at a fixed exchange rate. From June 23, 1972, to October 15, 1983, such payments were made in Hong Kong dollars. With effect from October 17, 1983, certificates of indebtedness are now issued and redeemed against payment in US dollars at a fixed exchange rate of US$1 = HK$7.80. The Exchange Fund bears the costs of maintaining the note issue (apart from that proportion of the costs which relates to the fiduciary issue), and the net profits of the note issue accrue to the fund. Coins of $5, $2, $1, 50 cents, 20 cents, 10 cents and five cents, and currency notes of one cent denomination, are issued by the government. The eighth of a series of $1,000 gold coins minted to commemorate the Lunar New Year was issued early in 1983. These gold coins are legal tender, but do not circulate. The total currency in circulation at the end of 1983, with details of its composition, is shown at Appendix 11.

Foreign Exchange, Money and other Financial Markets

     Hong Kong has a mature foreign exchange market where the local currency and major international currencies are actively traded. The market's development has been an integral part of Hong Kong's emergence as a major international financial centre. The absence of any exchange controls and the fact that international banks may trade through their Hong Kong offices while other centres are closed are two factors which have stimulated the development of the foreign exchange market. Meanwhile, the continuous requirements of local industry and commerce in relation to their transactions with the rest of the world have ensured active trading of the local currency.

      There is also a well developed interbank money market, where wholesale Hong Kong dollar deposits are traded among the banks and deposit-taking companies. Other short- term instruments are less in evidence than in some other centres, partly because the government is not itself active as a regulator of the monetary system's reserves through open market operations in such instruments. Thus, although some bills of exchange are held in portfolios, they are not greatly traded. Until quite recently the same has been true for certificates of deposit (CDs); but the secondary market in locally issued CDs has become more active lately, having been helped by the government's decision, effective from March 31, 1983, to allow CDs issued by licensed banks and licensed deposit-taking companies to count to a limited extent towards the statutory liquidity requirement of all banks and deposit-taking companies.

There are at present four stock exchanges in Hong Kong, namely, Far East Exchange, Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Kam Ngan Stock Exchange and Kowloon Stock Exchange. The Stock Exchanges Unification Ordinance was brought into operation on February 1, 1981, and all members of the four existing stock exchanges were invited to apply for membership of a new exchange company, The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, which will have the exclusive right to operate a stock market in Hong Kong from a date to be appointed by the Financial Secretary. The unification of the exchanges is expected to bring better overall management of the exchanges and to provide for more effective regulation. The stock exchanges represent a major source of capital to local enterprises and have attracted significant overseas investor interest.

      The Securities Commission is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Securities Ordinance, the Protection of Investors Ordinance and the Stock Exchanges Unification Ordinance. The Securities Ordinance regulates registration of dealers and investment



      advisers and trading practices in securities, and provides for the establishment of a compensation fund and the elimination of improper trading practices. The Protection of Investors Ordinance aims at protecting investors by prohibiting the use of fraudulent or reckless means to induce investors to buy or sell securities or take part in investment arrangements, and regulates the issue of related publications.

The Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society operates a gold bullion market which is among the four largest in the world. Gold traded on the society is of 99 per cent fineness, weighed in taels and quoted in Hong Kong dollars. Prices, after allowing for exchange rate fluctuations, parallel those in the other major markets of London, Zurich and New York. Membership of the society is restricted to 194 member firms. There is another gold market in Hong Kong, activity in which has been growing in recent years, the so-called loco-London gold market. Dealings principally take place in US dollars per troy ounce of 99.95 percent fine gold, with delivery in London. Major international gold-trading companies are the main participants in this market. The trading of gold futures started in August 1980 on the Commodity Exchange. Prices are quoted in US dollars per troy ounce of 99.5 percent fine gold, with a minimum lot of 100 ounces. Trading has so far been on a small scale.

The Commodities Trading Ordinance, which was enacted in 1976, regulates trading in commodity futures contracts in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Commodity Exchange Limited, established in 1977, is the only company which has been granted a licence under the Commodities Trading Ordinance to operate a commodity exchange in Hong Kong. It operates four contracts: gold (as described above), cotton (which is at present dormant through lack of trading interest), sugar and soya-beans. The licence of the Commodity Exchange is currently under review, as is the Commodities Trading Ordinance. The possibility of establishing a financial futures market in Hong Kong is being examined.

Diversification of the Services Sectors

      Not only has the financial and business services sector grown in importance, other services sectors such as insurance, transport and tourism have also expanded. Most of the insurance and transport services are related to merchandise trade transactions. Hong Kong ship-owners have long been engaged in operating ships for charter and in providing international liner services. They have been expanding their fleets in the last two decades and ship ownership in terms of tonnage is now second in the world (after Greece).

The steady growth of Hong Kong's external trade has led to the expansion of a number of services related to shipping, notably cargo handling and storage facilities in the container port. Hong Kong's air cargo handling facility also ranks among the top 10 in the world. According to the 1980 Survey of Transport Establishments, the direct contribution of ocean and air transport and related services to the GDP was about three per cent in value-added terms. The tourist industry has also expanded rapidly. The number of incoming tourists has increased from about 1.3 million in 1974 to 2.8 million in 1983, with total spending reaching an estimated HK$11 billion.


Inflation has been a much more significant phenomenon in Hong Kong in the 1970s and 1980s than in the 1960s. Given the externally-oriented nature of the economy, even under a floating exchange rate system, the inflation rate in Hong Kong cannot be insulated completely from what is happening in the rest of the world.



       In the late 1970s, the inflation rate stayed at double-digit levels. Three factors were relevant during this period. First, the double-digit real growth rates of the economy for each year since 1976 resulted in a persistent imbalance with the aggregate demand for domestic resources being in excess of their supply. Second, the rate of world inflation accelerated sharply in 1979, resulting in a rapid rate of increase in import and export prices. Third, the growth rate of the money supply was faster than the growth rate of GDP in money terms. In 1982 the inflation rate, in terms of the Consumer Price Index (A), slowed down to 10.6 per cent reflecting the lower growth rate of the economy, and it remained at 10.0 per cent in 1983, largely as a result of the depreciation of the exchange rate of the Hong Kong dollar.

Economic Policy

Economic policy is to a certain extent dictated, and constrained, by the special circum- stances of the Hong Kong economy. Due to its small and open nature, the economy is very vulnerable to external factors, and government action to offset unfavourable external factors is often of limited effectiveness. The government is of the view that the allocation of resources in the economy is most efficient if left to market forces, and government intervention is kept to the minimum.

       This basically free-enterprise system has contributed to Hong Kong's economic success. The narrowly-based tax structure with low tax rates provides incentives for workers to work and for entrepreneurs to invest. Both workers and entrepreneurs are highly motivated, given that all individuals have equal opportunity to pursue the goal of individual betterment and wealth accumulation. The primary role of the government is to provide the necessary infrastructure together with a stable legal and administrative framework conducive to economic growth and prosperity.

Monetary Policy

There are few monetary instruments available to the government for monetary policy purposes. From 1974 until October 1983, the Hong Kong dollar was a conventional floating currency and during this period the Exchange Fund's role in directly influencing the exchange rate through intervention in the foreign exchange market was limited at most to ironing out short-term fluctuations. In October 1983 the government made a fundamental change to the framework of monetary policy, involving a revised role for the Exchange Fund.

Against a background of continuing depreciation and increasing instability of the exchange rate of the Hong Kong dollar, particularly in September, the government decided with effect from October 17, 1983, to alter the arrangements for the issue and redemp- tion of the certificates of indebtedness issued by the Exchange Fund, which the two note- issuing banks are required to hold as cover for the issue of Hong Kong dollar banknotes. Previously these certificates were issued and redeemed against payments in Hong Kong dollars. Now payments are in US dollars at the fixed exchange rate of US$1 = HK$7.80. In practice, therefore, any rise in the note circulation has to be matched by a US dollar payment to the Exchange Fund and any fall in circulation is matched by a similar payment from the fund. The note-issuing banks in turn extend this fixed rate to all other banks in Hong Kong in respect of their note requirements.

       Under this new arrangement, the forces of competition and arbitrage in foreign exchange dealings ensure that the market exchange rate stabilises at a level close to the fixed rate of US$1 = HK$7.80 without intervention by the Exchange Fund in the market.



        This important change in Hong Kong's monetary framework means that the exchange rate is in effect no longer a variable element in the economy's adjustment process. Factors such as interest rates, money supply and the level of economic activity, rather than the exchange rate, now adjust automatically to balance of payments pressures, without government intervention being necessary. The role of interest rates as an instrument of monetary policy has therefore also altered. They now assume a more passive role, changing, more frequently perhaps, in response to balance of payments inflows and outflows. Nevertheless, the mechanisms whereby the government can influence interest rates through the Hong Kong Association of Banks or the money market remain in place.

Thus, the Hong Kong Association of Banks, which sets the maximum rates of interest payable on deposits with licensed banks, still has the statutory obligation to consult the government on these interest rates. This procedure was designed to ensure that the association took account of the wider public interest in its decisions, including of course their effect on the exchange rate. Under the new exchange rate regime, however, it is neither so necessary nor so desirable for the government to play an active role in this process.

       Also, through its bankers, the Exchange Fund has operated a scheme which enables it to draw funds out of the local interbank market and to ensure that these funds are not directly recycled into that market. This arrangement is capable of tightening up the money market and putting upward pressure on market interest rates in the short term. Under the floating exchange rate system prior to October 17, operations under this scheme were at times useful in stabilising the exchange rate, but under the new system there is less need for such direct intervention over interest rates.

Public Sector and Public Finances

For the purpose of formulating annual budgetary policies, the public sector is defined in terms of the deployment of funds under the government's control. Thus public sector expenditure is conventionally taken to include expenditure on the General Revenue Account, expenditure by the Urban Council and the Housing Authority, expenditure financed from certain statutory funds, and expenditure on public works projects financed with loans from the Asian Development Bank. Expenditure by institutions in the private or quasi-private sector is included to the extent that it is met by government subventions but not included is expenditure by those organisations in which the government has only an equity position, such as the Mass Transit Railway Corporation.

As an indication of the size of public sector spending, expenditure on the Consolidated Account rose from $5,061 million in 1973-4 to an estimated $42,504 million in 1983-4. The average annual growth rate for these years taken together was 23.7 per cent in value terms. Over this period, the relative size of the public sector (defined as the ratio of expenditure on the Consolidated Account to the GDP at current prices) rose from 13 per cent to more than 19 per cent.

Several principles are observed in formulating the government's budgetary policy. The first is that the growth rate of public sector expenditure should have regard to the growth rate of the economy, so that the government does not pre-empt resources which would otherwise be used more efficiently by the private sector. The second principle is that the pattern of public sector expenditure should reflect the government's conscious view as to priorities. For example, over the 10-year period 1973-4 to 1983-4, public sector expenditure on social services rose from $1,965 million to an estimated $16,603 million, reflecting a significant government effort in improving the social well-being of the population. The third principle is that a certain balance should prevail between direct and



indirect taxation, and between direct and indirect taxation taken together and all other recurrent revenue, and the tax system should meet certain defined requirements such as simplicity, neutrality and equity. The fourth principle is that expenditure and revenue should meet certain guide-line ratios, to ensure the financing of the capital account.

Public Expenditure

Expenditure on the General Revenue Account is usually around 88 to 90 per cent of public sector expenditure taken as a whole, and this account is thus the main instrument of budgetary policy. It is estimated expenditure on the General Revenue Account that makes up the draft Estimates of Expenditure which are presented by the Financial Secretary to the Legislative Council when he delivers his annual Budget speech, and it is the total estimated expenditure on the General Revenue Account for which appropriation is sought in the Appropriation Bill introduced into the Legislative Council at the same time.

       The Estimates of Expenditure contain details of the estimated recurrent and capital expenditure of all government departments, including estimated payments to subvented organisations and estimated transfers to the statutory funds. They also provide for the repayment of the public debt.

       With only three exceptions, the General Revenue Account has shown a surplus at the end of each year in the past 20 years. The exceptions were 1965-6 when there was a deficit of $137 million, 1974-5 when there was a deficit of $380 million and 1982-3 when there was a deficit of $3,500 million. The accumulated net surpluses on the General Revenue Account form the government's fiscal reserves, and these secure the government's contingent liabilities and ensure that it is able to cope with any short-term tendency for expenditure to exceed revenue or for revenue yields to fall below expectations.

       The Urban Council, operating through the Urban Services Department, draws up its own budget and expenditure priorities. This expenditure is financed mainly from a fixed percentage of rates from property in the urban area and from fees and charges for services provided by the council.

       The Housing Authority, operating through the Housing Department, is also financially autonomous. Its income is derived mainly from rents. Where cash flow is inadequate to meet the construction costs of new estates, the authority borrows from the Development Loan Fund on concessionary terms. The authority is provided with land at nil premium, but the value of the land is shown in its balance sheet as a government contribution. Part of the authority's recurrent expenditure is financed from the General Revenue Account for such activities as squatter control and the management of temporary housing and industrial areas. The authority is also responsible for carrying out a new programme of squatter area improvement funded from the Capital Works Reserve Fund.

       The statutory funds included in the public sector comprise the Home Ownership Fund, the Development Loan Fund, the Lotteries Fund, the Student Loan Fund and the Capital Works Reserve Fund.

       The Home Ownership Fund finances the cost of land and the construction of flats for sale under the Home Ownership Scheme. The Housing Authority is the government's agent for the design, construction and marketing of these flats. The fund was initially established by a transfer from the General Revenue Account and derives its income from the proceeds of sales of the flats.

       The Development Loan Fund is used mainly to finance social and economic develop- ments including, in particular, loans to the Housing Authority for the construction of



public housing estates. Transfers are made from the General Revenue Account to the fund to meet the loan requirements of the Housing Authority. Otherwise the fund's income is derived from interest payments and capital repayments.

The Lotteries Fund is used to finance the development of social welfare services through loans and grants. It derives its income mainly from a share of the proceeds of the Mark Six Lotteries.

The Student Loan Fund is used to finance loans to students of the two universities, the polytechnic and other approved post-secondary institutions, and to Hong Kong students studying in the United Kingdom. Transfers are made as necessary from the General Revenue Account to the fund to enable the fund to meet its commitments, the only other source of funds being loan repayments.

The Capital Works Reserve Fund finances the Public Works Programme and land acquisitions. Its income is entirely derived from transfers from the General Revenue Account, and the amount of such transfer each year is determined in the light of available resources, particularly from the proceeds of land sales.

Revenue Sources

There is no general tariff on goods entering Hong Kong but duties are charged on four groups of commodities - alcoholic liquors, tobacco, certain hydrocarbon oils and methyl alcohol - irrespective of whether they are imported or manufactured locally. All firms engaged in the import, export, manufacture, storage or sale of dutiable commodities must be licensed.

In February 1983 the basic duty rates for all four groups of dutiable commodities were increased. The duty rates on alcohol now range from $0.66 a litre on Hong Kong brewed beer to $67 a litre on brandy. On tobacco, rates range from $33 a kilogram on Chinese prepared tobacco to $178 a kilogram on cigarettes, whilst rates on hydrocarbon oils are $2 a litre on motor and aircraft spirits and $1 a litre on diesel fuel for motor vehicles. The rate for methyl alcohol is $3.24 a litre. A statement of revenue from duties is given at Appendix 10.

Rates are levied on the occupation of landed property at a percentage of the assessed rateable value which is, briefly, the annual rent at which the property might reasonably be expected to be let. New valuation lists are prepared periodically as directed by the Governor, enabling rateable values to be reviewed and updated in line with market rental levels. During 1983 a review of all rateable values was carried out and it is planned to bring the new valuation lists into effect on April 1, 1984.

The percentage rate charges are determined annually by resolution of the Legislative Council. For 1983-4, general rates are charged at 5.5 per cent of the rateable values of tenements and Urban Council rates at eight per cent of rateable values in the urban areas. The total rates currently charged in the urban areas are therefore 13.5 per cent of rateable values. General rates of 13.5 per cent are charged in the New Territories. No Urban Council rates are levied in the New Territories because the council has no jurisdiction there.

Rates are payable quarterly in advance and exemptions are few. However, the govern- ment generally provides financial assistance towards the payment of rates to educational, charitable and welfare organisations if the premises they occupy are being run in accordance with an approved target or policy. No refund of rates is allowed for vacant domestic premises but half of the rates paid may be refunded in the case of vacant non-domestic premises.



The taxes and duties making up the internal revenue are collected by the Inland Revenue Department. These consist of betting duty, business registration fees, entertainment tax, estate duty, hotel accommodation tax, stamp duty and earnings and profits tax.

Betting duty is imposed on bets on authorised totalisators and the proceeds of Mark Six Lotteries. The rate of duty is either 8.5 per cent or 13.5 per cent depending on the type of bet placed, and is 27 per cent on the proceeds of lotteries.

Business registration is compulsory for every company incorporated in Hong Kong, every overseas company with a place of business in Hong Kong and every business operating in Hong Kong, except those run by charitable institutions. The annual registra- tion fee is $350 but exemption from payment is granted where the business is small.

Entertainment tax is imposed on the price of admission to cinemas and race meetings at rates which vary with the prices charged for admission. This averages about nine per cent in the case of cinemas and 30 per cent in the case of race meetings.

Estate duty is imposed on that part of a deceased's estate situated in Hong Kong. The rates of duty charged range from a minimum of 10 per cent on estates valued between $2 million and $2.5 million to a maximum of 18 per cent on estates valued in excess of $4 million. Estates valued at less than $2 million are exempt from duty.

Hotel accommodation tax of five per cent is imposed on hotel and guest-house guests. The Stamp Duty Ordinance imposes fixed and ad valorem duties on different classes of documents relating to assignments of immovable property, leases and share transfers.

Earnings and profits tax is levied under the Inland Revenue Ordinance. Hong Kong has a schedular system of taxation whereby persons liable are assessed and required to account for tax on four separate and distinct sources of income, namely business profits, salaries, property and interest. Personal assessment is a form of aggregation superimposed upon the schedular system. The current standard rate of tax of 15 per cent has been in force since April 1, 1966.

Profits tax is charged only on profits arising in, or derived from, Hong Kong from a trade, profession or business carried on in Hong Kong. Profits of unincorporated businesses are taxed at 15 per cent whereas profits of corporations are taxed at 16.5 per cent. Assessable profits are determined on the actual profits for the year of assessment. The tax is paid provisionally on the basis of profits of the year preceding assessment. As in many other countries, profits assessable to profits tax in Hong Kong are the net profits. Generally, all expenses incurred in the production of assessable profits are deductible, as are charitable donations to the extent of 10 per cent of net assessable profits. There is no withholding tax on dividends paid by corporations, and dividends received from corporations are exempt. Salaries tax is charged on emoluments arising in, or derived from, Hong Kong. The basis of assessment and the method of payment are similar to the system for profits tax. Tax payable is calculated on a sliding scale which varies from five per cent to 25 per cent on $10,000 segments of income (that is, income after deduction of allowances). However, the overall effective rate is restricted to a maximum of 15 per cent of income before the deduction of personal or other allowances.

Property tax is charged on the owner of land or buildings in Hong Kong at the standard rate of 15 per cent on the actual rent received, less an allowance of 20 per cent for repairs and maintenance. From the year of assessment commencing on April 1, 1983, a system of provisional payment of tax similar to that under profits tax and salaries tax has come into operation. Property owned by a corporation carrying on a business in Hong Kong is exempt from property tax but the profits derived from the ownership are chargeable to profits tax.



Interest tax is charged on interest arising in or derived from Hong Kong. This is basically a withholding tax deducted at source unless the interest forms part of the profits of a corporation carrying on a trade or business in Hong Kong, in which case it is subject to profits tax. The rate of interest tax on interest paid or payable after February 24, 1982, and before October 17, 1983, on deposits in Hong Kong currency placed with financial institutions carrying on business in Hong Kong was 10 per cent. The rate for all other chargeable interest is 15 per cent. Interest payable on foreign currency deposits placed with financial institutions carrying on business in Hong Kong is exempt from tax, as is interest paid or payable after October 16, 1983, on a deposit in Hong Kong currency placed with such financial institutions. Interest paid or payable by the government and public utilities is also exempt from tax, provided it does not exceed a specified rate, which varies according to the prevailing level of interest rates.

Other revenue arises from taxes on the registration of motor vehicles and departing air passengers, fines, forfeitures and penalties, royalties and concessions, yields from properties, investments and land transactions, reimbursements and contributions, govern- ment utilities, and from fees and charges for the provision of a wide range of goods and services.

Audit of Public Accounts

The audit of all the government's accounts is carried out by the Director of Audit. He also audits the accounts of the Urban Council, the Housing Authority and more than 50 statutory and non-statutory funds and other public bodies, as well as reviewing the financial aspect of the operations of the many government-subvented organisations working in Hong Kong. The director's appointment, tenure of office, duties and powers are set out in the Audit Ordinance, which also provides that he shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

The Director of Audit's report on the annual accounts of the government is submitted to the Governor as President of the Legislative Council. It is then referred to the Public Accounts Committee, comprising a chairman and six members, all of whom are unofficial members of the Legislative Council. In the exercise of its authority, the committee may call any public officer or other person concerned to give information and explanations and to produce any documents and records which it may require. The report by the Public Accounts Committee on the Director of Audit's report relating to the accounts of the government is tabled in the Legislative Council at the same time as the director's report. Both are copied to the Secretary of State.

The Economy in 1983

As the performance of the economies of several of Hong Kong's major export markets, especially the United States, improved in 1983, the Hong Kong economy experienced an export-led recovery. Preliminary estimates indicate that the growth rate in real terms of the gross domestic product (GDP) was 5.9 per cent, which was considerably higher than the 1.1 per cent recorded in 1982.

In contrast to the decreases experienced throughout 1982, the year-on-year growth rate of domestic exports in real terms accelerated to nine per cent in the first half and an estimated 19 per cent in the second half of 1983. Thus, the growth rate in real terms for 1983 as a whole was about 14 per cent. In particular, the growth rate of domestic exports to the largest market, the United States, improved considerably to about 26 per cent in real terms, compared with -1 per cent in 1982. The growth rates in real terms of domestic exports to



Hong Kong's next three most important markets also improved. Domestic exports to the United Kingdom, West Germany and China increased by nearly 12 per cent, eight per cent and 50 per cent respectively. Their corresponding growth rates in real terms in 1982 were -10 per cent, -3 per cent, and 20 per cent. In terms of major commodities, in 1983 domestic exports of textiles increased by about 30 per cent and of clothing by roughly seven per cent in real terms. Domestic exports of products other than textiles and clothing also increased by about 16 per cent in real terms on average. The increase was mainly concentrated in domestic exports of watches and clocks, electronic components, and domestic electrical appliances.

The entrepôt trade also showed a significant improvement in 1983, with re-exports growing by about 15 per cent in real terms. China was the largest market, followed by the United States, Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan and Japan. China remained also the most important source of goods re-exported through Hong Kong, followed by Japan and the United States. The major categories of re-export products included textile yarn, fabrics and made-up articles, industrial and electrical machinery, clothing, and watches and clocks.

Imports grew by about 10 per cent in real terms. As the growth rate of imports was lower than that of total exports in value terms, the visible trade gap narrowed. Domestic demand, apart from private consumption, was, however, relatively weak in 1983. Comparing 1983 with 1982, the growth rate of domestic demand in real terms was about three per cent, which was considerably lower than the growth rates of domestic exports and of total exports (domestic exports plus re-exports).

Although the depressed property and stock markets continued to exert an unfavourable influence on wealth, private consumption expenditure picked up in the second half of 1983, following the general improvement in economic activity. While private sector investment in building and construction declined, public sector investment showed some increase. Overall expenditure on plant and machinery also fell slightly.

Influenced by a number of unfavourable economic and political factors, the Hong Kong dollar came under heavy downward pressure during the first nine months of the year, particularly in the third quarter. Through its impact on import prices, the depreciation had an adverse effect on the rate of inflation.

Labour Market

As the labour force participation rate remained relatively stable, the increase in the population of working age became the major factor contributing to the small increase in the supply of labour during 1983. Nevertheless, reflecting the recovery of the export sector, the demand for labour increased slightly more rapidly. Thus, for the labour force as a whole, the unemployment and underemployment situation improved greatly. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate and the underemployment rate both fell to end the year at 4.1 per cent and 1.4 per cent respectively. The corresponding figures recorded at the beginning of the year were 5.1 per cent and 2.5 per cent. Given that the employed labour force was growing less rapidly than the GDP, labour productivity, defined as GDP per person employed, increased. The fall in underemployment was probably partly responsible for this growth in productivity.

Comparing September 1983 with September 1982, manufacturing employment rose by one per cent, recording a year-on-year increase for the first time since December 1981. Employment in the wholesale, retail and import and export trades, and in restaurants and hotels, continued to grow, albeit at a slower rate than earlier. However, employment in the finance, insurance, real estate and business services sector showed a slight decrease. This



       probably marked a period of consolidation in employment in this sector, following the rapid growth in the past few years as well as the slump in the property market. Employment on building and construction (including civil engineering) sites also fell.

Earnings in the manufacturing sector increased in real terms in the 12 months ending June 1983 as workers began to benefit from the improvement in export performance. In the 12 months ending September, however, earnings in manufacturing increased by eight per cent in money terms and decreased by two per cent in real terms as the rate of inflation accelerated towards the end of the year. Salaries in the tertiary services sectors, in terms of payroll per person engaged, remained relatively stable in real terms. While construction wage rates rose moderately in money terms, they decreased by seven per cent in real terms. Thus, despite the rapid increases in the prices of building materials in the latter part of the year, the increase in building and construction (including civil engineering) costs in 1983 was moderate.

Property Market

Apart from the market for small domestic units, the property market continued to be fairly depressed in 1983 with prices and rentals easing throughout the year. Although some developers had continued to adjust the pace of building work, the additional supply of property in the private sector, in terms of total usable floor area of buildings completed, was substantial in 1983. This, together with the high vacancy position in respect of most types of property at the end of 1982, resulted in a general over-supply of property in relation to demand. Nevertheless, towards the end of 1983 there were some signs of a bottoming-out for certain classes of property in particular locations. Movements in land prices are closely related to movements in the prices of property. As the property market remained weak, the trend of falling land prices continued in 1983.

The Financial Scene in 1983

The financial scene in 1983 was dominated by a general lack of confidence, principally arising from concern over the future of Hong Kong. The most noticeable development was the sharp depreciation of the Hong Kong dollar during the first nine months of the year. During the first quarter, the trade-weighted exchange rate index fluctuated within a fairly narrow range of between 78.2 and 79.3. During the second and third quarters, influenced by wide fluctuations in the exchange rates world-wide, a very strong US dollar, political uncertainty and a lack of confidence, the foreign exchange market was very volatile and the Hong Kong dollar came under considerable downward pressure. From 78.4 at the end of March, the trade-weighted exchange rate index fell sharply to a low of 70.3 on June 8, with the exchange rate against the US dollar touching $7.70 per US dollar on the same day. There was then a change in sentiment and the exchange rate recovered to about $7.20 to the US dollar and on a trade-weighted basis to about 74. But the Hong Kong dollar came under pressure again in August and September. The exchange rate fell some 15 per cent against the US dollar on September 23 and 24, amid increasing anxiety, to stand at $9.50 per US dollar, with the trade-weighted index touching a low of 57.2, in thin trading on the morning of September 24.

By then depreciation appeared simply to be feeding on itself. Such a sharp depreciation was far greater than could be explained in terms of any rational assessment of current or prospective economic developments. Efforts to lend support to the exchange rate by raising local interest rates on a number of occasions prior to that date had had only a limited stabilising effect. The government then issued a statement on September 25 to the effect that it was considering measures to stabilise the Hong Kong dollar; the Association of Banks



followed by increasing interest rates by two to three percentage points effective from September 27. These steps had a calming effect and the exchange rate settled above its worst levels, albeit somewhat nervously, as markets awaited a further official announcement.

       On October 15, the Financial Secretary announced two measures to stabilise the exchange value of the Hong Kong dollar. The first measure was the revised arrangement for the issue and redemption of certificates of indebtedness described above. The second was the abolition, also effective from October 17, of the 10 per cent interest withholding tax on Hong Kong dollar deposits. This meant that there was no longer any tax advantage to members of the public in holding foreign currency deposits or in holding Hong Kong dollar deposits offshore. Companies, however, continue to pay profits tax on Hong Kong dollar interest receipts. The Financial Secretary said that he expected to be able to propose more lasting reforms in these fields of taxation in his 1984 Budget.

These measures have been effective. On the first two days of their implementation, there was some confusion, but thereafter the exchange rate stabilised at around US$1 = HK$7.80 where it stayed for the rest of the year. This nevertheless represented a depreciation of 16.5 per cent when compared with the exchange rate of $6.515 to the US dollar at the end of 1982. The trade-weighted exchange rate index recovered following the measures to about 67.5. It fluctuated during the rest of the year between 67.5 and 68.7, reflecting largely the movement of the US dollar against the other foreign currencies included in the calculation of the index. At the end of 1983, the index stood at 68.3, representing a depreciation of 14.1 per cent when compared with the corresponding index at the end of 1982 of 79.5.

       Developments in other areas of the financial sector were, however, less volatile. Insofar as the monetary sector was concerned, the two-year transitional period for the establish- ment of the three-tier structure for deposit-taking institutions came to an end in June 1983. The problems experienced in the registered deposit-taking companies sector around the beginning of the year, which led to the revocation of several registrations by the Commissioner of Deposit-taking Companies, subsided. Although the sharp depreciation of the Hong Kong dollar during the third quarter of the year did create rumours about difficulties being experienced by some banks, as the exchange rate stabilised such rumours also subsided. Meanwhile, Hong Kong continued to develop as an international financial centre. More foreign banks applied and were given licences to operate in Hong Kong.

There was, nevertheless, an isolated incident of particular significance in the banking sector the takeover of the Hang Lung Bank by the government. In early September 1982 there was a run on the Hang Lung Bank, which appeared to have been sparked off by unfounded, possibly malicious rumours. A month or so later the Hang Lung Bank's position again came under attack as a result of the failure of a registered deposit-taking company with which it had links. During this period the government, together with the two note-issuing banks, kept a close watch on developments at the bank.

On the morning of Tuesday September 27, 1983, the Hang Lung Bank reported to the Commissioner of Banking that it was unable to meet in full its liabilities to the Clearing House in respect of cheques drawn by its customers. There was therefore a possibility that cheques worth a very large amount would have to be returned to the banks submitting them for clearing, thus creating a destabilising situation in the banking sector. The government believed that it would be unacceptable, both domestically and internationally, to allow this bank - a sizeable local bank with 28 branches to fail, which would involve considerable loss to depositors. Because of this, as an emergency measure, the government undertook that morning to cover the position for one day to avoid cheques being dishonoured. This was followed by the rapid enactment of the Hang Lung (Acquisition) Ordinance



      on the same day. The Hang Lung Bank opened for normal business on the next day under government ownership with the Secretary for Monetary Affairs as the Chairman of the bank.

       Interpretation of movements in the monetary aggregates was hampered by the diff- erential treatment for most of the year, for interest withholding tax purposes, of Hong Kong dollar and foreign currency deposits (it is still hampered by the differential treatment, for profits tax purposes, of interests from Hong Kong dollar and foreign currency deposits). Foreign currency deposits, which were exempted from the interest withholding tax with effect from February 25, 1982, continued to grow substantially, by 41 per cent in 1983, while Hong Kong dollar deposits, which were exempted only on October 17, recorded an increase of 13 per cent. Reflecting this, the Hong Kong dollar components of the money supply grew at much slower rates than their foreign currency counterparts. HK$M3, for example, grew by 13 per cent while total M3 grew by 24 per cent. However, a proportion of the foreign currency deposits represented swap deposits, where foreign currency deposits are matched by agreements to buy Hong Kong dollars at a predetermined price when the deposit matures. Such deposits should, for most analytical purposes, be regarded as Hong Kong dollar deposits. Further, as foreign currency denominated aggregates are reported in their Hong Kong dollar equivalents, part of the recorded increase in foreign currency deposits, and so in the foreign currency components of the various definitions of the money supply, reflects the valuation effect of a weaker Hong Kong dollar.

Affected by nervous political sentiment, the stock market was volatile in the second half of the year. Turnover on the four stock exchanges in 1983 was: Far East Exchange, $15,658 million; Hong Kong Stock Exchange, $7,238 million; Kam Ngan Stock Ex- change, $14,207 million; and Kowloon Stock Exchange, $61 million. The total of $37,164 million was 19.6 per cent lower than in 1982. The Hang Seng Index ended the year at 874.9 (July 31, 1964 = 100), as compared with 783.82 at the end of 1982. The highest point reached during the year was 1 102.64, recorded on July 21.

       Turnover on the Commodity Exchange in 1983 was: sugar, 333 475 lots of 50 long tons each; soyabeans, 734 936 lots of 30 000 kg each; gold, 6 106 lots of 100 troy ounces each; cotton, no trading.

Trading in gold on the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange Society was fairly active in 1983. Prices paralleled those in the other major markets of London, Zurich and New York, fluctuating between a high of $4,750 and a low of $3,030 per tael of 99 per cent fine gold.

During the year the international gold market in Hong Kong continued to grow. Dealings mainly take place in US dollars per troy ounce of 99.95 per cent fine gold, with delivery in London. The price of gold loco London declined from US$448 per troy ounce at the end of 1982 to US$384 at the end of 1983.


In 1983 the rate of inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (A), which is representative of the price increases faced by the relatively less well-off 50 per cent of households in Hong Kong, showed an increase of 10 per cent. Some factors were rather favourable. For example, externally, the rate of inflation in Hong Kong's major trading partners remained moderate; internally, domestic demand was not imposing much pressure on aggregate supply and hence on the general price level. However, the depreciation of the Hong Kong dollar during the first nine months of 1983 had an unfavourable in- fluence on the rate of inflation. Nevertheless, the adoption of the currency stabilisation measures in October will have a dampening effect on the rate of inflation in due course.



       Among all the components of goods and services included in the Consumer Price Index (A), alcoholic drinks and tobacco, services, and miscellaneous goods recorded the most rapid rates of price increase during the year. Their respective increases were 63 per cent, 16 per cent and 15 per cent. While together they account for 35 per cent of the overall increase in the Consumer Price Index (A) during 1983, another 37 per cent was due to the foodstuffs component by virtue of its large weighting in the overall index.

Expenditure on the General Revenue Account in 1982-3 and 1983-4 In the financial year 1982-3, total expenditure on the General Revenue Account was $34,598 million, comprising recurrent expenditure of $20,499 million and capital expen- diture of $14,099 million. Estimated expenditure in 1983-4 is $35,475 million comprising recurrent expenditure of $23,808 million and capital expenditure of $11,667 million. In 1982-3 there was a deficit of $3,500 million, and for 1983-4 a deficit of $3,205 million was anticipated in the Budget. Detailed breakdowns of revenue by source are given at Appendices 7 and 7a, and of expenditure by function at Appendices 8 and 8a. A comparative statement of recurrent and capital revenue and expenditure is given at Appendix 9. At March 31, 1983, the accumulated reserves stood at about $19,071 million. At the same date the public debt amounted to $312 million.




      HONG KONG has a resourceful and energetic workforce of 2 461 900 - comprising 1 564 100 men and 897 800 women - as estimated from findings of the July-September 1983 General Household Survey. They are engaged in: agriculture and fishing, mining and quarrying, 30 600; manufacturing, 901 100; electricity, gas and water, 13 600; construction, 203 600; wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels, 524 800; transport, storage and commu- nications, 193 900; financing, insurance, real estate and business services, 134 800; commu- nity and personal services, 45 400; and unclassifiable activities, 100.

An establishment survey of Employment, Vacancies and Payroll in the manufacturing sector, held in September 1983, recorded 865 073 people engaged in 46 817 establishments. It covered working proprietors and partners, employees receiving pay, and unpaid family workers affiliated to business organisations, but excluded the self-employed, out-workers, and other unpaid workers who were included in the household-type survey. Some 368 188 people - the largest portion of the manufacturing workforce - were engaged in the textile and wearing apparel industries. The electrical industry and the plastics industry were the next two largest employers. Details of the distribution of manufacturing establishments, and of the number of people engaged in them, are given at Appendices 13 and 14.

The bulk of the manufacturing workforce is concentrated in the urban areas of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. However, industrial development in the New Territories is increasing and more than 25 per cent of the manufacturing workforce now works there.

Labour Legislation

During 1983, 15 items of labour legislation were enacted to provide for higher standards in the safety, health and welfare of workers. This brings the total number of items of labour legislation enacted in the past 10 years to 155.

       The Employment Ordinance was amended in 1983 to raise the wage ceiling for non- manual employees from $7,500 to $8,500 and to increase paid sick leave.

The Employees' Compensation Ordinance and the Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance were amended to raise the levels of compensation. The list of prescribed occupational diseases in the Second Schedule of the Employees' Compensation Ordinance was expanded. Various minor amendments were also made in the Employees' Compensation Regulations and the Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) (Assessment of Levy) Regulations.

The Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance was amended to make provisions for the enforcing authority to carry out an enquiry into an accident and to simplify the registration procedure for factories. The Construction Sites (Safety) Regulations were amended to provide, in more detail, for safe places of work on construction sites.

       As a dependent territory of the United Kingdom, Hong Kong is not a member of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and is not called upon to ratify any International



Labour Conventions which set international labour standards. However, the United Kingdom Government makes declarations on behalf of Hong Kong with regard to the application of conventions it ratifies. This is done after full consultation with the Hong Kong Government. As at December 1983, Hong Kong had applied 30 conventions in full and 19 with modification, making a total of 49. This compares favourably with most member nations in the region.

During 1983, there were 7513 prosecutions for breaches of ordinances and their regulations administered by the Labour Department. Fines totalling $7,448,500 were imposed.

Wages and Conditions of Work

There is no statutory minimum wage rate in Hong Kong. The wage level prevailing is essentially the result of an interplay of the economic forces of supply and demand.

Wage rates are usually calculated on a time basis such as hourly, daily or monthly, or on an incentive basis depending on the volume of work performed. The pay period is normally 10 or 15 days for daily-rated and piece-rated workers and a month for monthly-rated workers. Most semi-skilled and unskilled workers in the manufacturing industries are piece-rated, although daily rates of pay are also common. Monthly-rated industrial workers are usually employed in the skilled trades or in technical and supervisory capacities. On the other hand, monthly rates of pay are most common for workers in the non-manufacturing industries. Men and women receive the same rate for piece-work, but women on average are paid less when working on a time-basis as there may not be strict job-comparability.

Wage rates of manufacturing workers continued to increase in money terms during 1983. The favourable influences of the steadily decelerating rate of increase in consumer prices and of the more stable growth rate of the labour force were largely offset by the depressing effects of the world recession on the domestic export sector. Starting from the second quarter of 1983, Hong Kong's domestic export performance showed a significant improve- ment and the growth in the export trade was sustained during the latter half of the year. The improvement helped to reduce unemployment and sustain wage increases.

A Consumer Price Index (A), based on a household expenditure survey conducted from October 1979 to September 1980 and covering about 50 per cent of urban households in Hong Kong, was compiled as an indicator of the average price changes experienced by urban households spending between $1,000 and $3,499 a month in the base period of 1979-80. In December 1983, this index stood at 150, (see Appendix 16). A Consumer Price Index (B) was compiled to show the average price changes experienced by urban households spending between $3,500 and $6,499 a month in 1979-80. This covers about 30 per cent of the urban households in Hong Kong.

In September 1983, 75 per cent of manual workers engaged in manufacturing industries received daily wage rates (including fringe benefits) of $64 or more (males $73 and females $62), and 25 per cent received $94 or more (males $109 and females $88). The overall average daily wage rate was $81 (males $94 and females $75).

Besides granting rest days, statutory holidays, paid annual leave and other entitlements under the Employment Ordinance, quite a number of employers in the manufacturing industries provide workers with subsidised meals or food allowances, attendance bonuses, free medical treatment, and a Lunar New Year bonus of one month's pay or more. Free or subsidised accommodation and transport are also provided by some of the larger establishments. Since March 1982 an expanded survey of wages, salaries and employee



benefits has been conducted recording wage rate statistics for non-manual workers in the manufacturing industries as well as for manual workers and non-manual workers in the non-manufacturing industries.

The Employment of Children Regulations made under the Employment Ordinance prohibit the employment of children under the age of 15 in any industrial undertakings. Children aged 13 or above may be permitted to work in non-industrial establishments subject to very stringent conditions aimed at ensuring their education to Form 3 and at protecting their health, safety and welfare.

       Under the Women and Young Persons (Industry) Regulations, young people aged 15 to 17 and women are permitted to work a maximum of eight hours a day, six days a week. A meal or rest break of at least 30 minutes must be given to women and young people aged 16 and 17 after five hours of continuous work. In the case of young people under the age of 16, the break must not be less than one hour. Overtime employment for women is restricted to 200 hours a year, while young people are not permitted to work overtime. In addition, work for all young people may not start earlier than 7 a.m. nor end later than 7 p.m. while work for women may not start earlier than 6 a.m. nor end later than 8 p.m. The regulations also prohibit the employment of women and young people working at night, underground or in dangerous trades. However, some large factories mostly those engaged in cotton spin- ning - have been granted special permission to employ women at night, subject to certain stringent conditions.


Since November 1980, the Labour Inspectorate of the Labour Department has taken on responsibility for enforcing certain sections of the Immigration Ordinance in respect of the requirements that all employees must carry their proof of identity and that employers must maintain up-to-date employees' records in order to help discover illegal immigrants. Employers are prohibited from employing anyone who does not possess a valid proof of identity and those Vietnamese refugees who have been prohibited from being employed under the ordinance.

       In 1983, the Labour Inspectorate made 307 703 day and night inspections to places of employment which included both industrial and commercial establishments. Three special campaigns were conducted against the employment of children and illegal immigrants, covering 25 144 establishments. During the year, 198 cases of child employment involving 198 children were brought before the courts.

       Under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Regulations, no male employee may be employed to work underground in mines, quarries and industrial undertakings involving tunnelling operations unless he has been medically examined and certified fit for such work. Those under 21 have to be medically re-examined each year.

Trade Unions

Trade unions in Hong Kong must be registered under the Trade Unions Ordinance administered by the Registrar of Trade Unions. Once registered, they are corporate bodies and enjoy immunity from certain civil suits.

During the year, nine new unions were registered, of which three were formed by civil servants. At the end of the year, there was a total of 430 unions comprising 382 employees' unions with about 353 140 members, 34 merchants or employers' organisations with some 3 180 members, 14 mixed organisations of employees and employers with about 26 180 members and a trade union federation of three employees' unions.

       About half of the employees' unions are either affiliated to, or associated with, one of the two local societies registered under the Societies Ordinance - the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions and the Hong Kong and Kowloon Trades Union Council.



       The Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, a left-wing organisation, has 71 affiliated unions with about 171 070 members. A further 21 unions are friendly towards this federation and they have about 21 700 members. The affiliated and associated unions are concentrated in shipyards, textile mills, public transport, public utilities and the printing and carpentry trades.

       The Hong Kong and Kowloon Trades Union Council has right-wing sympathies and is affiliated with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions. It has 70 affiliated unions with membership of about 35 610 and nine associated unions with some 2040 members. These unions are mainly in the catering and building trades.

       The remaining 211 employees' unions are politically independent and have a member- ship of about 122 720, mostly drawn from the civil service and the teaching profession.

Labour Administration and Services

The Labour Department has an establishment of 1 623 and its services continue to expand. Branch offices in the urban area and the New Territories deal promptly with labour matters raised by local employers and employees. The Commissioner for Labour is the principal. adviser to the government on labour affairs. He is also the Commissioner of Mines.

       The department initiates labour legislation and ensures that Hong Kong's obligations under international labour conventions are observed. It is made up of 16 divisions: administration, air pollution control, development, departmental publicity, employees' compensation, employment services, factory inspectorate, labour relations, mines, occupa- tional health, pressure equipment, prosecutions, selective placement, staff training and development, women and young persons, youth employment advisory service and overseas employment service.

       During the year, the department up-graded the former staff training unit to a division. whose responsibilities also include career development. The division organised six induc- tion courses for new recruits and 15 officers were sent overseas for further training and in preparation for new areas of service to be provided to the public.

Labour Relations

The Labour Relations Ordinance provides machinery for special conciliation, voluntary arbitration and boards of enquiry for settling trade disputes that cannot be resolved through ordinary conciliation.

In 1983, 152 trade disputes were handled by the conciliation service provided by the Labour Relations Service of the Labour Department. These disputes led to 11 work stoppages, resulting in 2 530 working days lost, compared with 17 960 days lost in 34 stoppages in 1982. The service also dealt with 17 739 labour problems. These were mostly grievances involving individual claims for wages in arrears, wages in lieu of notice, severance pay, annual leave pay and holiday pay.


       During the year, the promotion unit of the Labour Relations Service - responsible for the promotion of harmonious labour-management relations made 322 advisory visits to employers and conducted a series of promotional activities. These included evening talks in four industrial areas, eight training courses on the Employment Ordinance and four seminars on labour relations. A total of 1 253 management personnel, union officials and workers' representatives participated.

       The Labour Tribunal, which is part of the Judiciary, provides a quick, inexpensive and informal method of adjudicating certain types of disputes between employees and employers with a minimum of formality. The tribunal deals with claims of right, wherever possible in



the language of the parties. It complements the Labour Relations Service and does not supersede the conciliation services of the Labour Department. During 1983, the tribunal heard 4 107 cases involving employees as claimants, and a further 440 cases in which the claims were initiated by employers. More than $14 million was awarded by presiding officers. Of the cases dealt with by the tribunal, 90 per cent were referred by the Labour Relations Service after unsuccessful conciliation attempts.

Finding Employment

The Local Employment Service provides a free placement service from 15 offices linked by a facsimile system for efficient distribution of labour market information. During the year, 34 173 people were successfully placed in employment in the private sector. Another register, an extension of the Local Employment Service, is the central agency for all government departments in the recruitment of staff such as artisans, drivers and labourers. It placed 3 508 job-seekers in the Civil Service during the year.

The Special Register gives free employment assistance to graduates of local and overseas universities and job-seekers possessing post-secondary or professional qualifications. During the year, 321 people found employment through this register.

       The Selective Placement Service assists disabled people seeking open employment and operates from two offices. The service which covers the physically handicapped - including the blind, the deaf and those with disabilities of orthopaedic or medical origin - will be extended to the mentally retarded and ex-mental patients during 1984. The Employment Service of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and other voluntary agencies remain responsible for the placement needs of socially maladjusted job-seekers. During 1983, 483 disabled people found work through the Selective Placement Service.

Overseas Employment

The Contracts for Overseas Employment Ordinance controls contracts entered into in Hong Kong between overseas employers, or their authorised representatives, and all manual workers proceeding overseas for employment. Such contracts must be attested by the Commissioner for Labour before the workers leave Hong Kong. During the year, 185 contracts were attested, compared with 205 in 1982.

Foreign Domestic Helpers

Administrative measures are in force to regulate and protect the employment of domestic helpers recruited from overseas (mainly from the Philippines) under contracts that must be attested by the Labour Department. During the year, 17 252 such contracts were attested.

Employment Agencies

The Employment Agency Regulations made under the Employment Ordinance require all profit-making employment agencies to obtain a licence from the Commissioner for Labour before starting operation. During the year, the department issued 161 licences to employment agencies dealing with local employment and 19 to those catering for employment overseas.

Careers Service

The Youth Employment Advisory Service of the Labour Department is engaged in a programme of activities geared to helping students and young people choose a career best suited to their talents, interests and abilities. In 1983, officers of the service gave 401 talks on careers to about 80 240 students in 217 secondary schools. The service also organised, in



conjunction with the Hong Kong Association of Careers Masters, six regional careers conventions and took part in 44 other careers-oriented activities. It has produced 42 careers pamphlets and publishes a monthly careers newsletter for free distribution to secondary schools and youth organisations.

      The service operates three careers information centres on Hong Kong Island, in Kowloon and in Tsuen Wan. Each centre provides a free advisory service and is equipped with a reference library with about 1 300 titles on careers and related subjects, as well as slides, video-cassette recordings and cassette recordings on employment and training opportunities. In 1983, some 31 680 students and young people visited the centres.

       The Labour Department's 12th Annual Careers Exhibition was held at the City Hall in November. Altogether, 23 exhibitors from commerce, industry, the services and the government took part in the 10-day exhibition which attracted 104 000 visitors. The service also organised, with the Education Department, the first one-year part-time training course for 32 careers teachers to provide in-depth training on the theoretical and practical aspects of careers education.

Industrial Safety

The factory inspectorate of the Labour Department is responsible for enforcing the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance and its subsidiary regulations. These provide for the safety and health of workers in factories, on building and engineering construction sites and at other industrial undertakings. Advice and assistance is given to management on guarding dangerous machinery parts, adopting safe working practices and laying out new factories to achieve a better working environment. The inspectorate also investigates industrial accidents and other dangers.

      The Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Amendment) Ordinance 1983 became effective in July. Apart from streamlining certain provisions, it empowers the Commis- sioner for Labour to hold a formal inquiry into an industrial accident, removes the requirement for factory registrations to be periodically renewed and makes clear that construction sites do not need to be registered under the ordinance. The Construction Sites (Safety) (Amendment) Regulations 1983 were approved by the Legislative Council in July and will come into operation on February 1, 1984. They will provide for the better protection of persons, particularly with regard to working at height. Specific requirements are laid down as to the safety of workplaces and the means of access and exit.

      Preparation for forming the metal ware industry safety sub-committee was completed and it will meet early in 1984. This is the fifth tripartite, industry-based safety sub- committee to be formed under the Labour Advisory Board Committee on Industrial Safety and Accident Prevention. Sub-committees for the construction, textiles, ship building and ship repairing, and plastics industries were set up between 1980-2. These sub-committees bring together representatives of employers, workers and the Labour Department to promote work safety in various industries.

      The Factory Inspectorate, with the Government Information Services, continued to expand its publicity programme for the promotion of industrial safety through extensive use of the media and other means. Safety Extravaganza, an audio-visual presentation on industrial safety first shown in Hong Kong in 1982, was staged in Tuen Mun in March as a joint activity with the local district board, with an extended version staged at the City Hall in May and at Chai Wan in November.

      The Labour Advisory Board Committee on Industrial Safety and Accident Prevention held an industrial safety seminar for senior management in November and another for








Money Matters

Hong Kong is the financial capital of Asia and third only to London and New York in world-wide financial terms. It owes its position to freedom from exchange con- trols, excellent banking and financial services, first-class communications and geographical location - together with traditional business acumen and dynam- ism. Finance has played a vital role in the territory's economic development and its emergence from entrepôt to manufactur- ing centre over the years. Today, the banks assist business, trade and industrial ven- tures, and provide the community and international customers with a wide range of services. Licensed banks and registered deposit-taking companies range from the smallest organisations to giant banking consortia. Coins are issued by the govern ment and currency notes by two commer- cial banks. Presently there are four stock exchanges, but ultimately trading will be consolidated into a single unified exchange equipped with the most modern com- puterised aids for share dealing. The in- ternational time zone, which puts Hong Kong ahead of most of the world, is advan- tageous to Hong Kong's well developed foreign exchange market, as well as the other two markets: the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange and the Hong Kong Com- modity Exchange. The latter currently operates four futures markets; a financial futures exchange is being considered for 1984.


3000 40




Previous page: The Hongkong and Shang- hai Banking Corporation's spectacular new headquarters rises in Central District. Left: Active trading during the year - in sugar futures on the Hong Kong Commodity Ex- change; in gold on the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange; and in stocks and shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.








Imposing new buildings in Central District, housing many local and overseas bunks and other financial organisations, epitomise Hong Kong's role as the world's third leading financial















Hong Kong's 132 licensed banks, and almost as many representative offices of foreign banks,

cater to a variety of needs from individual customers up to the largest corporations.





Sanwa Bank

* Below: Currency notes are issued by * 7e two commercial banks - the Hongkong and

Shanghai Bank and the Chartered Bank.











The Charte


One Thousand


$100 800-



tered Bank






Above: A feature of Hong Kong banks is the provision of batteries of safe deposit boxes which offer privacy as well as security

to customers.

        Below: Turnover on the Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange makes Hong Kong the world's largest gold trading centre after London, Zurich and New York.

This image is unavaliable for access via the Network due to copyright restrictions. To view the image, please contact library staff for a printed copy of the copyright work.

Above: The long-term appreciation value of diamonds appeals to many investors.







Hong Kong has a mature foreign exchange market where the Hong Kong dollar and major international currencies are actively traded.



       workers in December. Seminars were also organised by the construction, plastics and ship building and ship repairing industries safety sub-committees for workers in these industries, while the construction industry safety sub-committee organised a safety award scheme to promote safety awareness among people connected with the construction industry.

       Throughout the year, the inspectorate's Industrial Safety Training Centre provided safety training courses for workers from various industries and for technical students. In conjunction with the Hong Kong Polytechnic, the centre organised for the fifth successive year an evening course, and for the first time a part-time day-release programme, leading to a certificate of proficiency in industrial safety.

Pressure Equipment

The Pressure Equipment Unit of the Labour Department enforces the requirements of the Boilers and Pressure Receivers Ordinance and the Gasholders Examination Ordinance for ensuring the safe use and operation of all equipment covered by the ordinances. This includes steam boilers, compressed air receivers, steam receivers, steam containers, and gasholders for storage of Town Gas. The unit gives industry, the fire services and other government departments technical advice relating to pressure equipment, especially those covered by the Dangerous Goods Ordinance. It has also introduced a short training course for operators of electrically heated ironing boilers.

The unit conducts examinations for boiler attendants for the issue of certificates of competency and approves qualified engineers in the private sector as appointed examiners under the Boilers and Pressure Receivers Ordinance. These examiners are authorised to approve the material, design and fabrication techniques of all pressure equipment under the ordinance and they undertake periodic inspections of the equipment.

Occupational Health and Hygiene

The Occupational Health Division of the Labour Department provides an advisory service to the government and the public on matters concerning the health of workers and the hygiene of the workplace, and ensures the observance of occupational health standards and practices. It works to maintain and improve the physical and mental well-being of workers and to protect them against any health hazard arising from their employment.

       A prime responsibility is to investigate notified occupational diseases and potential health hazards reported by the factory inspectorate and to determine preventive action. During the year, surveys were conducted in various industries to identify areas of possible occupational hazard.

       The division carries out the medical examination of personnel exposed to ionizing radiation, government divers and compressed air workers. It also deals with cases of silicosis under the Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance. The division's nurses handle medical clearance for employees' compensation cases whereas its occupational health officers are appointed as members of assessment boards under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance.

       The Occupational Health Division's laboratory carries out analytical tests on biological samples from workers, such as for the concentration of silica. It also assists in conducting analyses for the air pollution monitoring programme in Hong Kong.

Employees' Compensation

The Employees' Compensation Division of the Labour Department administers the Em- ployees' Compensation Ordinance and the Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance.



The division ensures that injured employees and dependants of deceased employees covered by the Employees' Compensation Ordinance obtain from their employers, without undue delay, compensation in respect of injuries or death caused by accidents or occupational diseases arising out of and in the course of employment. It also ensures that people covered by the Pneumoconiosis (Compensation) Ordinance suffering from silicosis and asbestosis obtain compensation as soon as possible from the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund. The fund is financed by a levy imposed on the construction and quarry industries.

      The Employees' Compensation Ordinance was amended in 1982. All the amendments, except those covering compulsory insurance, came into operation on July 1, 1983. These important legislative changes represent the final stage in the implementation of the recommendations of the working party appointed by the Commissioner for Labour in 1978 to carry out a comprehensive review of the then Workmen's Compensation Ordinance - retitled the Employees' Compensation Ordinance in 1980. They include the introduction of a simple certificate system for the settlement of minor claims, the establishment of a two-tier Employees' Compensation Assessment Board; various measures to expedite the processing of employees' compensation cases; and miscellaneous amendments aimed at removing ambiguities and deficiencies, and improving effectiveness. The new provision on compulsory insurance comes into operation on January 1, 1984. All employers will be required to take out insurance policies for the full amount of their liabilities under the ordinance, and independently of the ordinance for any injury sustained by their employees from accidents arising out of and in the course of employment.


Primary Production


HONG KONG has a very small agricultural base with only about nine per cent of the total land area being suitable for crop farming. Only about two per cent of the labour force is engaged in primary production - agriculture and fisheries - yet its people, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, are among the world's highest consumers of protein.

Each day, the people of Hong Kong consume about 1 000 tonnes of rice, 1 500 tonnes of vegetable, 10 000 pigs, 600 head of cattle, 250 tonnes of poultry, 400 tonnes of fish and 1 000 tonnes of fruit. Much of this is imported, but Hong Kong farmers help to satisfy some of the demand. In quantity terms, local farmers produce about 38 per cent of fresh vegetables, 55 per cent of live poultry, 21 per cent of live pigs, and 15 per cent of fresh water fish, while the fishing fleet of nearly 5 000 vessels supplies about 90 per cent of all fresh marine fish eaten. The locally-produced food is generally of a higher quality than the imported foodstuffs and thus fetches higher prices in the markets.

Foodstuffs account for about 23 per cent of Hong Kong's imports from China. Local production, aimed at maintaining a degree of self-sufficiency, is geared to complement rather than compete with major food imports. Local produce consists of mainly high-value, perishable foods and full advantage is taken of the local consumers' preference for fresh food, as opposed to frozen or chilled food.

Severe rainstorms in April and May caused some flooding and damage to fish ponds in the New Territories. In April, 54 hectares of fish ponds in Kam Tin and San Tin areas were flooded causing losses of about 110 tonnes of fish. Later in the year, Typhoon Ellen devastated half of the territory's vegetable crops (1 500 hectares) under cultivation, killed 100 000 chickens and 2 500 pigs and caused immense damage to fish ponds, marine fish culture rafts and fishing vessels. Five Hong Kong fishermen were drowned when their vessels sank at sea. Emergency relief totalling $4.7 million was paid out to the farmers and fishermen to help them re-establish their businesses.

Agriculture and Fisheries Department

The Agriculture and Fisheries Department encourages optimum use of agricultural land throughout the rural areas. It assists in the development of agriculture, especially in the form of irrigation projects and other long-term improvement schemes. New concepts, techniques and material input to the farming and fishing industries are evaluated and actively promoted. Controls are exercised to prevent the introduction and spread of plant and livestock pests and diseases.

Low interest loans are administered by the department to help farmers and fishermen to finance their operational or long-term investment requirements. It also organises and finances vocational and technical training for those directly and indirectly involved in



primary production. In addition, it is responsible for the registration and supervision of co-operative societies and credit unions. The department manages large areas of open countryside and is responsible for soil and water conservation, woodland management and landscape repair - as well as fire-fighting - and the development of recreational services in country parks.

Consumer demand and local primary production, within the context of world food production and supply, are monitored to enable appropriate development planning. Statistics on production factors and food supplies, including imports, are collected and analysed to help formulate local production and marketing policies. The business efficiency of different sectors within the primary industries is studied to establish and update productivity standards and to identify areas for improvement. Forward projection studies of the market demand for foods are prepared and the projections are then related to local primary production capacity, both actual and potential.

Research programmes of the department cover crops, pest control, animal husbandry and fisheries. Experiments are conducted on government farms to improve the quality and yield for each hectare of vegetables, flowers and fruit. The department advises livestock farmers on modern methods of animal production, supplies improved and exotic breeding stocks of pigs and poultry, and provides an artificial insemination service for pigs.

Fisheries research is conducted on marine resources, aquaculture, hydrography and the effects of marine pollution. In marine resources research, emphasis is placed on investiga- ting new fish stocks for commercial exploitation within the range of the Hong Kong fleet and on monitoring the performance of existing capture fisheries. The fisheries research vessel Tai Shun, a 565 GRT combination trawler and purse-seiner, was employed to conduct acoustic quantitative evaluation surveys of midwater resources in the northern part of the South China Sea, and related fisheries hydrographic research. She will also be used in exploratory fishing on the edge of the northern continental shelf.

      Aquaculture research is concerned with the development of more efficient culture systems and methods of producing marine fish fry; hydrographic investigations are designed to supply environmental information for an assortment of biological programmes; and marine pollution research is aimed at assessing the impact of pollution on fisheries, particularly mariculture. A new 21-metre marine pollution vessel has been designed by the Marine Department. When constructed, the vessel will be used jointly by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department and the Environmental Protection Agency for pollution research in the territorial waters of Hong Kong.

Development Farming and Fishing

Owing to the shortage of farm labour in Hong Kong and its rising cost, the main development in the agricultural industry in recent years has been the introduction of labour-saving devices. Farmers use pre-emergence herbicides for weed control in market garden crops and there is widespread use of small farm machines and sprinkler irrigation. At the end of 1983, there were 3 878 rotary cultivators and 2 300 sprinkler units in use on vegetable farms.

      The plastic net house, designed to aid vegetable growing in adverse weather, is the subject of an active development programme by the Agriculture and Fisheries Depart- ment. The net houses, which are particularly suitable for leafy green vegetables, protect crops from bad weather, insects and birds. Technical assistance, agricultural loans and related services have been made available to farmers to promote their installation for better farming results.



Straw mushroom cultivation has gained considerable popularity in recent years and at the end of 1983 there were 40 mushroom farms. The locally-produced mushroom has about a 80 per cent share of the local market.

Teams of agricultural development officers are posted by the department throughout the New Territories to deal with farming and pollution problems, and to liaise with co-operative societies and rural associations. Both credit facilities and technical advice are available to farmers and the agricultural development officers also assist them in land development and rehabilitation.

In the rural development programme during the year, more than 1 330 farmers attended farm discussion groups led by professional and technical officers from the department and 70 020 visits were made to farmers and co-operative societies. Visits were also arranged for farmers to see government experimental farms and farming projects.

Fisheries development work involves modernising fishing craft and introducing more efficient fishing gear and navigational aids. An advisory service on hull design and deck arrangement is provided for fishermen, while experiments and demonstrations are conducted to test the suitability of new fishing gear. Training classes in navigation and business management for coxwains, engineers and radio-telephone operators working on fishing boats are organised in the main fishing ports.

Education is provided for the children of fishermen at 14 schools run by the Fish Marketing Organisation. At the end of 1983, more than 3 870 children were attending these schools. A further 12 were attending other schools on scholarships awarded by the organisation.

Close contact with the fishing community is maintained through liaison with producer associations and fishermen's co-operative societies. Ten Fish Marketing Organisation liaison offices operate in the main fishing centres to provide a link with the fishermen.


Loans are available to the agricultural industry through three main loan funds: the Kadoorie Agricultural Aid Loan Fund, the J. E. Joseph Trust Fund and the Vegetable Marketing Organisation Loan Fund. All are administered through the Agriculture and Fisheries Department. By December 31, 1983, loans issued since the inception of these three funds had reached a total of $184 million. Of this, $162 million had been recovered.

As a result of the public concern over the banning of a synthetic growth promoter for chickens, both the demand for and the price of live chickens dropped significantly in June. To assist the chicken industry regain its position, special loan facilities at favourable terms were made available to hard hit chicken farmers from the Vegetable Marketing Organisa- tion Loan Fund. To meet this unexpected demand, the Vegetable Marketing Organisation injected an additional sum of $13 million into its loan fund.

The Fisheries Development Loan Fund, with a capital of $5 million, is administered by the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries specifically for developing the fishing fleet. Finance from the World Refugee Year Loan Fund for Co-operative Societies, donated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 1962, is also available to members of fishermen's co-operative societies. The Fish Marketing Organisation Loan Fund which has operated as a revolving loan fund since January 1, 1983, by the transfer of $13 million from the organisation's surplus and deficit account, is another important source of loan finance for fishermen. The organisation administers another revolving loan fund, financed by the Co-operative for American Relief Everywhere (CARE), specifically for shrimp fishermen. On December 31, 1983, loans issued since the inception of these four funds totalled $128 million, of which $112 million had been repaid.



     Co-operative societies operate under a Co-operative Societies Ordinance, which provides for the appointment of a registrar - the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries. His powers and duties relate to the registration of co-operative societies and their by-laws, the auditing of accounts, inspection and inquiry, general supervision of operations, and such matters as mediation in disputes and dissolution of the co-operative societies when necessary. At the end of the year, some 11 730 farmers and more than 1900 fishermen were members of co-operative societies. There were 77 societies and two federations among the farming community, and 68 societies and four federations supported by fisherfolk. A further 252 societies and one federation formed by co-operative building societies with about 8 640 members operate in the urban area. The majority of the co-operative building societies were formed by local civil servants in receipt of financial aid from the government.

Credit unions operate under a Credit Unions Ordinance, which also provides for the appointment of a registrar - the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries - with powers and duties in regard to the registration of credit unions and their by-laws, the examination of accounts, general supervision of operations and dissolution.

      There are 64 credit unions with about 17 390 members registered with the Agriculture and Fisheries Department. There were 32 credit unions comprising groups of people having a common bond of association; 25 unions of people having bonds of employment; and seven unions formed by groups each with a common bond of residence.

Land Usage

Hong Kong's land area totals 1066 square kilometres. Of this, 9.1 per cent is used for farming, 74.7 per cent is marginal land with different degrees of sub-grade character, and built-up areas comprise the remaining 16.2 per cent. The need to establish new towns and expand residential areas in the New Territories has resulted in an encroachment on agricultural land. The effect of the losses in the total area of agricultural land, however, has been offset by more intensive farming on remaining areas. The Lands Department is responsible for land administration throughout Hong Kong.


Approximate area (square kilometres)

Percentage of whole


(i) Urban built-up lands



(ii) Rural developed lands



(iii) Woodlands


(iv) Grass and scrub lands


(v) Badlands

(vi) Swamp and mangrove lands (vii) Arable

22 -



Main urban area of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and six new towns in the New Territories (Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Fanling, Tai Po and Sha Tin) includ- ing district open space (parks and gardens) but excluding all other non-built-up land. Rural market towns and villages and other developed sites in the New Territories such as reservoirs, roads and railways. Natural and established woodlands. Natural grass and scrub, including those

within country parks.



Stripped of cover. Denuded granite country.

Capable of regeneration.





(viii) Fish ponds




Coastal brackish swamp and mangrove.

Cultivable lands, including orchards and market gardens, under cultivation and fallow.

Fresh and brackish water fish farming,

excluding coastal marine fish farms.


Agricultural Industry


The government's policy is to foster the development of the agricultural industry in Hong Kong, bearing in mind priorities in land usage and the economics of food production and supply in the region. Its objective is to ensure that the proportion of Hong Kong's food supply produced locally is maintained at a reasonable level.

       Common crops are vegetables, flowers, fruit and other field crops. The value of crop production has increased from $93 million in 1963 to $636 million in 1983 - a rise of $684 per cent. Vegetable production accounts for more than 83 per cent of the total value, having increased from $64 million in 1963 to $531 million in 1983.

        The main vegetable crops are white cabbage, flowering cabbage, lettuce, Chinese kale, radishes, watercress, leaf mustard, spring onions and chives. They grow throughout the year, with peak production in the cooler months. Water spinach, string beans, Chinese spinach, green cucumbers and many species of Chinese gourd are produced in summer. A wide range of exotic temperate vegetables including tomatoes, sweet peppers, cabbage, celery, head lettuce, cauliflower and carrots is grown in winter. Straw mushrooms are also produced, using industrial cotton waste as the growing medium.

        Among the common types of flowers, gladioli and chrysanthemums grow throughout the year; dahlias, roses, asters, snapdragons and carnations are produced in winter; and ginger lilies and lotus flowers in summer. A wide range of ornamental plants - including philodendrons, dieffenbachia, bamboo palms and poinsettia - is produced in commercial nurseries. Peach blossom and ornamental citrus are grown especially for the Lunar New Year. The area of land under vegetables and flowers increased from 910 hectares in 1954 to 4 970 hectares in 1976 but has since declined gradually to 2 840 hectares in 1983 mainly as a result of the development of new towns in the New Territories.

The amount of land used to cultivate rice has dropped from 9 450 hectares in 1954 to less than 10 hectares in 1983. Rice production has given way to intensive vegetable production, which gives a far higher return. Much former paddy land around the more remote villages has fallen into disuse and now lies fallow.

Various types of fruit are grown in Hong Kong. The principal crops are longan, lychees, wampei, tangerines, local lemons, bananas, guavas and pineapples. Land under orchards in 1954 totalled 390 hectares; by 1983 it was 660 hectares.

Other field crops such as sweet potatoes, taro, yams and sugar cane are cultivated on a small scale in the remote and drier areas where water and transport facilities are inadequate for growing vegetables. Some 60 hectares were under rain-fed crops in 1983 compared with 1 410 hectares in 1954.

Because there is insufficient land for extensive grazing, pigs and poultry are the principal animals reared for food. Pigs in Hong Kong are mostly crosses of local animals with exotic stock as pure strains of the Chinese type are difficult to find. The value of locally-produced pigs killed in 1983 amounted to $235 million.

       The annual production value of poultry - including ducks, pigeons and quail - amounted to $591 million. Local chicken production decreased by 13 per cent to about 16 million birds, representing 60 per cent of total consumption. In July, as a result of public concern over the possible health hazard arising from the use of synthetic hormone as a growth stimulant in the chicken industry, the Pharmacy and Poisons Board deregistered for veterinary use pharmaceutical products which contained stilbene derivatives, thereby making the sale and import of such products illegal. In response to this new situation, the chicken industry has had to go through a period of structural adjustment. To assist this process, the Agriculture and Fisheries Department conducted intensive training



courses for those who wished to adopt new methods such as rearing hybrid broilers or concentrating on pullet rearing. Additional loan facilities were also made available to needy farmers.

Friesian cattle are kept by dairies, most of which are in the New Territories.

      Sporadic outbreaks of a mild type of foot-and-mouth disease (Type O) and swine fever still occur, but they are kept under control by vaccination. Newcastle Disease in poultry is controlled by the use of Ranikhet and intranasal-drop vaccines. Investigations to establish the incidence of intercurrent disease in both pigs and poultry are carried out at the government's veterinary laboratory.

Stringent rabies control measures remained in force throughout the year. These include extensive immunisation of dogs and cats against rabies, intensive catching and elimination of stray dogs, and restriction of dog movement into and out of the gazetted rabies-infected area. By the end of the year, 17 000 dogs had been humanely destroyed and another 32 000 licensed and inoculated against rabies.

As a standard practice, all imported dogs and cats, other than those from Britain, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, are subject to six months' quarantine. Any dog that bites a person is required to be detained for observation in government kennels for a period of seven days. All cattle and pigs imported for food are quarantined on arrival in Hong Kong. Importation for breeding purposes is also subject to strict control.

Fishing Industry

Marine fish constitute one of Hong Kong's most important primary products. More than 150 fish species of commercial importance frequent the waters of the adjacent continental shelf. Most important of these in terms of landed weight are golden thread, scads, lizardfish, big-eyes, sardines, conger-pike eels and croakers.


     Total estimated production from the two major sectors marine capture and culture fisheries amounted to 189 000 tonnes with a wholesale value of $1,600 million in 1983. These figures represent an increase of four per cent in weight and seven per cent in value compared with 1982. Of the total production, 96 per cent in weight came from marine capture and four per cent from culture fisheries. In terms of wholesale value, 90 per cent came from marine capture and 10 per cent from culture fisheries.

An estimated 29 000 fishermen work a fleet of 5 000 vessels, of which over 92 per cent are mechanised. There are four major types of fishing in terms of gear: trawling, lining, gill-netting and purse-seining. Trawling is the most important, accounting for 68 per cent or 75 000 tonnes of marine fish landed in 1983. The total landed catch of live and fresh marine fish available for local consumption in 1983 amounted to 90 000 tonnes, with a wholesale value of $675 million. This represented 90 per cent of the local consumer demand.

     Pond fish farming is the most important culture activity. Fish ponds covering 1800 hectares are in the New Territories, principally in the Yuen Long district. Traditional pond fish farming is similar to that practised in China for hundreds of years. Several different carp species are cultured in the same pond, each deriving its food from a different source and so making the utmost use of the nutrients introduced. Owing to the increasing urbanisation of the New Territories, the land area devoted to fish ponds has gradually declined. During the year, they yielded 7 100 tonnes, or 15 per cent of the local consumption of fresh water fish.

     In the past decade there has been considerable development in marine fish culture. Young fish, captured from their natural environment, are fattened in cages suspended from rafts in sheltered bays throughout Hong Kong, particularly in the eastern New



Territories. Under the Marine Fish Culture Ordinance, 26 fish culture zones were designated in 1983 and all marine fish culture is now required to be licensed and conducted at sites within these zones.

       In 1983, live marine fish supplied by this activity amounted to 1 000 tonnes valued at $63 million.



Much of the wholesale marketing of primary products - particularly fresh foods is the responsibility of the Agriculture and Fisheries Department, and of the Vegetable and Fish Marketing Organisations. During 1983, 45 per cent of the total quantity of locally- produced vegetables, and 70 per cent of the total landings of marine fish, were sold through the organisations.

       The Vegetable Marketing Organisation operates under the Agricultural Products (Mar- keting) Ordinance, which also provides for the establishment of a Marketing Advisory Board to advise the Director of Marketing (the Director of Agriculture and Fisheries). The organisation is responsible for transporting locally-produced vegetables from the New Territories to the wholesale market in Kowloon, providing marketing facilities, and supervising sales and financial transactions in the market. Revenue is obtained from a 10 per cent commission on sales. The organisation is non-profit-making. It seeks to maximise returns to farmers by minimising marketing costs. It also provides ancillary services such as the acquisition and sale of agricultural supplies to farmers and the awarding of tertiary education scholarships to the children of farmers. During the year, 69 000 tonnes of vegetables valued at $241 million were sold through the organisation.

The Fish Marketing Organisation operates under the Marine Fish (Marketing) Ordin- ance, which also provides for the establishment of a Fish Marketing Advisory Board. The ordinance provides for the control of the landing, wholesale marketing, and the import and export of marine fish. The organisation operates seven wholesale fish markets. Revenue arises from a six per cent commission on the proceeds of sales. Surplus earnings are channelled back into the industry in the form of various services such as low interest loans to fishermen; improvements to the markets; financial support for the 14 schools for fishermen's children; and scholarships for secondary and tertiary education.

In 1983, the wholesale fish markets handled 72 000 tonnes of marine fish, crustacea and molluscs which were sold for some $510 million. This included 750 tonnes of imported marine fish sold through these markets.

Facilities in the existing wholesale markets are becoming inadequate for handling the ever-increasing quantities of imported fresh vegetables, fruit, poultry, eggs, freshwater fish and crustacea. Marketing activities have spilled on to adjacent public streets causing obstruction and traffic congestion. To improve the situation, plans are going ahead to establish new wholesale markets in Kowloon and on Hong Kong Island to centralise the wholesale marketing of fresh foodstuffs. In the interim the government has introduced a number of temporary wholesale markets at Cheung Sha Wan in Kowloon for fresh water fish, poultry and imported vegetables, and at Western District on Hong Kong Island for fruit.


At the end of 1983, one mining lease and four mining licences for extraction of feldspar and kaolin were in operation. Details of the leases and licences are published twice a year in the Government Gazette.



The Mines Division of the Labour Department enforces legislation and safety regula- tions relating to mining and explosives. It processes mining and prospecting applications; inspects mining and prospecting areas, stone quarries, blasting sites and explosives stores; and issues shortfirers' blasting certificates. The division also controls the possession, conveyance, storage, manufacture and use of explosives in Hong Kong including delivery of explosives from government depots to blasting sites. In addition, it manages government explosives depots that provide bulk storage facilities for imported explosives.

      A tunnel excavation from Muk Wu to Tai Lam Chung as part of a project to increase the water supply from China commenced in October 1982 and continued during 1983. The average consumption of explosives for this project during the year was approximately 20 tonnes per month. The explosives sub-depot at Mount Butler Quarry, which was specially set up in October 1981, has continued to supply explosives to construction sites associated with the Mass Transit Railway Island Line project. Additional storage space was provided for some five tonnes of fireworks for a display in February to mark the Lunar New Year festivities. Approval was given for the continued importation and use in Hong Kong of Chinese-manufactured explosives and blasting accessories after storage and firing tests were undertaken by the Mines Division. The consumption of explosives during the year was 5 340 tonnes.




THE year saw the publication in May of a report entitled A Perspective on Education in Hong Kong. This outlines the findings of an international panel appointed by the govern- ment in June 1981 in consultation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to conduct an overall review of the local education system. The public was invited to comment to the government on the report and on July 13 it was debated in the Legislative Council.

Meanwhile, the approved policies for all levels of education as set out in the White Papers of 1974, 1978 and 1981 continued to be followed and put into effect. Some $860.2 million in capital expenditure and $4,863.3 million in recurrent expenditure was provided for education in the government's estimates for 1983-4, representing 13.5 per cent of the total budget for Hong Kong.

The Education Ordinance was amended to enable kindergartens to operate nursery classes for children aged between three years and three years eight months. To ensure that these classes are run to acceptable standards, improved space and class size requirements have been set and will come into force in September 1986.

The new Primary 1 admission system, designed to eliminate pressure on young children to enter popular primary schools, became effective in September. Under this new system, no tests or any form of examination are permitted in the selection of children for Primary 1 places. Allocation of 35 per cent of the places is based on parental choice and place of residence, and these are centrally allocated by the Education Department. A points system is used by schools for the admission of children to fill the remaining 65 per cent of Primary 1 places.

Concurrent with this new system of admission, a pupil record card system was introduced in October. All Primary 1 pupils are issued with record cards to be kept and updated by their schools. When pupils change schools, the cards are transferred to the new school. This system enables schools to trace the educational history of pupils easily, and also provides information required for research and record purposes.

       The Institute of Language in Education (ILE), set up in September 1982, conducted two full-time four-month retraining courses for a total of 200 primary school teachers of English and Chinese during the 1982-3 academic year. The institute plans eventually to retrain a total of 1000 teachers of both languages each year. The ILE is part of the government's multi-million dollar language package to improve language standards in schools and in the community. The package also includes provision of additional teachers in schools for remedial language teaching, research into the language of instruction in schools, and installation of a wire-free induction loop system in schools to support language lessons.

Under the School Building Programme, 12 primary schools 11 located in the new towns were completed during the year. They provide 24 840 places on a bi-sessional basis.



As a further measure to improve the quality of education, a third additional graduate teacher was provided in September for every standard-sized secondary school in the public. sector. This enables schools to increase the provision of remedial teaching in subjects other than Chinese and English, pupil counselling and guidance (including careers advice), and community involvement and other extra-curricular activities which complement and reinforce the formal curriculum.

Secondary education continued to expand to meet the target set out in the 1978 White Paper on the Development of Senior Secondary and Tertiary Education. Of the 130 secondary schools in the School Building Programme planned in line with the target, 98 have been completed. Six of these schools were completed during the year providing 6 960 additional places.

Under the auspices of the British Council a consultant architect, who previously worked for the Department of Education and Science in the United Kingdom, visited Hong Kong for three weeks in April and May to review and advise on school buildings.


In September, there were 724 kindergartens in Hong Kong providing pre-school education for about 209 869 children in the three-to-five age group. These private institutions are supervised by officers of the Education Department, whose professional advice is freely available to school managers, teachers, parents and the public. In-service training for teachers is provided through seminars, exhibitions and training courses, including a two-year part-time course conducted at the Grantham College of Education and a 12-week part-time course run twice yearly by the Advisory Inspectorate of the Education Depart- ment, with an intake of 360 teachers for both courses.

In March, a draft curriculum for kindergartens, compiled by the Kindergarten Educa- tion Sub-Committee of the Curriculum Development Committee, was sent out to all kindergartens and educational bodies for comment. Other government assistance includes allocation of premises and reimbursement of rents and rates to non-profit-making kinder- gartens in public housing estates, and fee assistance to needy parents. During the year, the regulations on kindergarten education were amended to bring about improvements proposed in the 1981 White Paper on Primary Education and Pre-primary Services.

Primary Education

Primary education has been free in all government schools and in nearly all aided schools since September 1971. In the few aided primary schools where fees are charged, they may be remitted up to 20 per cent of the total enrolment to meet cases of genuine hardship. To help needy parents further, an annual textbook grant of up to $135 per pupil is available to a maximum of 25 per cent of pupils enrolled in government and aided primary schools. A minority of parents continue to send their children to private schools, although places are available for them in the public sector.

In September, the primary school enrolment totalled 539 856 compared with 538 458 the previous year. In addition, 7 424 pupils attended primary-level night schools for adults. During the past year, 19 220 primary places were provided in new and developing schools and more are planned to meet the needs of developing areas, particularly in the new towns in the New Territories. Of the 76 200 children who took part in the newly introduced Primary I Admission System, 43 434 or 57 per cent were allocated discretionary places. in schools of their choice. The remaining children were centrally allocated places in schools in their own districts by the Education Department.




       Primary 6 leavers wanting subsidised junior secondary school places participate in the Secondary School Places Allocation (SSPA). This system is based on internal school assessments, scaled by a centrally-administered Academic Aptitude Test, and takes into account parental choice of secondary schools. In July, all 83 638 Primary 6 pupils participating in the SSPA were allocated Form 1 or Middle 1 places in government and aided schools, private non-profit-making schools in receipt of per capita grants, and private independent schools in the 'bought places' scheme.

The Student Guidance Scheme provided a school social work service to 932 primary schools at a manning ratio of officers to pupils of 1:3 000 in urban areas and 1:2 000 in rural areas.

Secondary Education

There are four main types of secondary school in Hong Kong: Anglo-Chinese schools, Chinese middle schools, technical schools and prevocational schools. The Anglo-Chinese day schools had enrolments totalling 380 203, compared with 383 900 in 1982. They offer a five-year secondary course in a broad range of academic and cultural subjects leading to the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination (HKCEE) with the medium of instruc- tion mainly English. Students with satisfactory results in the HKCEE may enter a two-year sixth-form course leading to the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination for admission to the University of Hong Kong. Many also sit for the United Kingdom General Certificate of Education Examination at both ordinary and advanced levels.

In 1983, there were 68 Chinese middle schools accommodating 38 671 pupils, compared with 40 742 in 1982. Pupils at these schools also take courses leading to the HKCEE. Instruction is mainly in Chinese, with English taught as a second language. A number of Chinese middle schools also offer a one-year Middle 6 course leading to the Hong Kong Higher Level Examination for admission to the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Secondary technical courses were provided for 19 277 students in 21 schools; 10 of these schools are run by the government and 11 are government-aided. Secondary technical schools prepare their students for the HKCEE, with emphasis on technical and commercial subjects. Suitably qualified candidates can continue their studies in Form 6 or at technical institutes, the Hong Kong Polytechnic, or the Hong Kong Technical Teachers' College.

Prevocational schools are government-aided secondary schools which provide students with a general education and an introduction to a wide range of technical skills upon which future vocational training may be based. Since 1981, senior secondary places have been made available to about one-third of the more academically-capable Form 3 leavers to enable them to continue their education up to the Certificate of Education level. The curriculum content of prevocational schools is made up of about 50 per cent technical education and about 50 per cent general education for Forms 1 to 3. The technical content is reduced to about 30 per cent in Forms 4 and 5. It is envisaged that after completion of Form 3, a high proportion of prevocational students will enter approved craft apprenticeship schemes with associated part-time day-release courses at technical institutes. Credit units are given by the institutes for technical subjects which have been studied in depth. In addition, direct entry into the second year of an approved craft apprenticeship may be given. This form of technical training is fully supported by the Vocational Training Council and welcomed by industry. At present there are 12 prevocational schools providing 10 520 places. A further 12 schools of this type have been included in the School Building Programme and are expected to be completed in 1985.

       The Junior Secondary Education Assessment (JSEA) System is designed to select and allocate Form 3 leavers to Form 4 places in the public sector. A total of 421 schools was



registered for the 1982-3 JSEA, comprising 56 Chinese middle schools, 354 Anglo-Chinese schools and 11 special schools, with 79 579 pupils participating in the assessment. Of these, 2 238 discontinued schooling before the second internal assessment or failed to submit their choices of school, while 1 096 were admitted into full-time craft courses at Hong Kong's five technical institutes. Over 68 per cent (51 861) of the remaining pupils were allocated Form 4 places in government and aided schools, of which more than 80 per cent (41 716) were allocated back to their own schools.

       The Careers Education Section of the Education Department continued to work closely with the Hong Kong Association of Careers Masters and the Labour Department to promote careers education in schools. A Careers Education Centre was set up in April in the Education Department headquarters to provide school leavers with a central source of careers information. A training course for 32 careers teachers was organised in August in conjunction with the Labour Department.

Special Education

The provision of special education continued to develop in line with the objectives of the White Paper on Rehabilitation published in October 1977 and the subsequent review of the programme plan. A total of 23 727 special places for handicapped children was provided in 1983. At present there are 70 special schools three for the blind, four for the deaf, 20 for the physically handicapped (including 12 hospital schools), 34 for the mentally handicap- ped, eight for the maladjusted and socially deprived, and one for children with learning. difficulties. The boarding sections of 14 special schools subvented by the Education Department also provide a total of 743 residential places.

       In addition, there are 109 special and resource classes in 45 ordinary government schools - 60 for children with learning difficulties, eight for the partially sighted, 32 for the partially hearing and nine for the maladjusted. There are also 411 special and resource classes in 283 ordinary aided schools - 402 for children with learning difficulties and nine for the maladjusted. These special and resource classes, and a school for children with learning difficulties, are for the less severely handicapped and include both primary and junior secondary levels (up to Form 3). In addition, 1916 less severely handicapped children are integrated into ordinary classes in government and aided schools.

      A notable development in special education has been the reorganisation of special and resource classes for children with learning difficulties, and the integration of maladjusted children into ordinary schools. This was made possible by the introduction of a wider range of remedial services which includes intensive remedial teaching for all basic subjects in revised resource classes in ordinary schools; a peripatetic teaching service in ordinary schools during school hours; remedial support outside school hours in resource teaching centres and adjustment units run by the Special Education Section of the Education Department; and advisory services to schools.

       Preventive and follow-up measures in the form of screening, assessment and remedial services identify special educational needs among school-age children and allow remedial action to be taken as early as possible. The remedial services include speech and auditory training, speech therapy, teacher and parent counselling, adjustment groups and resource teaching. During the year, 277 742 cases were dealt with: 250 149 under the combined screening programme (including speech, hearing and vision screening) and the group testing programme for Primary 2 pupils of all primary schools in Hong Kong; and 27 593 cases were given further help in the form of remedial services after audiological speech or psychological assessments.



The expansion of special education has necessitated an increased effort in the training of specialist staff. Overseas training is provided for the specialist staff of the Special Education Section and local in-service training courses are run for teachers in special schools and classes. In September, the responsibility for operating these courses for teachers of all types of handicapped children was transferred from the Special Education Section to the Sir Robert Black College of Education. The Special Education Section continues to organise short courses, seminars and workshops for teachers of students with special educational needs in ordinary schools and for trainee teachers at colleges of education, as well as to run refresher courses for teachers in special schools and special classes.

The conversion work for an earmould laboratory at the Special Education Services Centre in Kowloon was completed in late 1983 and the Education Department is now able to provide custom-made earmoulds for hearing-impaired children as recommended in the 1981 Rehabilitation Programme Plan Review.

Post Secondary Education


There are two post-secondary colleges - the Hong Kong Shue Yan College and Lingnan College - registered under the Post Secondary Colleges Ordinance. The Hong Kong Shue Yan College, registered in 1976, has three faculties - arts, social science and commerce. The college has 13 departments offering day and evening courses with an enrolment of 3 320 students. It operates its four-year diploma programme without government financial assistance. Lingnan College, registered in October 1978, has two faculties - arts and business and an enrolment of 984 students. It offers advanced level studies and two years of post sixth-form study, for which it receives government financial assistance, and a fifth year end-on course.

The Hong Kong Baptist College, which was registered in 1970 as an approved post secondary college, has since November 1983 been registered under a separate ordinance and now comes under the auspices of the University and Polytechnic Grants Committee.

       Various student financial assistance schemes are made available by the government to post sixth-form students at the registered post-secondary colleges. Some private day and evening schools, registered under the Education Ordinance, offer post-secondary courses of varying standards. None of these receives aid from the government.

Higher Education

In determining policies in higher education, the government takes advice from the University and Polytechnic Grants Committee (UPGC), which also provides specific expert and impartial advice on grants to individual institutions. The UPGC also enables the institutions to maintain their autonomy, an increasingly important factor as various government departments identify manpower requirements for social programmes, leading to requests for additional graduates in, for example, medicine, education and social work.

       In 1983 further progress was made towards carrying out the expansion, agreed in 1982, of opportunities for degree level education in Hong Kong. The policy is to provide first year degree places for six per cent of the 17-20 age group by 1990 and eight per cent by the mid-1990s. The UPGC and the institutions are drawing up proposals for development up to 1988, by which time the Hong Kong Baptist College and the new City Polytechnic of Hong Kong should have become well established alongside the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Polytechnic, all providing opportunities for school leavers to pursue higher education.



      This development will be substantial and is likely to involve capital expenditure in excess of $1,000 million. When compared with the total of all capital grants to the two universities and the polytechnic since the UPGC came into being in 1966, namely $1,884 million at 1982 prices, the further expenditure now planned represents a major investment in the future of Hong Kong and its people. To ensure that the target of providing eight per cent of the 17-20 age group with degree places is sustained after the mid 1990s, the government is considering the requirement for a third university - with the capability to respond flexibly to changing requirements as recommended by the UPGC. The UPGC believes that in the long term the major thrust should be through professional schools which include a strong research and postgraduate dimension and has made recommendations which are being considered by the government on major improvements in the funding and organisation of research necessary. This is essential, not only for the maintenance of a community from which Hong Kong will draw future generations of academics, but also to provide a base for practical or project research in commerce, industry and society.

For students denied the opportunity of full time degree level education immediately on leaving school, a part-time degree programme has started on a modest scale at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; the University of Hong Kong has made proposals, supported by the UPGC, for an external degree programme; and the government has asked the UPGC to examine the feasibility of an open university.

       A more immediate problem in 1983 was the question of fees for Hong Kong students in Britain. Since 1981, the Hong Kong Government has provided means-tested loans for Hong Kong students on first degree or Higher National Diploma courses in the United Kingdom, the maximum loan being the difference between the home and the overseas fee. This scheme has now been modified by the Hong Kong and British governments, who have agreed to finance grants jointly to meet the fee differential. In 1983-4, grants totalling $26 million were made to 1 223 students.

University of Hong Kong

In its 73 years of existence, the University of Hong Kong has grown from modest beginnings to its present student population of nearly 7000. It has faculties of arts, dentistry, engineering, medicine, science and social sciences; and schools of architecture, education and law. The university's central estate is on the northwestern slopes of Hong Kong Island; the Faculty of Medicine is adjacent to Queen Mary Hospital, the university's teaching hospital; and the Faculty of Dentistry is located in the Prince Philip Dental Hospital in Western District.

All the faculties and schools, with the exception of education, teach both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The School of Education at present teaches only postgraduates, most of whom are preparing for the Certificate in Education. The medium of instruction throughout the university is English, except in the Department of Chinese. Most of the undergraduate courses are of three years duration and lead to honours degrees.

       Close links are maintained with other universities through the Association of Common- wealth Universities and the Association of Southeast Asian Institutes of Higher Learning. The structure of the degrees and the governance of the university are based mainly on the British system and external examiners, generally from Britain, and who are eminent academics in their field, visit in each subject area at least once every three years and moderate each year's finals papers. Competition for places at the university is intense and in many cases there are five times the number of applications from qualified candidates as there are places available. Academic staff are recruited by international advertisement.



The university is in the middle of a substantial building programme and the most recent new building, officially opened in October, houses the Engineering Faculty. Other new buildings nearing completion will house the School of Education, the Computer Centre, and the Centre for Media Resources. Academic visitors to the university and a number of postgraduate students can be accommodated at Robert Black College.

Accommodation is provided for a maximum of 20 per cent of undergraduate students in residential halls. To help students with homes where facilities for study are poor or who wish to avoid lengthy travel yet cannot be accommodated in a hall of residence, the university has increased its emphasis on the provision of general amenities over the past few years. These include study and rest rooms, games and music rooms, and restaurant facilities located at two amenities centres. To improve the sports facilities, a new site is being developed - with a grandstand under construction during the year - on reclaimed land at Sandy Bay on the western shore of Hong Kong Island. At the same time, the university's existing sports centre is being redeveloped with the construction of a new indoor sports hall. The Department of Extra-mural Studies offers, though not to degree level, a wide variety of vocational and professional courses and courses of general or cultural interest. Evening classes held at the university, and day and evening courses at its town centre, are attended by nearly 25 000 students each year. At postgraduate level the university offers facilities for both Master's and Doctor's degrees. Master's degrees by coursework are available in a number of subjects and the Master of Philosophy degree is awarded on the basis of research at Master's level. Doctorates are awarded on the basis of research.

With the re-equipping of the university's laboratories under the present development pro- gramme, its Science and Engineering Departments contain the latest teaching equipment. It also has one of the best-equipped libraries in Southeast Asia. The main library accommodates more than 600 000 volumes - including the Fung Ping Shan Chinese Library with its very valuable collection of works in Chinese - while some individual faculties have subsidiary library units. The Fung Ping Shan Museum of Chinese Art is attached to the university and is also used as a teaching museum by the Department of Fine Arts. Research projects continue through the Language Centre, the Centre of Asian Studies - which serves as a focal point for multi-disciplinary research on China, Hong Kong, East Asia and Southeast Asia - and the Centre for Urban Studies and Urban Planning.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

The Chinese University of Hong Kong was inaugurated in 1963 as a federal university in which the principal language of instruction is Chinese. It is a self-governing corporation which draws its income mainly from government grants. The university is composed of three constituent colleges - New Asia College (founded in 1949), Chung Chi College (founded in 1951) and United College (founded in 1956). The campus covers more than 110 hectares of land near Sha Tin in the New Territories.

       To mark the university's twentieth anniversary, a special congregation was held on the anniversary day, October 17, and a series of lectures was given during the year by four invited speakers of world renown.

The university offers a wide range of undergraduate courses, spanning 35 disciplines in five faculties. Four of these faculties arts, business administration, science (a five-year work study programme in electronics is also offered) and social science - offer four-year programmes leading to Bachelor degrees. The fifth faculty, the Faculty of Medicine, admitted its first class of students in 1981. The curriculum is a five-year programme with the first two years devoted to pre-clinical studies, followed by three years of clinical work.



The teaching hospital is the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin, supported by facilities at the United Christian Hospital and Lek Yuen Health Centre, Sha Tin. In addition to students in the first-year pre-clinical course, the university has also been admitting potential medical students since September 1981. Potential medical major students who have successfully completed a one-year science course are eligible for selection to the Faculty of Medicine's first-year pre-clinical course the following year. The university will confer its first Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees in 1986.

At the postgraduate level, a total of 37 academic and professional higher degree pro- grammes and a Diploma in Education are now offered by the university's graduate school. Higher degrees offered include Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Philosophy, Master of Business Administration, Master of Social Work, Master of Divinity and Master of Art.

To provide an opportunity for working adults to receive university education, the university continued to offer four part-time undergraduate courses, namely, Chinese with English, music, business administration and social work. With the exception of the day- release social work programme, all part-time undergraduate classes are held on the Sha Tin campus in the evening. The university also offers part-time courses leading to the Diploma in Education, Master of Business Administration, Master of Social Work and Doctor of Philosophy. Two new programmes were launched in 1983: the Master of Philosophy programme in Music and the part-time Master's programme in Basic Medical Sciences.

      The undergraduate enrolment in September totalled 4 719 and consisted of: arts 1 035, business administration 874, medicine 221, science 1 349, and social science 1 240. There were also 194 students enrolled in the four part-time undergraduate programmes. In addition, 708 students were enrolled in the graduate programmes. These included 332 reading Diploma in Education courses and 32 overseas students and scholars enrolled in the international Asian studies programme. Of the 18 726 candidates who sat for the 1983 Hong Kong Higher Level Examination, some 4 661 fulfilled the entrance requirements. Of these, 1 229 were admitted to the university for the 1983-4 academic year.

      In the 1983-4 academic year, the Department of Extramural Studies offered more than 1 000 courses with a total enrolment of more than 30 000. The courses were conducted in Cantonese, Putonghua (Mandarin) and English, some leading to the award of diplomas and certificates. In recent years, the department has been active in the promotion of 'distance education'.

     Building projects completed during the year included an extension to the Science Centre Complex and the furnishing of additional animal houses for the sciences departments. Several blocks of staff quarters, an academic building, an extension to the administration building, a transport and security depot and various facilities for the disabled were being constructed, with further academic buildings and hostels planned. The library system consits of the main university library, the medical library, and three branch libraries in the colleges. The total collection in 1983 was 798 185 volumes.

     In addition to research programmes conducted in individual departments, the university has three research institutes: the Institute of Chinese Studies, the Institute of Science and Technology, and the Institute of Social Studies. They promote inter-disciplinary research in their respective faculties, and provide facilities for faculty members to keep abreast of, and contribute to, developments in their own fields.

Hong Kong Polytechnic

The Hong Kong Polytechnic developed from the former Hong Kong Technical College and was formally established in 1972. Nearly all of the polytechnic's financial support comes from the government through the UPGC.



The polytechnic has 22 teaching departments grouped under four divisions: the Division of Applied Science (consisting of the departments of applied science, mathematical studies, nautical studies, and the school of social work); the Division of Commerce and Design (consisting of the departments of accountancy, business and management studies, comput- ing studies, Swire School of Design, institutional management and catering studies, and languages); the Division of Construction and Land Use (consisting of the departments of building and surveying, building services engineering, civil and structural engineering, and the centre of land and engineering surveying); and the Division of Engineering (consisting of the departments of electrical engineering, electronic engineering, mechanical and marine engineering, production and industrial engineering, and the industrial centre). In addition, there are two institutes and one centre the Institute of Medical and Health Care, the Institute of Textiles and Clothing and the Centre of Environmental Studies.


At present, the polytechnic offers full-time, sandwich, part-time day release, part-time evening and mixed-mode programmes of usually one to four years' duration in a variety of technical and commercial subjects. Successful completion of these courses leads to the awards of degree, associateship, advanced higher diploma, professional diploma, higher diploma, diploma, endorsement certificate, higher certificate, certificate, certificate of proficiency and other qualifications.

In October 1983, five degree programmes were offered for the first time in the departments of applied science, computing studies, electronic engineering, mathematical studies, mechanical and marine engineering and the school of social work. These were: Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Computing Studies, Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Electronic Engineering, Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering, Bachelor of Social Work and Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Combined Studies in Mathematics and Science. The British Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA) acts as an adviser to the UPGC in assessing the standard of the degree programmes to be offered by the polytechnic and ensuring that it is comparable to that of degree courses offered by universities and polytechnics in Britain. During the year, degree course proposals in other academic fields, such as civil engineering and electrical engineering, were being prepared for possible inclusion in 1984.


The polytechnic also offers short full-time courses - of less than one year's duration and offered to meet recurrent demand; and extension courses organised on an ad hoc and self-supporting basis and offered at different times during the year. These courses do not lead to polytechnic academic awards.

       Since 1972, student and staff numbers have increased greatly. At the beginning of the 1983-4 academic year, there were approximately 7 230 full-time, 770 sandwich, 240 mixed-mode, 3 960 part-time day release and 13 400 part-time evening students. The staff strength stood at 2 220, comprising 797 teaching, 222 senior administrative and 1 201 technical, clerical and ancillary staff.

Campus development saw the opening in July of the Fong Shu Chuen Hall and the completion of the fourth floor extension of the main building, providing specialised accommodation for the Department of Nautical Studies. The Phase IIB extension, linking the Phase IIA development, is expected to be ready for occupation during October 1984.

The polytechnic library, which occupies four floors, has a collection of approximately 260 000 volumes of scientific, engineering and business material. It is envisaged that the collection will grow to half a million volumes. It also has an extensive reference collection. Staff are encouraged to offer their services to commerce and industry as consultants within their fields of expertise, and are also actively engaged in research work of direct



relevance to Hong Kong. Most research projects receive grants from the Polytechnic Research Committee, which is responsible for overall research policies and utilisation of research funds, while other research projects receive funding and assistance from commerce and industry, and from the government.

City Polytechnic of Hong Kong

Progress was made in preparation for the opening of Hong Kong's second polytechnic in 1984. The director was appointed in April and took up the post in October. Recruitment of senior staff was also taking place during the year.

The first students at the second polytechnic will begin courses in October 1984. The student population should grow to 8 000 full-time equivalent students by the early 1990s with various modes of attendance comprising full-time, part-time day release and part- time evening students. In addition to undergraduate degrees for a maximum of 30 per cent of the student population, professional diploma, higher diploma and higher certificate awards will be offered.

The decision to adopt a modular course structure will provide significant flexibility in course design and should be more cost effective than a traditional course structure. It will also help students on part-time programmes to study for the same awards as their full-time counterparts. The initial plan is for the academic departments to be grouped into six schools of study covering accountancy, architecture and building, business studies, com- puting studies, engineering, and social work.

The government has allocated a site of approximately 12 hectares in West Kowloon, well served by public transport, for the permanent campus. A local architectural firm, in association with a firm from the United Kingdom, provided the winning submission in a competition held during the year to select the architects for the development. The first phase should be ready for occupation in October 1988. Until that time, the polytechnic will operate from temporary premises in the urban area.

      The need for the second polytechnic, as a means to increase the availability of places in tertiary education in Hong Kong, was one of the recommendations of a committee appointed in 1980 to review post-secondary and technical education in Hong Kong. Following the review committee's recommendation, which was endorsed by the UPGC and accepted by the government, a Planning Committee was appointed in June 1982 for the development of a second polytechnic. The appropriate legislation for setting up the new institution was enacted in November 1983 and a Council for the City Polytechnic was subsequently appointed to take over the task of the Planning Committee. The City Polytechnic will operate in a similar manner to the Hong Kong Polytechnic and will receive its funding from the UPGC.

Hong Kong Baptist College

The Hong Kong Baptist College was established in 1956 by the Baptist Convention of Hong Kong (known then as the United Hong Kong Christian Baptist Churches Associa- tion), and has been on its present campus since 1966. It was registered in 1970 as an approved post-secondary college and since 1979 has received government financial assist- ance following a revision of its course structure in line with proposals set out in the 1978 White Paper on Senior Secondary and Tertiary Education.

      During 1983, the most important development was the enactment of the Hong Kong Baptist College Ordinance, with the college becoming a self-governing tertiary institution with a form of governance similar to the universities and the polytechnics and with



community interests predominating. It can confer academic, including honorary, awards. With effect from November 1, 1983, the college received substantial government funding through the UPGC to finance post-advanced level courses.

The goal of the college is to enable its students to become well-balanced in academic achievement, professional competence and character development. The three-year post- advanced level courses, leading to honours diplomas, are broad-based with elements of liberal education and professional or vocational training. Students are full time, admitted mainly on the results of the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination. Demand for places is high, and for the 1983-4 academic year the ratio of applicants to places was 6:1.

There are 17 teaching departments grouped under four faculties: the Faculty of Arts (consisting of the departments of Chinese language and literature, English language and literature, and music and fine arts); the Faculty of Business (consisting of the departments of accounting, business management, economics, and secretarial management); the Faculty of Science and Engineering (consisting of the departments of biology, chemistry, civil engineering, mathematics, and physics); and the Faculty of Social Science (consisting of the departments of communication, geography, history, social work, and sociology). In addition, there are three service-teaching units - athletics, computing studies, and religion and philosophy.

The Computing Studies Unit, which was established in 1983, mounted a Computer Literacy Programme for all students and was planning to help students become proficient and effective computer users within their own disciplines. Also during the year, a Language Proficiency Programme in both English and Chinese was launched and an Education Technology Unit was set up to improve learning and teaching at the college.

The student enrolment in the post-advanced level courses at the beginning of the 1983-4 academic year totalled 2 042, with a breakdown by faculty of: arts 344, business 574, science and engineering 433, and social science 691. During the year, 373 students graduated. The college helps to meet the growing demand for education by people in employment through its Division of Continuing Education (formerly the Division of Extramural Studies). The division is financially self-supporting and 24 287 students enrolled in 839 courses during the year.

The enrolment in the Division of Basic Studies, financed by government grants administered through the Education Department, will be reduced to allow further development of the post-advanced level courses which constitute the chief element of the academic programme. At September 1983, student enrolment in the division, which offers a full-time integrated two-year programme leading to the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination or the International Baccalaureate Examination, stood at 757.

Campus development in 1983 included the completion in July of a new eight-storey library building, with construction costs borne by private donations. The library services to students and staff were much enhanced and the holdings expanded to 127 025 volumes. The college actively maintains liaison with the local universities and polytechnic, and some departments provide consultancy services on a limited scale to the Hong Kong community.

Vocational Training

      Rapid progress is being made in vocational training in Hong Kong as opportunities are expanded for more people to acquire skills and knowledge in a wide and ever growing range and level of jobs. Providing better and increased opportunities for vocational training is the only effective way to meet the demand for manpower.



      With this in mind, the government in February 1982 set up the Vocational Training Council under the Vocational Training Council Ordinance. Besides advising on measures required to ensure a comprehensive system of technical education and industrial training suited to the developing needs of Hong Kong, its role is to set up, develop and operate training schemes for training operatives, craftsmen, technicians and technologists necessary to maintain and improve Hong Kong's industry, commerce and services, and also to establish, operate and maintain technical institutes and industrial training centres.

On the council's recommendation, the Governor set up 19 training boards and six general committees. The training boards cover major economic sectors: accountancy; automobile repairs and servicing; banking; building and civil engineering; clothing; electrical; electronics; hotel, catering and tourism; insurance; jewellery; journalism; ma- chine shop and metal working; merchant navy; plastics; printing; shipbuilding and ship repairs; textiles; transport and physical distribution; and wholesale, retail, import and export trades. The six general committees deal with apprenticeship and trade testing; training in electronic data processing; management and supervisory training; technical education; technologist training; and translation.

The training boards determine the future manpower needs of their respective industries or commercial sectors and recommend measures to meet such needs, prepare job specifications, design training programmes and trade test guidelines, and carry out other duties such as operating and maintaining training centres. The general committees are responsible for specific training areas which cut across several sectors of the economy. The council, its training boards and committees are serviced by the Technical Education and Industrial Training Department which acts as its executive arm. Most of the officers in the department work directly to the council through its executive director who is also the head of the department.

     During the year, 11 manpower surveys were conducted covering building and civil engineering; clothing; electrical; electronic data processing; hotel, catering and tourism; insurance; jewellery; journalism; plastics; textiles; and transport and physical distribution. In the same period, the training boards prepared or revised job specifications, training programmes and trade test guidelines for all principal jobs in their industries. A glossary of common technical terms used in commerce and services was also being finalised. All completed survey reports and manuals are on sale at the Government Publications Centre.

Technical Education

The five technical institutes - Morrison Hill Technical Institute in Wan Chai, Haking Wong Technical Institute in Cheung Sha Wan, Lee Wai Lee Technical Institute in Kowloon Tong, and the Kwun Tong and Kwai Chung Technical Institutes - provide an increasing range of courses at craft and technician levels on a full-time, or part-time day or evening basis. The main disciplines include clothing, commercial studies, construction, design, electrical engineering, general studies, hotel-keeping and tourism, industrial tech- nology, marine and fabrication, mechanical engineering, printing and textiles. A new department of motor vehicle engineering was set up at the Lee Wai Lee Technical Institute in September. Most of the technician level courses are validated by the United Kingdom Business and Technician Education Council.

      In addition to the normal courses, some 130 short courses were offered for the first time as a summer programme, designed largely to enable people in employment to update their knowledge or to learn new skills. Nine departmental boards, with representatives from the training boards as well as from industry, commerce or education, have been set up to plan and organise the academic activities of the technical institutes.



       Expansion programmes now in hand will help meet the demand for more technical institute courses. The construction of an additional floor and a six-storey annex to the Lee Wai Lee Technical Institute was completed for occupation in the 1983-4 academic year. Work on a five-storey annex to the Haking Wong Technical Institute began in July. Architects have been commissioned for the design of two new technical institutes, one to be built in Tuen Mun and the other in Sha Tin. Computing facilities at the institutes were improved during the year by an increase in the number of terminals connected to the main computer at the Lee Wai Lee Technical Institute, and by providing each institute with microcomputers.

The demand for technical institute courses remained high. During the first term of the 1983-4 academic year, there were about 4 955 full-time, 10 334 part-time day-release and block-release, and 24 739 part-time evening students. The teaching establishment of the technical institutes was about 460, with some 390 support staff. The annual employment survey of full-time students completing their courses again showed that graduates had little difficulty in finding appropriate employment.

Industrial Training

      Two large complexes, located in Kowloon Bay and Kwai Chung, are being built by the Vocational Training Council to house eight industrial training centres to provide basic off-the-job training for various industrial and commercial sectors: automobile repairs and servicing; electrical; electronics; hotels; machine shop and metal working (including welding); plastics; printing; and textiles.

       The training centres will cover the training of workers ranging from operatives to technologists and from front-line supervisors to senior managers. The scheme is expected to begin in late 1984, with the aim of training about 9 000 workers a year. Key staff for the centres have been recruited for the preliminary planning work. The fitting out of a temporary seamen's training centre in Little Sai Wan was nearing completion at the end of the year.

       A scheme to provide practical training to engineering graduates to enable them to meet the training requirements of professional institutions, and to ensure that Hong Kong has an adequate supply of well trained engineers, was launched in the summer. The council was also in the process of setting up a management development centre.

       Two training authorities were set up as statutory bodies in 1975 empowered to collect revenue to be used for constructing, operating and maintaining training centres. These are the Clothing Industry Training Authority which collects a training levy based on the export value of clothing items manufactured in and exported from Hong Kong, and the Construction Industry Training Authority which collects a levy based on the value of all construction works undertaken in Hong Kong which exceed $0.25 million. Two construction industry training centres are already in operation and there are plans for a third. A second clothing industry training centre was under construction during the year and will open in 1984.

Apprenticeship Scheme

The Apprenticeship Ordinance provides a legal framework for the training of craftsmen and technicians. It requires an employer to enter into a contract of apprenticeship when engaging a person aged between 14 and 18 in a designated trade unless that person has completed an apprenticeship in the trade. The contract must be registered with the Director of Technical Education and Industrial Training. Contracts of apprentices engaged in



non-designated trades or of apprentices aged over 18 engaged in designated trades may also be registered voluntarily with the director. By the end of 1983, 38 trades were specified as designated trades under the ordinance.

The Apprenticeship Section of the Technical Education and Industrial Training Depart- ment is responsible for administering the ordinance. Its duties include advising and assisting employers in the training and employment of apprentices, ensuring that the training is properly carried out, helping to resolve disputes arising out of registered contracts, and co-operating with educational institutes to ensure that apprentices receive the necessary complementary technical education. Courses of instruction for apprentices, normally on a part-time day-release basis, are provided at the Hong Kong Polytechnic and the technical institutes.

Apprenticeship contracts registered in 1983 totalled 3 200, of which 480 were for non-designated trades. These contracts covered 2 800 craft apprentices and 400 technician apprentices. By the end of the year, 9 200 apprentices were being trained in accordance with the ordinance.

Vocational Training for the Disabled

The provision for vocational training continued to expand during the year, following the transfer of the Vocational Training Section of the Aberdeen Rehabilitation Centre from the Social Welfare Department to the Technical Education and Industrial Training Depart- ment in February. This brought the total number of training places in government and subvented centres to 616.

The development of supportive services for disabled students attending full-time and part-time courses in the technical institutes took another step forward with special tutorial classes. In response to requests from disabled students, trainees and employees, the department provides special aids and machine adaptations through the Technical Aids and Resource Centre to improve job prospects for the disabled. Since its inception in July 1982, some 50 aids and adaptations have been completed. Having taken over the responsibility for subvented vocational training centres for the disabled in the private sector in October 1982, the department is helping to improve the quality of training provided at these centres through a more systematic approach to training for open employment. This is being achieved through better staffing, equipment and facilities, more appropriate training programmes and methods, and in-service training courses for staff. A Standard of Practice, serving as a guideline for the operation and administration of the centres, was produced during the year.

Teacher Education

General teacher education is provided at the three Colleges of Education - Grantham, Northcote and Sir Robert Black - and at the Hong Kong Technical Teachers' College, all run by the Education Department. Three-year full-time initial courses of training are offered at the three Colleges of Education for students with Hong Kong Certificate of Education qualifications, while two-year full-time courses are run by Northcote College of Education and Sir Robert Black College of Education for students who have obtained Grade E or above in two or more subjects in the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination. The three Colleges of Education and the Hong Kong Technical Teachers' College also offer an in-service Advanced Course of Teacher Education in six subject areas for teachers in government and aided schools. Part-time in-service courses of training are provided for teachers of kindergarten, primary and secondary schools as well as for special education teachers. An eight-week retraining course for primary school teachers is run at Grantham



College of Education and a refresher training course for serving secondary school teachers at Northcote College of Education. In September, there were 1 525 students in the three-year course; 735 students in the two-year course; 60 students in the advanced course; and 1 942 students in the in-service training and retraining courses.

Technical teacher training is offered by the Hong Kong Technical Teachers' College. The college trains technical teachers for secondary schools, prevocational schools and tech- nical institutes. A one-year full-time course is available for mature students who are well qualified and experienced in a technical field and have decided to take up technical teaching as a career. Substantial grants are offered to attract suitable recruits from commerce and industry. The three-year full-time course is for secondary school leavers who have prior studies in either technical or commercial subjects. The one-year full-time supplementary course in design and technology was replaced in September with an advanced course of Teacher Education in Design and Technology. The college also provides in-service courses for serving teachers, and courses for supervisors and instructors employed in industry. In September, there were 199 students in full-time courses and 263 students in part-time and short courses.

Financial assistance in the form of interest-free loans and maintenance grants is provided by the government for students enrolled in full-time courses at the four colleges.

Adult Education

      The Adult Education Section of the Education Department provides a wide range of courses and recreational activities for adults and young people who no longer attend formal education courses in day schools. These courses and activities are provided by the Evening School of Higher Chinese Studies, the Evening Institute, 17 Adult Education and Recreation Centres, and 34 subvented voluntary organisations.

A credit unit system for the diploma course, offering studies in Chinese literature, philosophy and sociology to secondary school-leavers, is run by the Evening School of Higher Chinese Studies. It may be completed over three to five years by taking 12 basic core units of the diploma course and 18 other units in aspects of Chinese classics and culture. The system has proved to be popular and enrolment has increased to more than 1 300.

The Evening Institute offers courses ranging from literacy to secondary and post- secondary studies at its 127 centres. A general Adult Education Course provides education at primary level to meet the needs and interests of adults. Parallel to this are practical courses to teach such domestic skills as sewing, knitting, cookery and woodwork. There are also two courses at secondary school level - the Secondary School Course and the Government Secondary School Course for Adults - which prepare students for the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination. To improve proficiency in English, an English course covering Primary 4 to Form 5 is offered to prepare adult students for the English Language paper (Syllabus B) of the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination. Classes of Form 6 standard are organised to prepare students for the ordinary level English Language paper (Syllabus B) of the General Certificate of Education Examination. At post-secondary level, teachers' courses provide additional in-service professional training in a variety of subjects. During the year, some 21 000 people enrolled in these formal courses. The 17 Adult Education and Recreation Centres organise many cultural, social and recreational activities designed to stimulate individual awareness within the community, cultivate creative ability and develop individual talents. Various activities were organised with other government departments and organisations, such as the Independent Commis- sion Against Corruption, the Labour Department, the Family Planning Association of



Hong Kong, the Society for Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers and the St John Ambulance Brigade. During the year, more than 20 000 people were enrolled in the non- formal courses.

Adult education retrieval courses run by voluntary bodies have been subvented on a recurrent basis since the 1982-3 school year due to their success during the previous two years. Altogether, 47 projects from 28 voluntary organisations were granted government subsidies totalling $1.88 million in the 1982-3 school year. This increased to 73 projects from 34 organisations in 1983-4.

Advisory Inspectorate

The main function of the Education Department's Advisory Inspectorate is to promote the quality of teaching. This involves frequent visits to schools by subject inspectors to advise on curriculum matters, teaching methods and utilisation of resources, and the provision of in-service training courses, seminars and workshops for teachers. The inspectorate eval- uates textbooks and instructional materials and is also responsible for curriculum develop- ment and the production of educational television programmes. Close liaison is maintained with the universities, the polytechnic, the approved post-secondary colleges, the Hong Kong Examinations Authority, the British Council, the Consumer Council and other government departments.

      During 1983, the Curriculum Development Committee (CDC) continued, through its various subject committees, to prepare and revise syllabuses, curriculum guidelines and schemes of work for implementation at pre-primary, primary and secondary school levels. To facilitate the introduction of new or revised syllabuses, courses, seminars, workshops and conferences were organised for school teachers and heads. Teaching materials were produced for distribution to schools to keep teachers abreast of new trends and serving teachers were invited to join curriculum development teams on a full-time basis.

The emphasis in curriculum development at the junior secondary level was on consolida- tion. To broaden the senior secondary curriculum, new subjects such as human biology, computer studies and social studies were introduced. Technical and commercial subjects continued to establish themselves in the secondary school curriculum. New and revised courses were developed for prevocational schools.

More primary schools were encouraged to adopt the less formal and more pupil-centred activity approach to teaching, especially at Primary 1 to 3 levels. Special courses, seminars, workshops and visits were organised during the year for heads and teachers adopting this approach, and an exhibition on assistance available to schools was staged in July.

The Religious and Ethical Education Section was strengthened to develop religious and moral education in all schools. The Textbooks Committee continued to give guidance to schools on the selection of books, while a comprehensive list of recommended textbooks for kindergartens, primary and secondary schools was issued quarterly. To improve the quality of textbooks, the committee maintains close links with publishers of educational material.

Teaching Centres

The Advisory Inspectorate runs six centres in connection with the teaching of Chinese, English, field studies, science, mathematics and social subjects.

During the year, the Chinese Language Teaching Centre accommodated group visits from schools and conducted 47 refresher courses and workshops and 17 seminars attended by more than 2 050 teachers. In July, about 1 000 school teachers visited the centre's four-day display of teaching materials and resources for remedial teaching of Chinese at secondary



level. Both primary and secondary schools continued to benefit from the centre's free dubbing service: over 800 recordings of teaching tapes were made during the year.

The English Language Teaching Centre organised 64 workshops, seminars and talks for 3 100 teachers. It provided schools with a free dubbing service and about 12 200 language teaching tapes were issued to 430 schools. The centre has a specialist library of about 5 660 books on English language teaching and linguistics, and a display room for exhibiting modern English teaching aids. A tape library containing 350 tapes (mostly produced commercially) was set up to assist teachers in selecting listening materials for use with the wireless induction loop system.

       The Field Studies Centre, within the campus of the Sai Kung Outdoor Recreation Centre, is an educational and resource centre for ecology and geography studies. During the year, 34 residential ecology or geography courses were held for 1 400 sixth formers, with two orientation courses conducted for biology and geography teachers. In-service training courses on stream pollution and environmental studies, and five special courses for 183 geography, social studies and biology lecturers from the three Colleges of Education were held. An exhibition on tree planting, talks on countryside education, lectures and field trips, the development of a nature trail, and the production of slides of local habitats were other activities organised by the centre.

      The Science Teaching Centre was extensively used for meetings, refresher courses, seminars and workshops on science education ranging from basic knowledge and teaching methods to laboratory safety, audio-visual aids and construction of home-made apparatus. More than 2 500 science teachers and laboratory technicians visited the centre and took part in various in-service training activities.

       The Mathematics Teaching Centre on Hong Kong Island, which serves as a resource centre and training venue for primary school mathematics teachers, held 14 refresher courses and 17 workshops and was visited by 1700 teachers during the year. The Mathematics Teaching Centre in Kowloon held courses for 173 junior secondary mathe- matics teachers and conducted five seminars for potential senior graduate masters in secondary schools.

      The Social Subjects Teaching Centre provides a training venue for teachers of geography, social studies, and health education at primary and secondary levels. During the year, 147 secondary school and 1 414 primary school teachers attended courses at the centre and it received some 1 000 visitors involved in various aspects of education. A wider range of education material, with teachers involved in its production, is being installed in the centre.

Visual Education Centre

The centre makes available through its library a wide range of audio-visual aids for free loan to schools. Stocks include 16 mm films, filmstrips, slides, audio-cassette tapes, filmloops, overhead transparencies, learning packages, picture sets and an increasing number of video-cassette tapes. The Media Production Services Unit is open seven days a week to all teachers for the production of teaching resources. During the year, more than 100 introductory courses and workshops on the use of audio-visual aids and the production of audio-visual materials were held.

Cultural Crafts Centre

The centre has facilities for teachers from primary and secondary schools to improve and up-date their teaching skills in practical and technical subjects such as art and design, craft and home economics. In 1983, more than 2 300 teachers attended seminars, courses and



workshops organised by the centre. Exhibitions staged by the centre on pupils' creative work and art by Form 5 students attracted more than 25 000 visitors.


     Eighty additional Form 4 students enrolled in September in the two-year pilot project for centralised training to prepare students for the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination in music. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Music Fund Project, providing extra-curricular music training for the handicapped, was expanded to cover 11 schools and two adult training centres. The 35th Annual Schools Music Festival, organised by the Hong Kong Schools Music And Speech Association, attracted 55 000 competitors in more than 300 classes. Nine prize-winners' concerts were given including an invitation concert featuring winners from previous festivals.

Physical Education

The Physical Education Section is responsible for the development of school sports and the improvement of teaching standards in physical education in schools. In 1983, over 40 courses and seminars were conducted for nearly 2 000 teachers. The first edition of the Chinese version of the Physical Education Syllabus for Secondary Schools was published. Some 12 000 primary school children took part in the 'Learn-to-Swim' scheme; 35 000 students were engaged in the 'Summer Sports Training' scheme for 12 popular sports; and 36 000 students attended school camps in the New Territories during the summer holidays. The 19th Schools Dance Festival attracted 3 169 participants from 235 schools.

      The Education Department is responsible for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme in Hong Kong and some 25 000 student members participated in the scheme. The Physical Education Section continued to administer the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club Fund for the Summer Youth Programme for Schools from which more than 190 000 students from 613 schools benefited. In addition to taking part in the 10th Annual Hong Kong- Macau Schools Interport Sports Competition, the Hong Kong Schools Football Team came third runner-up in the 12th Asian Schools Football Tournament held in Seoul, Korea in April.

Community Youth Club

With the aim of involving students in various community projects and helping them to become more aware of community affairs, their civic rights and responsibilities, the Community Youth Club (CYC) of the Education Department has expanded in many directions since it was launched in 1977. Membership of the CYC, which is confined to students aged from 10 to 21, now stands at 100 000 members. With the addition of Wan Chai District during the year there are now 13 CYC district committees co-ordinating the club's activities.

Tens of thousands of members were involved in CYC activities during the year - including the annual parade, design projects, visits, leadership training camps, forestry work camps, talks, seminars, charity walks, services for the under-privileged and aged, and displays and exhibitions - often linked with social campaigns mounted by the government and other organisations. More than 4 000 members gained awards under the CYC Merit Award Scheme which requires members to set an example of good citizenship by service to the community; 12 outstanding members were selected for an educational tour to the United Kingdom during the Christmas holidays sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club (Charities).


School Library Service


School library services continued to expand with the training of more librarians in secondary schools. Following a pilot run the previous year, the scheme for class libraries, based on the recommendations of the 1981 White Paper on Primary Education and Pre-Primary Services, was fully implemented in Primary 5 and 6 classes in all government and aided primary schools in September, while a pilot run was introduced for Primary 3 and 4 classes. Each class is provided with an initial grant of $500 for bookshelves and $10 per year per pupil for library books.

      During the year, two seminars on library resources and teaching were organised for 400 secondary school teachers, while two seminars for 700 primary school heads and senior teachers, 12 training courses for 850 primary school teachers, and an exhibition were held in connection with the class library scheme.

Educational Television

Programmes produced by the Educational Television Service (ETV) are regarded as the most useful audio-visual supplement to classroom teaching, and regular viewing has become a normal part of Hong Kong's school life. ETV's total audience during 1982-3 was estimated to be 250 000 secondary and 350 000 primary school children.

The programmes are produced locally, in colour, by the Education Department and Radio Television Hong Kong, and are transmitted by the commercial television stations. They are based on syllabuses used in primary and secondary schools. Notes for teachers include suggested preparation and follow-up activities and, in the case of primary school programmes, notes for students are also provided. Comments from teachers, questionnaires, visits to schools by ETV producers and inspectors, and reports by the Advisory Inspectorate have resulted in many improvements to ETV since its inception in 1971.

      Primary school ETV programmes cover Chinese, English, mathematics and social studies at Primary 3 to 6 levels. Secondary school programmes are produced for Forms 1 to 3 in the same four subjects and in science. In September 1983, ETV programmes on science and health education were introduced to Primary 3 level - to be extended by one level each year to reach Primary 6 in 1986.

Colour television receivers and video cassette recorders are provided for all government and aided schools and private secondary schools with bought places. In 1982-3, about $2.2 million was spent on the provision of equipment to these schools.

Hong Kong Examinations Authority

The Hong Kong Examinations Authority, an independent statutory body, began adminis- tering the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination in 1978, the Hong Kong Higher Level Examination in 1979, and the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination in 1980. In 1983, a total of 172 321 candidates entered for the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination; 18 726 entered for the Hong Kong Higher Level Examination; and 15 588 entered for the Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination.

The authority also assumes responsibility for conducting a large number of overseas examinations on behalf of various examining bodies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. These examinations include the General Certificate of Education, the Test of English as a Foreign Language, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry Examinations, and many others which enable students to acquire academic and pro- fessional qualifications.


British Council


More than 35 000 students attended classes at all levels, from beginners in English Language to university-level English Literature, under the British Council's English Language Teaching Programme. A further 5 000 secondary school children attended the Summer School. Refresher courses for primary and secondary school teachers of English, commissioned by the Education Department, were expanded in April, and the council's own teachers - all native English speakers - maintained high standards by in-house training leading to Royal Society of Arts professional qualifications and external MA programmes in Applied Linguistics. Language courses were held for the government and many private organisations, and assistance was given to the public sector education field in training, audio visual, and testing and evaluation skills.

      The library, which acts as a focal point for enquiries about Britain and British education, continued to develop. This included expansion of its English language teaching section for the use of English teachers throughout the territory. The council arranged visits to the United Kingdom for some 60 people on visits, bursaries and exchange programmes and brought more than 30 specialists to Hong Kong at the request of local institutions. Four British Council Postgraduate Scholarships were awarded for study in Britain, and four more scholarships were administered by the council on behalf of the Sino-British Fellow- ship Trust.

      The council continued to play an active part in the cultural scene, participating in the tours of the Royal Ballet and the London Symphony Orchestra and supplying the films for the British Film Week.

Hong Kong Students in Britain

The Students Division of the Hong Kong Government Office in London is responsible for the welfare of Hong Kong students and nurses in training in the United Kingdom.

The division continued to work closely with the Education Department and other government departments in Hong Kong. It monitored developments in education in the United Kingdom and, in order to promote the interests of Hong Kong students, main- tained close relations with universities and colleges, departments of the United Kingdom Government, local education authorities, the British Council, welfare organisations and, in the case of trainee nurses, the medical authorities.

      During the year, a new scheme of financial assistance, the United Kingdom-Hong Kong Joint Funding Scheme, was launched. The scheme, which is means-tested, is designed to assist Hong Kong students on first degree or Higher National Diploma courses to meet the difference between the home and overseas fees.

The Hong Kong Students Centre in London, which serves as a focal point for the student community, provides accommodation for up to 90 students.

Hong Kong Students Overseas

The Overseas Students and Scholarships Section of the Education Department gives advice to students wishing to further their education overseas and supplies information on educational establishments in Britain and other countries. Altogether 5 547 students went to Britain during the year, 3 946 to Canada for secondary or higher education, 2 088 to the United States and 757 to Australia.




     SEVERAL medical projects were completed, new services introduced and sophisticated equipment acquired during 1983 as part of the continued efforts in the vigorous programme of development for the medical and health services. The demand for services continued to rise during 1983 with the increasing population bringing pressure of work on all fronts.

The Medical and Health Department's plan for the 1980s involves the construction of at least five major government hospitals. During 1983, work was completed on the 1 400-bed regional hospital to serve the eastern New Territories - the Prince of Wales Hospital at Sha Tin to become operational in 1984. Others planned or under construction include a 1 600-bed hospital at Tuen Mun, a 1 500-bed hospital at Chai Wan and two 1 400-bed hospitals in East Kowloon and Tai Po. Plans also include the provision of extension blocks to the three existing regional hospitals: the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret Hospitals.

      Two clinics were completed during the year, the East Kowloon Polyclinic Stage II and the Shun Tak Fraternity Association Leung Kau Kui Clinic in To Kwa Wan, as part of the development programme under which some 20 general clinics and polyclinics are being built during the decade. The Hong Kong Red Cross Blood Transfusion Centre was completed during the year and construction work finished on the Kwai Chung Hospital mortuary.

      Projects completed in the government-subvented sector included the Yan Chai Hospital Extension Stage II, and the Caritas Medical Centre's Enrolled Nurse Training School.

      In April, an accident and emergency section became operational at the Chai Wan Health Centre. It has been set up as a stop-gap measure to provide primary treatment to emergency cases as heavy traffic congestion in Eastern District had been delaying the transportation of emergency cases from the area to major government hospitals.

      A major development in the latter part of the year was the installation of two computerised axial tomography (CAT) whole-body scanners at the Queen Mary and Princess Margaret Hospitals. These were in addition to the CAT scanner installed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in 1982 which has proved a valuable asset in the investigation of cancer and the diagnosis of severe head injuries.

For the financial year 1983-4, the Medical and Health Department's estimated expendi- ture is $1,771.6 million. In addition, subventions totalling about $915.2 million are being made to many non-government medical institutions or organisations.

Health of the Community

Hong Kong people continue to enjoy good general health, largely due to anti-epidemic and disease surveillance measures, developments in preventive and personal health services, and a high standard of living. This progress is further reflected in improvements in the health indices and the decline in the incidence of major communicable diseases.



      The leading causes of death today are various forms of cancer, heart disease and cerebravascular diseases. The low infant mortality rate is attributed to the provision of comprehensive family health care facilities as well as improvements in environmental and socio-economic conditions.

Hong Kong remains free from quarantinable diseases. The common communicable childhood diseases, such as diphtheria, measles and poliomyelitis, have been adequately brought under control.

      Four cases of animal rabies were reported during the year, with several human contacts given the necessary prophylatic treatment at medical centres. No cases in humans were reported. Preventive measures against rabies were once again stepped up, with a widening of the cordon area in the northern New Territories. The Medical and Health Department vaccinated 1 800 people bitten by animals during 1983.

       An outbreak of rubella, affecting some schools, homes and offices, occurred in the early part of the year. Altogether 379 laboratory-confirmed cases were reported with 12 more cases of congenital rubella in children recorded. The rubella immunisation programme for girls aged 11 to 14, which has been conducted in schools since 1978, presently covers more than 95 per cent of girls in Primary 6 classes; the programme is also available to specific groups of women of child-bearing age.

      Viral hepatitis remained prevalent with 1 783 notified cases and 28 deaths reported during the year. In view of the public health aspect of this disease and subsequent long term liver complications, particularly primary cancer of the liver, the Medical and Health Department's advisory committee on hepatitis B vaccination - following recommendations of the World Health Organisation - introduced a vaccination programme in April. The programme, initially on a limited scale, is progressively intended to cover health care. workers who are at high risk of contracting the disease.

       During the year, 24 indigenous cases of malaria were reported. These cases were mainly clustered around the border and Sai Kung areas of the New Territories. Since then the Medical and Health Department has stepped up its surveillance programme for the early detection of fresh malaria cases and its health educational and anti-malarial activities among villages and schools in these areas.

On request from the department, two consultants from the World Health Organisation visited Hong Kong in mid-December to make an initial appraisal of the local malaria situation. It is intended that they will conduct an in-depth study in early 1984 and advise on the anti-malaria measures that need to be adopted. In the year, a further 100 imported cases of malaria were also notified.

With a decrease in the number of Vietnamese refugees and illegal immigrants arriv- ing in Hong Kong, tuberculosis is again on the decline. Cases notified during the year numbered 7 301 with 446 deaths, representing an incidence rate of 137.41 per 100 000 and a mortality rate of 8.39 per 100 000. This is the lowest incidence rate recorded in Hong Kong and represents a 3.34 per cent decrease compared with the previous year. With BCG vaccination coverage maintained at almost 99 per cent of the newborn, tuberculosis among young children is uncommon.

      Following reports from overseas on genital herpes, anxiety was felt mid-year concerning its transmission locally. For a time the number of bathers at the beaches and in public swimming pools was dramatically reduced. However, after clarification by the health authority and subsequent publicity through the media informing the public of the mode of transmission, the scare subsided. The incidence of venereal diseases detected in the government's social hygiene clinics remained low, and no unusual increase in genital herpes cases was detected.

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Maritime Activities


Hong Kong's dynamic pace of life ashort is nowhere better reflected than in its man time activities. The earliest pictures of Victoria Harbour show the significance of shipping to the maritime territory of the 19th century when Hong Kong was set up to handle trade with China - and the land was of secondary importance to the fine sheltered anchorage. Today, Hong Kong has the third largest container throughput (after New York and Rotterdam) and it ship ownership, in tests of tonnage, rank second highest in the world (after Greece)i representing spine eight per cent of the world's merchant marine fleet. Considered to be one of the three mosderfect natural harbours in the world, Victoria Harbour handles more than 11 000 ocean-going vessels a year, discharging and loading cargo round-the-clock and carrying some 30 per cent of travellers to the territory. Added to this is the movement of the world's largest fleet of hydrofoils and jetfoils, ferries, river trade vessels, lighters and Police, Marine Department and Fire Services craft. With a land area comprising more than 230 islands, Hong Kong's links with the sea are enduring: boats and junks have been built and repaired on local shores for centuries. Today, competitive ship repair, conversion and back-up Iservices. and oil rig production facilities. are provided by Hong Kong's three major Shipyards, while the building of small vessels and pleasure craft remains an integral part of the industry.

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Previous page: Streamers fly as a cruise ship, the Royal Viking Star, prepares to leave the Ocean Terminal. Left: These luxury motor cruisers are destined for the American market; a vessel from Thailand is overhauled at one of Tsing Yi Island's four floating docks; time for a touch of paint while berthed.



bossa wa mara 3 x * * aku tak tu


" ፦፦










At a cost of over US$30 million: Hong Kong's third offshore jack-up oil rig was completed

during the year at a Tsing Yi Island shipyard and shipped by special barge to Kuwait.










Six container ships can berth simultaneously at the Kwai Chung Container Port which has more than 2 300 metres of quay backed by about 88 hectares of cargo handling area, with further expansion through reclamation a possibility for the future.



* 22



In terms of throughput, Kwai Chung ranks among the top three container ports in the world. To achieve this, a fast turnaround time is needed and container ships are berthed on average for just 13 hours."




:: :



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The call of the sea is not restricted to those who make a living from it: pleasure craft of all descriptions crowd Hong Kong's yacht basins and marinas awaiting weekend enthusiasts.



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Young people, some handicapped or disadvantaged, can learn seamanship or enjoy a voyage under sail on the 'Huan', a fully-rigged Chinese sailing junk, through the Adventure Ship charity project.



More than 300 apprentices, on three-to-four year courses at Hong Kong's largest dockyard,

learn all aspects of the shipping industry. Here a group is taught how to repair an anchor cable.





2 -














Hospitals and Development Programmes There are three types of hospitals in Hong Kong - government, government-assisted and private - with a total of 22 935 beds representing 4.3 beds per thousand of the population. Pressure on the service was experienced on all fronts, reflected by the increase in attendance at out-patient clinics, and accident and emergency departments, and by the number of hospital admissions.

A regional approach to the planning and administration of medical and health services ensures an even utilisation of medical facilities in the government and government- subvented hospitals and clinics. In 1983 further regionalisation took place, grouping together facilities situated in a common geographical area to form an integrated network of services, and the administration of the regional offices was strengthened considerably with the provision of additional senior management staff.

Apart from the wide-ranging programme to provide new government hospitals and expand accommodation at existing ones, subvented and private organisations have an important complementary role in the provision of medical care for the community. Projects in the pipeline include further extensions to the Caritas Medical Centre, Yan Chai Hospital and Pok Oi Hospital, and the redevelopment of the Ruttonjee Sanatorium into a 432-bed general hospital. Two new private hospitals are in the planning stage with capacities ranging between 300 and 600 beds.

       In 1983, the total attendance at government accident and emergency departments was 1 012 000 averaging 2 770 attendances per day. More than 639 000 patients were treated at the 13 government and 19 government-assisted hospitals.


General out-patient services form a vital part of the health care system. The government now operates 59 general out-patient clinics as well as polyclinics and specialist clinics. Evening, Sunday and public holiday sessions continued at clinics in the more densely populated areas as part of the overall measures to meet the expanding demand for out-patient services. The medical development programme includes more than 20 clinic and polyclinic projects throughout the territory.

Mobile dispensaries and floating clinics take medical services to the outlying islands and the more remote areas of the New Territories. Other inaccessible areas are visited regularly by the 'flying doctor' service with assistance from the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force.

       At the end of 1983, 339 clinics were registered under the Medical Clinics Ordinance. Of these, 89 clinics were under the control of a registered medical practitioner and 250 more clinics registered under the provisions for exempting certain clinics. Registered medical practitioners - members of the Estate Doctor Association - set up clinics in housing estates to provide a low-cost service for residents.

       The total attendance figures at government out-patient clinics was 15.1 million in 1983, 4.9 per cent more than the previous year.

Family Health

The Family Health Services of the Medical and Health Department operate 42 maternal and child health centres, providing a comprehensive health programme for women of child-bearing age and children up to five years. Family planning is an important component of the Family Health Services. Ante-natal and post-natal health consultant sessions are conducted for mothers. Immunisation programmes are carried out against tuberculosis,



diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, poliomyelitis, measles and rubella. During 1983, about 92 per cent of newborn babies were checked at the family health centres.

      The comprehensive observation scheme to detect and assess early developmental abnormalities, and where necessary to provide follow-up treatment, is now available at 42 family health centres. Children attending these centres may, if their condition warrants it, be referred to child assessment centres or various specialist units for further examination. The system enables rehabilitation processes to start as early as possible. Six regional multi-disciplinary child assessment centres are included in medical projects for the decade.

      Health education is extended to expectant mothers at major government hospitals, with particular emphasis placed on the promotion of breastfeeding. A telephone service is available to answer enquiries from the public. The government-subvented Family Planning Association of Hong Kong runs 31 birth control clinics providing various services, including vasectomy and female sterilisation services.

School Health

The School Medical Service Scheme is operated by an independent School Medical Service Board. Participation is voluntary and for a token fee of $5 a year children from Primary 1 to Form 3 can receive free medical attention from a general medical practitioner of the school's choice. The government contributes $50 a year for each pupil enrolled and also bears the administrative cost. The general response to the scheme is good: more than 280 000 school children from 859 schools have participated - representing more than 35 per cent of the eligible school population and more than 250 general medical practitioners

have enlisted.

      The School Health Service, a government responsibility, deals with the environmental health and sanitation of school premises and the control of communicable diseases. School health officers, health visitors and health inspectors make frequent inspections of schools to advise on matters concerning the health of children and organise health education activities and immunisation campaigns.

Mental Health

The Mental Health Service, in conjunction with other academic and voluntary bodies, provides a comprehensive psychiatric service for the mentally ill. Sophisticated treatment facilities are available at the two major psychiatric hospitals - Castle Peak Hospital with 1 927 beds and Kwai Chung Hospital with 1 078 beds - and at psychiatric units in many regional and district hospitals. In line with the universal trend of operating smaller psychiatric units within general hospitals, an additional 2 030 beds are planned for such future medical projects.

Supplementing the hospital facilities are psychiatric day centres which provide a wide range of out-patient treatment, assessment, counselling and after-care services on a regional basis. The centres also operate day hospital places and provide other social, occupational and recreational therapy services for the mentally ill.

Special emphasis is placed on the follow-up and after-care of discharged mental patients during their integration back into the community. During the year, the newly-established Community Psychiatric Nursing Service was expanded on a regional basis to provide. continuity in after-care treatment programmes to patients discharged from all mental institutions. Other complementary rehabilitative supporting services include after-care social services, placement services, half-way houses, long-stay care homes and social clubs



      organised by various agencies and closely monitored and co-ordinated by the Rehabilita- tion Development Co-ordinating Committee.

Severely mentally handicapped persons requiring intensive nursing care and medical treatment are cared for at the 200-bed Siu Lam Hospital and the 300-bed Caritas Medical Centre. A further 700 beds in this category have been planned for the next decade to meet the continuing need.

Dental Services

The School Dental Care Service provides regular dental examination and treatment services to primary school children. Essentially preventive in nature, the service has proved to be an appropriate and cost effective means of promoting dental health amongst school children. The response from parents and school authorities has been most encouraging: some 134 900 children, 49.9 per cent of Primary 1, 2, 3 and 4 pupils, participated during 1983, compared with 29 and 41 per cent in 1981 and 1982 respectively. Two school dental clinics have been established and six more are planned for the next four years. Dental health education programmes, through lectures and exhibitions, were held to promote dental health awareness in children and adults.

       Training in dentistry is available at the Prince Philip Dental Hospital and its first 71 dentists will graduate in 1985. The Tang Shiu Kin Dental Therapists Training School is responsible for training the dental therapists required by the rapidly expanding school dental care programme.

       The Government Dental Service provides dental care for all monthly-paid government servants and their dependants, as well as simple dental treatment for inmates of penal institutions and specialist treatment for patients in government hospitals. Emergency treatment is also provided for the public at a number of district dental clinics.

Port Health

The Port Health Service enforces control at Hong Kong International Airport and in the territory's waters to prevent the introduction of quarantinable diseases and to carry out other measures required under the International Health Regulations.

      The service provides facilities for vaccination and the issuing of international vaccination certificates. It also inspects and supervises the eradication of rats from ships on interna- tional voyages. It provides medical assistance to ships in the harbour, transmits medical advice to ships at sea, operates a 24-hour health clearance service for all incoming vessels, and grants radio pratique to ships.

       The health staff also maintain close surveillance on the food catering service to international airlines to ensure that food and water supplied by the flight kitchen service is clean and safe. Epidemiological information is exchanged regularly with the World Health Organisation in Geneva and its Western Pacific regional office in Manila, and with neighbouring countries.


The number of refugees arriving in Hong Kong continued to decrease during the year. Under the Immigration (Amendment) Ordinance 1982, all new arrivals were transferred to closed camps for quarantine and detention after initial disinfection procedures. The camps provide a range of facilities including recreational, social, medical and family planning services. The health status of the refugees is closely monitored and was found to be satisfactory.



      Voluntary agencies continued to co-operate in the running of clinics in open refugee centres for the treatment of minor ailments while serious cases were referred to government hospitals and specialist clinics for examination and treatment.

Special Services

The Pathology Service provides clinical and public health laboratory services to govern- ment hospitals and clinics, and a consultant service for the government-assisted sector. It also administers hospital mortuaries and blood banks. The Institute of Immunology produces vaccine and other biological products for use in the local health services. The department's virus unit provides a central laboratory service for the diagnosis and surveillance of viral infections and valuable services for the screening, assessment and guidance of vaccination programmes against viral infections in the community. The Forensic Pathology Service, through its forensic laboratory, works closely with the Royal Hong Kong Police Force on the medical aspects of criminology and other medical-legal work. It also administers public mortuaries.

       The Institute of Radiology and Oncology provides diagnostic organ image services for the government as well as consultant services to all government-subvented hospitals and private medical institutions. To further upgrade the diagnostic service, new computerised axial tomography whole body scanners were installed in two more major regional hospitals towards the end of the year. Another scanner will be installed in the Prince of Wales Hospital and several others are included in future hospital projects.

      The institute also provides comprehensive radiotherapy programmes of the highest standard and a chemotherapy service, and operates a central cancer registry for Hong Kong. It operates radioisotope laboratories, mould laboratories and a radiological workshop. Professional staff of the radiation health unit, set up in 1982, carry out regular inspections of medical, commercial and industrial premises to monitor the working conditions of radiation workers. During the year, more than 1 000 radiation licences were issued to proprietors in accordance with the Radiation Ordinance. A personal radiation monitoring service is offered to more than 2 000 radiation workers. A thermoluminescence dosimetry system was commissioned in the latter part of the year to replace the existing film dosimetry system.

      The Pharmaceutical Service is responsible for dispensing medicines in all government hospitals and clinics, and supervises and enforces laws pertaining to the control of dangerous drugs, poisons and antibiotics as governed by the respective ordinances. Pharmacy law enforcement action has been intensified, with prosecution of illegal produc- tion and transaction of poisons and antibiotics. A significant event during the year was the crackdown on Chinese proprietory medicine containing harmful Western drugs. Altogether nine different brands of adulterated Chinese medicine worth $17 million were seized.

Community Nursing Service

The Community Nursing Service extends care to patients discharged from hospitals after acute illness and provides domiciliary medical care and support for the sick, the disabled and the elderly in their own homes.

      Jointly operated by eight agencies, including the Medical and Health Department, the service is largely hospital-based, with domiciliary services provided through a network of 38 sub-centres. The ever-increasing number of referrals and patients served reflects the effectiveness of the service. During the year, 11 400 new patients were treated by com- munity nurses and more than 20 500 home visits were made.


Health Education


The Medical and Health Department's Central Health Education Unit plans and carries through health educational programmes either departmentally or in co-operation with voluntary agencies. The major theme for the year was on the prevention of communicable diseases with activities aimed at increasing the public's understanding of the nature of such diseases and their means of prevention, through exhibitions, poster design competitions, and television and radio programmes. The department also played an active role in the Anti-Smoking campaign with publicity drives through the media, seminars, lectures and workshops to school children, and through local doctors who were called upon to help persuade patients to give up smoking.

      Other continuing programmes included healthy lifestyles for adolescents, tuberculosis detection, Family Health Services, home safety, eye care, nutrition and health of the elderly. In January, two health educational audio-visual centres were set up to provide an extended range of services on various health topics for public viewing and reference, as well as a free loan service for interested groups, voluntary agencies and schools.

Medical Charges

      In April, the charge for a consultation at a general out-patient clinic was increased from $3 to $5, and from $3 to $6 per consultation at a specialist clinic. This fee, which was last revised in 1980, includes medicine as well as X-ray examinations and laboratory tests. Charges for physiotherapy, occupational therapy and child assessment were raised to $6 per treatment. The charges for injections and dressings at general clinics were increased from $1 to $2, while the $1 fee per visit to family planning clinics and methadone clinics remained unchanged. Even with the increased rate, the charges still represent a substantial subsidy from public funds. The charges may be reduced or waived in cases of hardship certified by a medical social worker.

      Patients in third class beds in government hospitals are now charged $10 per day, an increase of $5. This fee is all inclusive, ranging from diet to X-ray examinations, laboratory tests, drugs, surgery and any other forms of special treatment required. The same scale applies to home visits by community nurses - an increase from $5 to $10 per visit. Again, these fees may be waived if necessary. The $5 charge had been in effect since 1977 and even with the increase, the fee is barely sufficient to cover the cost of the hospital meals. A limited number of private beds is provided at major government hospitals with higher maintenance and treatment charges.

        Free medical services continued to be offered at maternal and child health centres, tuberculosis and chest clinics, social hygiene clinics, accident and emergency departments, floating clinics and through the 'flying doctor' scheme.


Graduates of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong are awarded Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees recognised by the General Medical Council of Great Britain. Both the government and the university maintain a comprehen- sive post-graduate training programme. Opportunities are available for local doctors to sit for higher professional examinations, attain fellowships and attend professional confer- ences, seminars and workshops. During the year, more than 170 qualified doctors went overseas under government sponsorship or other scholarships to receive further training.

      The University of Hong Kong produces about 150 medical doctors a year. The Chinese University of Hong Kong has progressively increased its annual intake of medical students.



from 60 in 1981 to 80 in 1983. Clinical training for its first batch of students is available at the Kowloon and United Christian Hospitals on a temporary basis until they transfer to the new Prince of Wales Hospital at Sha Tin in 1984.

      An institute of Medical and Health Care at the Hong Kong Polytechnic provides training for para-medical and para-dental staff including radiographers, physiotherapists, occupa- tional therapists, medical laboratory technicians, dental technicians and extended duty dental surgery assistants. In-service and post-qualification training courses are also avail- able for para-medical and para-dental staff within the Civil Service.

Training for general registered nurses is available at government, government-assisted and private hospitals. In 1983, eight such training schools were in operation with an output of about 1 235 nurses a year. Three more nurse-training schools with over 350 places are planned for the coming decade. Over the same period, the training capacity for general enrolled nurses will increase from 550 to about 850.

     Training schools for registered psychiatric nurses are at Kwai Chung Hospital and Castle Peak Hospital, with an annual capacity for 120 and 40 respectively. Two more psychiatric nurses training schools are planned with a capacity for about 65 students by 1987. Psychiatric enrolled nurses are trained at Castle Peak Hospital which has an output of about 60 nurses each year, to be further increased to 80 in 1986.

Government Laboratory

The Government Laboratory is an independent agency providing practical and advisory services to government departments and the private sector in the field of applied chemistry and related scientific disciplines. Its work covers a wide range of activities including many health-related services.

The examination of pharmaceutical products purchased or made by the government for use in its hospitals and clinics is carried out at the Government Laboratory. Products submitted for registration under the Pharmacy and Poisons Regulations are also closely examined together with samples of pharmaceutical products taken from retail outlets.

The laboratory has a statutory responsibility for the physical and chemical testing of foods. This work, which stems from the activities of the Hygiene Division of the Urban Council and Urban Services Department, was further developed to meet exacting international standards. One important task during the year was to determine hormone residues in poultry.

Urinalysis, in support of the methadone maintenance and detoxification programmes, is carried out by the Government Laboratory. During the year this work was extended to assist the Correctional Services Department. In addition it conducts testing and consulting work for government departments and the private sector, including dangerous goods and pesticide residues analyses, and determinations of traces of noxious metals. in paints and other materials. The first table of results of the tar and nicotine contents of cigarettes on sale in Hong Kong was published towards the end of the year. Environ- mental science continued to feature among the laboratory's concerns and it provided laboratory support services on an increasing scale for the Environmental Protection Agency and other institutions.


Drug abuse is a long-standing problem in Hong Kong with serious social, economic, legal, medical and psychological implications. The government's expressed policy is to stop the illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs into Hong Kong, to develop a multi-modality treatment. and rehabilitation programme for drug addicts and to dissuade residents, particularly



young people, from experimenting with drugs so as to reduce substantially and eventually eradicate drug abuse in the community.

The exact number of addicts in Hong Kong is not known. However, findings from the government's computerised Central Registry of Drug Abuse and other linked indicators show that the size of the addict population in 1983 was in the region of 45 000 to 50 000.

Data collected by the registry, based on 215 000 reports on 46 000 individuals, indicate that 93 per cent are male and seven per cent female. As to age distribution, 55 per cent were over 30 years of age at the time of their first report, 34 per cent were in the 21 to 30 age bracket and 11 per cent were under 21. The principal drug of abuse in Hong Kong is heroin, which was used by 96 per cent of the addicts reported to the registry in 1983. Opium abusers accounted for three per cent and the remaining one per cent was on other drugs. The most widely-used method of taking heroin was by injection followed by fume inhaling, commonly known as 'chasing the dragon'. Opium abusers generally smoke the drug.

Typical addicts are adult males over 21 in the lower income group, generally employed as casual labourers or as unskilled or semi-skilled workers and living in overcrowded conditions. They have generally not more than six years of formal education and are single or, if married, usually separated from their families.

The government's overall strategy to combat drug abuse consists of four main elements - law enforcement, treatment and rehabilitation, preventive education and publicity, and international co-operation. Law enforcement is the responsibility of the Narcotics Bureau and individual district formations of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force, and the Customs and Excise Department. Treatment and rehabilitation are undertaken by the Medical and Health Department, the Correctional Services Department and a government-subvented voluntary agency, the Society for the Aid and Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers (SARDA). Preventive education and publicity rests mainly with the Narcotics Division of the Government Secretariat, the Information Services Department and various government district offices concerned with community building efforts. International co-operation is the responsibility of all.

        The work undertaken in each of these four areas is inter-related. Effective law enforce- ment action pushes up the price of illicit drugs and reduces their supply thus inducing addicts to seek treatment voluntarily. Addicts who wish to rid themselves of their drug habit are offered a wide range of treatment programmes, the effectiveness of which reduces the demand for illicit drugs. At the same time, preventive education and publicity measures are used to persuade others, especially the young, from experimenting with drugs. Co-operation on the international level enhances the effectiveness of efforts in these three areas through the exchange of information and experience.

       All these efforts are co-ordinated by the Action Committee Against Narcotics (ACAN), a non-statutory body comprising a chairman, nine government officials and eight unofficial members. The committee, formed in 1965 and reconstituted in 1974, is the government's sole advisory body on all anti-narcotics policies and actions, whether internal or external, and whether related to government departments and voluntary agencies. It is serviced by the Narcotics Division which is headed by the Commissioner for Narcotics.

Given the abundant supply of illicit drugs as a result of successive bumper crops of opium from the Golden Triangle since 1981, the year saw unrelenting action against narcotics trafficking and abuse. In law enforcement, effective action by the police and customs resulted in increased detections being made in respect of drug offences, from 9 625 in 1982 to 10 900 in 1983. Sustained pressure on traffickers at all levels also resulted in more drugs being seized than in the previous year.



      Despite the increased supply and low price of heroin, large numbers of addicts continued to seek, and remain in, treatment voluntarily. The majority sought treatment in the methadone treatment programme which provides both maintenance and detoxification. services on an out-patient basis. Methadone maintenance is a long-term treatment approach which is intended to prevent an addict's return to illicit heroin or other forms of narcotic abuse, while detoxification is a short-term form of treatment aimed at eliminating the physical dependence on narcotics. As the methadone treatment programme has proved to be extremely effective in serving both addicts and the community, a new evening methadone clinic was opened in Ngau Tau Kok in April, bringing to 24 the number of such clinics operated by the Narcotics and Drug Administration Division of the Medical and Health Department.

      The largest voluntary in-patient treatment programme is run by SARDA. The society operates two treatment centres, one for men and the other for women. The male centre, on the island of Shek Kwu Chau, has a capacity for 500 patients, while the Women's Treatment Centre, in Wan Chai, can cater for 30 patients. Linked to these centres are three units for the intake of patients, six after-care centres and three hostels.

In 1983, the two voluntary treatment programmes and the Correctional Services. Department's compulsory treatment programme admitted 15 200 addicts for treatment. On average, there were 12 600 addicts and ex-addicts in receipt of some form of treatment, rehabilitation and after-care every day.

A significant development during the year was the implementation of a clinical trial in September on the efficacy of buprenophine in the treatment of drug addiction. The trial, funded by the government on the recommendation of ACAN, was conducted at SARDA's Shek Kwu Chau Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre with 50 voluntary patients. The results of the first phase of the trial are now being critically evaluated.

      Preventive education and publicity plays an important part in Hong Kong's fight against drug abuse. Work in this area is focused on fostering public awareness of the dangers of drug abuse, promoting community involvement in tackling the problem, persuading young people not to experiment with drugs or become involved in drug crime, and encouraging addicts to come forward for treatment.

District-based preventive education and publicity campaigns were mounted throughout the territory in 1983. Among the events organised to carry the anti-narcotics message were concerts, variety shows, sports tournaments, fun fairs, film shows and exhibitions, as well as Chinese essay-writing, poster and slogan design, painting and singing competitions. The major event of the year's territory-wide campaign was the Anti-Narcotics Educational Variety Show staged at the Hong Kong Coliseum before 7 000 people. The show was later broadcast on television on two successive Sunday evenings, with each of the broadcasts being watched by an audience of two million. There were also school talks, seminars and training camps for students, teachers, community leaders, social workers and factory workers. To support these activities, television newsclips and films, radio dramas, posters and leaflets were produced.

The Youth Against Drugs Scheme was launched for the third year, while the ACAN Youth Volunteer Group, which was established in 1981 with a view to training and encouraging young volunteers to play an active and direct part in anti-narcotics work, participated in 27 anti-narcotics preventive education and publicity activities.

The Drug Education Liaison Centre - set up in 1980 under the Preventive Education and Publicity Section of the Narcotics Division - also organised anti-narcotics training and education for young people, parents, teachers, students, social workers and voluntary



organisations. The centre produced a range of anti-drug publications during the year, as well as films and slides, and handled requests for information on drug abuse from the public.

During 1983, the Drug Abuse Telephone Enquiry Service received 1 344 enquiries from both addicts and non-addicts. Most enquiries were related to drug addiction treatment facilities. Externally, Hong Kong continued to play an active and important part in international anti-narcotics operations by maintaining close links with the United Nations, inter- - - and with government agencies such as the Colombo Plan Bureau and Interpol individual governments in Southeast Asia, Europe and North America. During 1983, Hong Kong took part in 13 international meetings concerned with anti-drug law enforcement, treatment and rehabilitation, and preventive education. Hong Kong also made its ninth annual contribution of $100,000 to the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control in support of its world-wide anti-narcotics efforts. These include the opium poppy crop- substitution programme in the 'Golden Triangle' where the boundaries of Burma, Laos and Thailand meet and from where most of Hong Kong's opiate drugs come.

       The techniques and methods employed by Hong Kong in its anti-narcotics work have made it an important venue for training anti-narcotics personnel from other countries. In 1983, 129 anti-narcotics officers from various countries came to Hong Kong on study visits and training courses, either through bilateral arrangements with their governments or under the sponsorship of United Nations bodies such as the World Health Organisation or the Colombo Plan Bureau. At the same time, experienced officers from the Royal Hong Kong Police Force and the Customs and Excise Department frequently went overseas to act as lecturers or consultants on training courses related to anti-drug work.

      Despite Hong Kong's co-ordinated and strenuous efforts in combatting narcotics trafficking and abuse, there is a rising trend in the involvement of young people in drugs and in prosecutions for drug offences. More emphasis is to be placed on preventive education in schools and on the treatment and rehabilitation of young addicts.

Environmental Hygiene

The work of the Urban Services Department includes street cleaning, the collection and removal of refuse and nightsoil, the management of public toilets and bathhouses, pest control, the control of food hygiene and the disposal of the dead.

A regular workforce of some 6 000 in the urban areas and 3 450 in the New Territories is employed in cleansing duties. The cleansing force is equipped with a fleet of 644 vehicles, including specialised refuse-collection vehicles, street-washing vehicles, mechanical sweepers, nightsoil collectors and gully emptiers.

All streets are swept at least once daily, either mechanically or manually, while busier thoroughfares are swept from four to eight times a day. A daily refuse collection service is provided to all built-up areas in the territory and about 3 770 tonnes of refuse and junk are collected every day. There is also a free nightsoil collection service for the few remaining areas which do not have a water-borne sewage disposal system.

      The Clean Hong Kong campaign which ended in December 1982 was quite successful in improving the general standard of cleanliness. In 1983, the government sought to maintain the standards of cleanliness achieved. A programme of six phases was put into operation covering housing estates, block cleansing, villages, squatter areas, beaches and country- side, and including a general beautification programme. Law enforcement continued to be emphasised in the fight against litter. During 1983, a total of 53 496 people were fined for litter offences.




     In maintaining and improving standards of hygiene through the enforcement of the Public Health and Urban Services Ordinance and its subsidiary legislation, health inspectors regularly inspect licenced premises, residential and commercial buildings, and construction and vacant sites. Special inspections are also carried out to deal with complaints of vermin infestation and unhygienic conditions. The health inspectors work closely with the staff of the Medical and Health Department in the investigation and control of food poisoning outbreaks and infectious diseases.

The central licensing section is responsible for dealing with applications for licences other than hawker licences. These are issued under the Public Health and Urban Services Ordinance, the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance and the Dutiable Commodities (Liquor) Regulations.

The food section of the Urban Services Department continued its two-pronged activities during the year to ensure that food and food products for sale, whether imported or locally produced, were hygienic and safe for human consumption. The enactment of the Food Adulteration (Metallic Contamination) Regulations 1983 and the Harmful Substances in Food Regulations 1983 added impetus to the law enforcement activities which included regular monitoring of standards of food hygiene and safety, and systematic inspection and sampling of food products for laboratory examination. For research and development, the section continued its functions through liaison with the World Health Organisation and other bodies to keep Hong Kong abreast of international developments in food science and toxicological evaluation to benefit and protect local food traders and consumers.

District and regional pest control teams carried out integrated programmes to prevent and control rodents, mosquitoes, flies and other public health pests. Measures taken included environmental improvements, public health education campaigns, the destruction of breeding places, the use of pesticides and law enforcement.

      In 1983, the health education section organised a number of educational campaigns on environmental and food hygiene. A highlight of the food hygiene campaign was the '1983 Restaurants of the Year - Urban Council Hygiene Competition' introduced in the summer. Competitions were held in schools to promote public health, and basic health education was given to new immigrants from China and to Filipina maids through mobile broadcasts. In addition, courses, seminars, talks and film shows on various topics of public health were organised for food services personnel, school children, voluntary welfare agencies, mutual aid committee members and Vietnamese refugees.


In the urban areas of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, the Urban Council runs 53 public retail markets with more than 7 400 stalls. They sell a whole range of fresh foodstuffs such as meat, fish, poultry, vegetables and fruit, as well as various types of general merchandise such as clothing, household goods and other daily necessities. The commodities available in public markets have diversified over the years as increasing numbers of former on-street hawkers have been accommodated in new market buildings. A cooked-food centre is now a standard facility in modern market complexes.

Many existing public markets are still in old buildings and it is the policy of the council to redevelop these markets into modern multi-purpose market complexes with other facilities such as games halls, rest gardens, libraries and auditoria for the performing arts. During 1983, six new markets were completed providing 1 116 new stalls at Tung Yuen Street in Yau Tong, Kwun Tong Ferry Concourse, Reclamation Street, Kowloon City, Fat Kwong



Street in Ho Man Tin, and To Kwa Wan. The Urban Council Aberdeen Complex, which was completed in 1982, officially opened during the year and is the best equipped of all the council's multi-user buildings. It houses a market offering the complete range of retail foodstuffs and daily necessities, a public library, and an indoor games hall.

In the New Territories the government runs 38 public markets outside public housing estates with accommodation for more than 3 940 stallholders. Five new markets were completed during the year, giving an additional 390 stalls.


The management and control of hawkers in the urban areas is the responsibility of the Urban Council, while the New Territories Services Department undertakes this work in the New Territories. There are 33 700 licensed hawkers throughout the territory, more than 3 000 of whom are situated in off-street bazaars. The number of unlicensed hawkers tends to fluctuate from year to year, but it was estimated that there were about 19 000 in 1983.

The main objectives of the authorities are to reduce on-street hawking by moving hawkers into public markets, and to confine on-street hawkers to licensed fixed pitches in clearly defined areas. Under the control of district urban services officers, the General Duties Teams have a manpower of more than 2 800 who work in close co-operation with the Royal Hong Kong Police Force in containing the problem of illegal hawking and taking necessary enforcement action.


The two government abattoirs - at Kennedy Town on Hong Kong Island and at Cheung Sha Wan in Kowloon - continued to supply the bulk of the population with fresh meat. During the year, 3 023 000 pigs, 162 000 cattle and 11 000 goats were slaughtered in these two abattoirs.

The two licensed private slaughterhouses at Yuen Long and Tai Po continued to provide slaughtering services in the New Territories while another private slaughterhouse in Kwai Chung Hong Kong's first private slaughterhouse with mechanised line slaughtering facilities came into operation in late 1983. A new government abattoir planned for Sheung Shui will serve the needs of the new towns in the northeastern New Territories. Animals slaughtered in the abattoirs and private slaughterhouses are inspected by specially trained health inspectors of the Urban Services Department.

Cemeteries and Crematoria

There are five public cemeteries, two public crematoria and nine private cemeteries in the New Territories, and five public cemeteries, two public crematoria, 18 private cemeteries and two war cemeteries under the management of the Commonwealth War Grave Commission in the urban areas.

      The Urban Council operates two funeral depots, one in Hong Kong and one in Kowloon, to provide free services for the disposal of the dead. Adequate funeral facilities are available for public use at the two funeral parlours run by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals. The policy of both the council and the government is to encourage cremation instead of burial. During 1983, 60 per cent of the dead were cremated.

       A new crematorium at Sha Tin is scheduled to be completed in mid-1984. Together with the existing crematoria at Cape Collinson, Diamond Hill, Kwai Chung and Wo Hop Shek, it will provide an even distribution of cremation facilities throughout the territory.


New Territories Services Department


The responsibilities and functions of the New Territories Services Department in the New Territories are similar to those of the City Services Department in the urban areas of Hong Kong and Kowloon. They include the maintenance of satisfactory standards of public health, the administration of such services as cemeteries and crematoria, cleansing and pest control, the control of hawkers and the management of public markets and recreational facilities.

      During the year, the structure of the department was reorganised, initially on a trial basis, with the creation of a new operations division, replacing the regional headquarters, to oversee the work of the nine district offices. The trial scheme proved successful in reducing staff costs and improving work efficiency, and was adopted on a permanent basis in December.

      The department was able to cope with ever-increasing commitments, stemming from the continuing rapid pace of new town development, by making better use of resources. A total of 19 capital projects was completed in 1983 and 513 new projects are planned. These include markets and cooked food centres, pleasure and sports grounds, nurseries, indoor games halls, swimming pools, beach buildings, crematoria and columbaria, public toilets, refuse collection points and abattoirs.



Social Welfare

HONG KONG'S social welfare programme continued to expand during the year with a housing scheme for the elderly, expansion of family welfare services, and additional purpose-built facilities being provided.

A highlight of 1983 was the official opening by the Governor in September of the first phase of the government's Housing Scheme for the Elderly. This pilot scheme provides self-contained accommodation for groups of five or six elderly people who are still able to live independently in the community. The 80 flats purchased in a private housing development in Sha Tin early in 1983 were accommodating a total of 480 old people by the end of the year. The capital costs are financed from the sales of gold coins issued by the government each Lunar New Year.

The Social Welfare Department is responsible for the management of the scheme and generally supervising the welfare of the residents. All flats are fully fitted-out and furnished, with a full range of utilities and a telephone provided. Residents pay a fixed monthly fee which is intended to cover the cost of maintenance and utilities. A further 23 flats have been purchased on Hong Kong Island which will be ready for occupation in 1984. If the pilot scheme is successful, and subject to the availability of further funds, the scheme may be extended.

Another area which saw significant development in 1983 was that of family welfare services, specifically in the field of child care. To provide further impetus to the expansion of non-institutional forms of residential care for children, the Social Welfare Department set up a central unit for co-ordinating the planning and development of foster care services. The unit is responsible for publicising the service; recruitment and preliminary screening of potential foster parents; registration of foster families found to be suitable; and the development of guidelines for foster care arrangements. The unit is working closely with voluntary agencies who have expertise in this area and who are responsible for the actual supervision of foster placements.

For handling cases of suspected child abuse, the department has set up a child protective services unit to ensure that serious cases of abuse are handled by experienced social workers. The Health and Welfare Branch of the Government Secretariat has also reviewed the procedures for handling child abuse cases by government departments and voluntary agencies including reporting and follow-up procedures.

In the field of social security, the rates of payment from the Emergency Relief Fund were increased with effect from July 1983. Payments made under other schemes - the Criminal and Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Scheme and the Traffic Accident Victims Assistance Scheme - which are also assessed on the basis of this payment schedule, were increased from the same date.

      Expansion of social welfare services continued in line with the targets laid down in the 1979 White Paper on Social Welfare into the 1980s and the 1979 White Paper on



Rehabilitation. New purpose-built facilities opened during the year include two community halls, two estate community centres and two community centres: one serving the Yau Ma Tei District and the other in Tuen Mun. The year also saw the opening of 17 day nurseries, a home for the elderly and three new care-and-attention homes for the elderly with a total capacity of 630 places. Expansion in the provision of community services for the old and disabled includes 140 additional places in sheltered workshops for the disabled, 40 places in day work activities centres for the severely disabled, 20 additional home helpers, and the opening of six social centres for the elderly.


The additional services were reflected in considerable increases in both capital and recurrent expenditure. Total estimated expenditure on social welfare in the 1983-4 financial year is $1,319 million an increase of $349.5 million in recurrent expenditure and $2.9 million in capital expenditure over 1982-3. Some $363 million in capital and recurrent subvention is estimated for 1983-4, representing an increase of $96 million over 1982-3. The Community Chest also organises and co-ordinates local fund-raising activities for its member agencies, raising $26.9 million in its annual fund-raising campaign in 1982-3 compared with $26.76 million in 1981-2.

Considerable progress was made in introducing a new subvention system. Under the new system, the majority of social welfare services will be subvented on the basis of a standard cost. All services have been classified into two categories. Services in Category I will receive a subvention designed to meet the full cost of the specified standard of service, and income raised privately by voluntary agencies will not be taken into account in the calculation of the government subvention. Services in Category II, which mainly comprises social and recreational services and the activities of uniformed groups, will not receive subvention to meet the full cost of the service and will be expected to contribute from their own resources. In 1983-4, standard cost subvention was introduced in eight service areas, namely school social work, out-reaching social work, family life education, neighbourhood level com- munity development, small group homes, foster care, family counselling and the pool bus service for the elderly. The aim is for the new subvention system to be fully operational in the 1984-5 financial year.

Responsibility for carrying out government policies on social security and social welfare rests with the Director of Social Welfare, who heads the Social Welfare Department. The department is organised on a regional basis, with 13 district offices divided into four regions - Hong Kong Island, West Kowloon, East Kowloon and the New Territories. District social welfare offices are the main points of contact with the public and voluntary welfare organisations, and are responsible for co-ordinating the provision of all social welfare services in their districts. The department includes a Development Branch and a Social Security Branch which are responsible for the central planning and development of new policy in social welfare and social security, and a Subventions Branch which deals with the central administration of subventions to voluntary organisations and evaluation of services provided by them.

      On all matters of social welfare policy, except rehabilitation, the government is advised by the Social Welfare Advisory Committee, chaired by the Director of Social Welfare and with members appointed by the Governor. The Rehabilitation Development Co-ordinating Committee, also appointed by the Governor, advises on the policy and principles governing the development of rehabilitation services and is chaired by an unofficial.

      In the day-to-day administration, planning and development of services, the Social Welfare Department works closely with voluntary agencies which play a major role in the provision of many welfare services. The majority of voluntary agencies are affiliated to the



Hong Kong Council of Social Service and are involved, together with the council and the department, in the annual review of the Five Year Plan for Social Welfare Development.

Social Security

Social security is provided by the Social Welfare Department under five schemes, namely the Public Assistance Scheme, the Special Needs Allowance Scheme, the Criminal and Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Scheme, the Traffic Accident Victims Assistance Scheme and Emergency Relief.

       The Public Assistance Scheme, which is means-tested but non-contributory, is designed to provide a basic level of income for individuals and families. To be eligible, a person must satisfy a one-year residence requirement, but the Director of Social Welfare is empowered to waive this in cases of genuine hardship. Apart from meeting the residential criterion, able-bodied unemployed persons aged between 15 and 59 are required to register with the Local Employment Service of the Labour Department to seek employment. Young people aged between 15 and 17 are eligible as dependents of their families unless they are orphans or persons without relatives.

       The scales of assistance are kept under regular review and increased from time to time in line with the cost of living to maintain their purchasing power. The existing monthly basic rate is $450 for a single person; $325 for each of the first three eligible members of a family; $280 for each of the succeeding three; and $215 for each eligible member thereafter. In addition to the basic scale allowance, special supplements such as old age supplement, disability supplement and long-term supplement can be given. An old age supplement of $225 per month is given to those aged 60 years and over provided they are not in receipt of a special needs allowance or disability supplement. A disability supplement of $225 per month is payable to those recipients who are medically certified as partially disabled, with a 50 per cent or more loss of earning capacity and who are not already in receipt of an old age supplement or special needs allowance. An annual long-term supplement of $1,140 for a family, or $570 for a single person, is given to those who have received public assistance continuously for 12 months. This is to meet the extra cost of replacement of household wares and durable goods. Where applicable, special grants are given to cover rent, education expenses, special diets and other essential requirements.

      To encourage self-help, recipients who are not expected to find work as a condition of receiving public assistance may retain their marginal earnings up to $255 a month. However, any earnings in excess of $425 a month are taken fully into account in assessing public assistance entitlements. At the end of 1983, the number of active public assistance cases was 54 820, compared with 50 111 in 1982. Expenditure on public assistance for the 1982-3 financial year totalled $407.8 million.

       The Special Needs Allowance Scheme provides a flat rate allowance on a non-means- tested and non-contributory basis for the severely disabled and elderly persons aged 70 and over. Any person, regardless of age, who is severely disabled and has resided in Hong Kong continuously for at least one year before claiming the allowance is eligible for disability allowance. For old age allowance, any person aged 70 or over is eligible provided he has resided continuously in Hong Kong for at least five years immediately before claiming the allowance. The current rates of disability allowance and old age allowance are $450 and $225 a month respectively. The number of people drawing disability and old age allowance at the end of the year was 234 890, compared with 218 069 at the end of 1982. Expenditure on payments in the 1982-3 financial year was $622.9 million, an increase of $186.1 million over the previous year.



     The Criminal and Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Scheme provides cash assistance for people injured and for dependents of those killed in crimes of violence or through the action of law enforcement officers in the execution of their duties. The scheme is non-means-tested and non-contributory and is administered by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and the Law Enforcement Injuries Compensation Board. Assess- ments in respect of compensation are made in accordance with either the payment schedule of the Emergency Relief Fund or common law damages, depending on the nature of the case. Total payments in 1983 amounted to $2.9 million, compared with $2.4 million the previous year.

      The Traffic Accident Victims Assistance Scheme provides prompt financial assistance to traffic accident victims, or their dependents in the case of death, without regard to the means of the family or to any element of fault in the cause of the accident. However, the accident must have been reported to the police and the application must be made within six months of the date of the accident. In the case of injury not causing death, evidence of at least three days' sick leave must be produced in the form of certification by a hospital or registered medical practitioner. The scheme covers only traffic accidents as defined under the Traffic Accident Victims (Assistance Fund) Ordinance. Payments are made for personal injury or death only; damage to property is not covered. The scheme does not affect the applicant's right to claim common law damages in the usual way. Beneficiaries of the scheme who subsequently receive damages, or other compensation in respect of the same accident, are required to refund the payments they have received from the scheme or the amount of damages or compensation, whichever is less. The rates and conditions of payment under the scheme are based on the payment schedule of the Emergency Relief Fund. During the year, 6 740 applications were received, of which 6 120 were approved for assistance payments amounting to $31 million.

      Emergency relief is provided in the form of immediate material aid, such as hot meals, blankets and other essentials, to victims of natural and other disasters. In addition, grants from the Emergency Relief Fund are paid to the families of those killed, injured or disabled as a result of such disasters. During the year, emergency relief was rendered on 185 occasions to 10 000 registered victims.

To prevent abuse of the various social security schemes, a special investigation team carries out in-depth investigation of cases of suspected fraud or over-payment. During the year, the team completed investigations into 203 cases, some of which were referred to the Attorney General for legal advice and possible prosecution.

     The Social Security Appeal Board is an independent body which considers appeals from individuals against decisions by the Social Welfare Department regarding social security benefits. During the year it heard 70 appeals. Of these, 17 related to Public Assistance cases and 53 to Special Needs Allowance cases.

Services for Offenders

Services for criminal offenders include provision for following the directions of the courts on the treatment of offenders by social work methods, with the aim of reintegrating them into the community. These services include probation supervision operated through probation offices serving each magistracy and higher court, a remand home service, residential training for young offenders and after-care.

     Probation, which is an alternative penalty to imprisonment, applies to offenders of all age groups. It allows offenders to remain in the community under the supervision of probation officers and subject to prescribed rules of conduct set by the courts. Apart from

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New Town Life-style

Tuen Mun is one of Hong Kong's fastest developing new towns. With a population presently at 210 000, it is expected to house more than half a million people before 1990. Situated in a valley some 32 kilo- metres from the Kowloon peninsula, the town is flanked to the east by scenic foot- hills while to the west the majestic Castle Peak rises to a height of 583 metres. Yet despite its distance from Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, Tuen Mun is far from isolated. The six-lane highway, the high- speed hoverferry service and the Mass Transit Railway extension to Tsuen Wan have brought it within easy reach of the main urban areas. Although more than 80 per cent of the population currently lives in public housing, government-aided and private sector accommodation is develop- ing at a fast rate. Always keeping pace with the day-to-day needs of this growing community is a wide range of social and community facilities. Industrial develop- ment, too, is progressing in two main industrial zones in centralised locations. In particular, the new town is encouraging investment from overseas with the new technical and management skills it brings. A prosperous trading port in ancient days, Tuen Mun suffered a decline in fortunes following war and invasion, becoming a rural fishing community. Now, the wheel has turned a full circle as the town emerges as a major new economic centre.

Previous page: Wu King Estate, one of Tuen Mun's seven self-contained public housing estates, is home to some 2 200 fam- ilies. Left: The $500 million, 17-kilometre Tuen Mun Road, fully opened during 1983, links the new towns of Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan and provides a stark contrast to the old coastal road located below it.


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    Untouched by previous development, Castle Peak Bay presented an exciting opportunity to town planners. Much of the high-density centre of the new town is being built on land reclaimed from the bay and adjoining marshes, divided by a re-aligned river channel.

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Top: The new Tuen Mun Government Secondary School helps meet the needs of the town's

63 800 school-age children, representing 30 per cent of its population. Above: Modern medical and health services in the new town start early for infants at the Maternal and Child Health Centre at the modern Yan Oi Tong Polyclinic.

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    A large, young workforce attracts overseas and local industrialists to set up factories in the new town, such as this manufacturer of liquid crystal displays. At present some 20 000 people are employed in Tuen Mun's two industrial areas.

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The talented young members of the Nei Ming Institute of Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery youth hand in Tuen Mun have given some winning marching band performances at concerts throughout Hong Kong.



The Tuen Mun District Board allocated $315,000 for 1983-4 to promote cultural and recreational activities for local children, a popular pastime is singing, shown here with the Tuen Mun Children's Choir.

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Top and Above: Playgrounds and sitting-out areas in housing estates provide residents of all ages with space to pass the time of day in a town which by 1991 will house eight per cent of Hong Kong's population.



professional services, volunteers from many walks of life participate in the programme under a Volunteer Scheme for Probationers. The purpose of the scheme is to enhance community involvement in the rehabilitation of probationers.

Educational, prevocational, social and recreational training is provided in remand homes and residential institutions to assist juvenile offenders to return to the community as law-abiding citizens. The department has five institutions specialising in this work, each with a slightly different training programme to cater for various ages and sexes.

Following recommendations by an adviser from the United Kingdom, a review of the educational programmes in the department's existing five residential institutions was conducted by a senior officer seconded from the Education Department. Emphasis was given to the suitability of the curricula, teaching standards and the adequacy of facilities for academic teaching and vocational training. When fully carried out, the review's recommen- dations will result in major improvements to the education programmes provided in the institutions.

The Begonia Road Boys' Home and the Ma Tau Wai Girls' Home are combined remand and probation institutions for offenders under the age of 16 on admission and for those in need of statutory care and protection. To alleviate the present overcrowding at Begonia Road Boys' Home, a new home to be named the Pui Chi Boys' Home - is expected to come into operation in early 1984 following the conversion and renovation of the former Quarry Bay Junior School. The Castle Peak Boys' Home is for boys aged under 16 and above 14 on admission who require a longer period of residence and re-education following conviction by the courts. The O Pui Shan Boys' Home is a reformatory school for offenders aged 14 and under on admission. The Kwun Tong Hostel is a probation hostel for young men aged between 16 and 21 who are placed on probation by the courts on condition that they reside at the hostel for up to one year. The department also operates an after-care unit which helps offenders rejoin society by preparing them while they are still in the homes and giving them support after they leave.

Apart from the services provided by the department, voluntary agencies such as the Discharged Prisoners' Aid Society, the Lok Heep Club of Caritas - Hong Kong, the Society of Boys' Centres, the Hong Kong Student Aid Project, the Hong Kong Juvenile Care Centre, the Pelletier Hall and the Marycove Centre, all make significant contributions in helping young offenders and young people with behaviour problems.

Family Welfare Services and Child Care

The main objective of family welfare services is to help individuals cope with or, where possible, avoid personal and family problems, and so preserve and strengthen the family unit. These services are provided on a territory-wide basis through 20 centres operated by the Social Welfare Department and a number of voluntary agencies and, in hospitals and clinics, by medical social workers.

Services include counselling on personal and family problems; care and protection of young people under the age of 21; residential and foster care for children up to the age of 21; day care for children under six; referrals for schooling, housing, employment, financial assistance, legal advice, medical attention, home help and, where appropriate, placement in institutions for elderly or disabled persons. The number of active cases at December 1983 was 21 404.

The department also exercises statutory responsibilities under a number of ordinances, including the Protection of Women and Juvenile Ordinance, the Guardianship of Minors Ordinance, the Marriage Ordinance and the Offences Against the Person Ordinance.



      Child care centres provide care and supervision for children under the age of six in accordance with the standards laid down in legislation. All child care centres are subject to registration, inspection and control under the Child Care Centres Ordinance and Regula- tions. The ordinance and regulations were amended in 1983 to bring in line offences and penalties applicable to both child care centres and kindergartens, the latter being registered under the Education Ordinance and Regulations. At the end of 1983, there were 22 179 places in day child care centres, including creches for children under the age of two, and 951 places in residential child care centres.

      Following the introduction of the fee assistance scheme for pre-primary services in September 1982, day nurseries are no longer fully subvented, but low income families who have a social need for their children to be placed in full day care receive government assistance with the payment of day nursery fees on a sliding scale. The scheme is administered by the Social Welfare Department and at December 1983 there were some 11 800 children receiving fee assistance in day nurseries.

      Residential care is also provided, when necessary, to children and young persons. Discussions continued between the Social Welfare Department and relevant voluntary agencies on the best ways of meeting the needs of children who require residential care. Action was also taken to carry out the recommended improved standards for children's homes. At the same time, more non-institutional types of care, especially foster care and small group homes, are being developed.

      The adoption unit of the department handles both local and overseas adoptions - the latter with the assistance of the International Social Service, Hong Kong branch. At the end of the year, there were 389 cases of legal adoption by court order, 76 proposed adoption cases and 49 cases of overseas adoption.

      Medical social workers help patients and their families to cope with personal and social problems which arise from, or adversely affect, their illness and disabilities. They interview patients and family members in hospitals, clinics or in their homes and make full use of the facilities and services provided by the government or other welfare agencies - such as public assistance, compassionate rehousing, vocational training, job placement services, child care centres and sheltered workshops.

      Following the transfer of the medical social service, formerly administered by the Medical and Health Department, to the Social Welfare Department in October 1982, medical social service units have been placed under the direct supervision of the depart- ment's four regional offices while its headquarters has become responsible for the co-ordination of services provided by specialist units covering narcotics, mental health, chest and skin. During the year, 85 960 cases were handled by medical social workers. A review of the duties and staffing requirements of the service began in 1983 with the aim of achieving closer integration of medical social work with the department's other family welfare services.

Care of the Elderly

     Care in the community is the guiding principle for the planning of services for elderly people. The main objective is to preserve and foster the role of the family as the chief supporter of the elderly. A wide range of community support services is provided, mainly by the voluntary sector with the assistance of the government, to enable the elderly to remain in the community. Services include home help, meals service, home visiting, community education, day care and social and recreational activities. By the end of 1983, there were 270 home helpers, 68 social centres for the elderly, eight multi-service centres and two day



care centres for weaker and more infirm elderly people whose families are unable to look after them during the day.

Provision of adequate housing, by means of a special quota for the elderly in public housing units or arrangements for compassionate rehousing in public housing estates, enables many elderly people to remain in the community without having to seek care in institutions. A priority allocation scheme also exists to benefit families applying for public housing who have elderly parents or grandparents living with them. The waiting time for such families has been reduced by about one year. However, for those who are unable to stay with their families, residential care in the form of hostels for the elderly in public housing estates, purpose-built homes for the aged and care-and-attention homes is provided.

Emergency shelter accommodation for old people who are in urgent need of short-term accommodation while awaiting the availability of other long-term placement is provided in temporary housing areas and hostels in public housing estates. Special attention is given to organising cultural and recreational programmes or interest group activities to ensure that the residents in the institutions do not feel socially isolated or unwanted. During 1983, 630 additional residential places were provided, bringing the total to 1 170 hostel places, 3 975 home places and 880 care-and-attention home places by the end of the year.

       The government's Housing Scheme for the Elderly in Sha Tin and the purchase of flats on Hong Kong Island, under the supervision of the Social Welfare Department, marked a new initiative in meeting the housing needs of elderly people who are still generally in good health and who, with a minimum of assistance, can cope with their own daily living needs.

Social Work Among Young People

In recent years, increasing emphasis has been placed on the importance of personal social work among young people - particularly those who may be in danger of delinquency. A school social work service provided by staff of the Social Welfare Department and voluntary agencies is now available to all secondary school students and most schools are visited weekly by a social worker. In primary schools, student guidance officers of the Education Department assist pupils with personal or learning problems and these officers are advised and supported as necessary by trained social workers.

       To improve the existing administrative structure for the school social work service within the Social Welfare Department and to facilitate the development of the service in the districts, two regional school social work units, one covering Hong Kong Island and West Kowloon and the other East Kowloon and the New Territories, have been set up. These provide supervision to school social workers and student guidance officers in carrying out the school social work service, and assist in monitoring the service provided by the voluntary agencies.

       Social workers are also active among the young through outreaching teams. These teams establish direct contact with young people in places they commonly frequent such as cinemas, playgrounds and fast-food shops - to reach those at risk and who are unlikely to participate in organised youth groups or activities. There are now 18 out-reaching teams operated by eight voluntary agencies in priority areas.

Family Life Education programmes are aimed at the entire population but place particular emphasis on the needs of young people and the importance of a good parent-child relationship. At present, there are 56 family life field workers subvented by the government to carry out programmes at the district level with the aim of fostering positive attitudes to social and family responsibilities. Territory-wide campaigns, making extensive



use of the media, are co-ordinated by the Central Guiding Committee on Family Life Education. The theme of the 1983 campaign, Building a Happy Family, carried specific messages such as learning to be a parent, understanding roles and responsibilities in the family, strengthening family ties and preparing for marriage.

      The Opportunities for Youth Scheme, administered by the department through the disbursement of small grants, encourages groups of young people to devise ways of contributing to the life of the community and helping needy groups. In 1983, $230,000 was granted to help youth groups launch about 100 projects throughout the territory.

       Following recommendations in the 1981 review of the Programme Plan on Personal Social Work Among Young People, a central co-ordinating committee was set up in the Health and Welfare Branch with representatives from the Social Welfare and Education Departments, the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and relevant voluntary agencies. This committee will monitor the progress of the recommendations made in the programme plan and co-ordinate the provision of services covered.


Rehabilitation of the disabled is one of the government's prime concerns in the social welfare field. Services aim at enabling disabled people to develop their physical, mental and social capabilities to the fullest extent and assist in their integration into the community. The department is responsible for meeting the general welfare and social rehabilitation needs of the disabled, either through direct services or by providing subventions to voluntary agencies which continue to play an active role in the development of services in this field.

       In line with recommendations made in the 1977 Rehabilitation White Paper, several changes in departmental responsibilities have taken place. The Education Department is now responsible for all aspects of the education and training of disabled children of school age and for boarding care and transport services in special schools. Also, since April 1982, the Technical Education and Industrial Training Department has assumed responsibility for vocational training of disabled young persons and adults. The Selective Placement Service of the Labour Department is responsible for the job placement of deaf, blind and physically disabled people and, in early 1984, will take over the placement of the ex-mentally ill and mentally handicapped.

      The Social Welfare Department provides counselling services, day and residential centres, sheltered workshops, work activity centres and sports, recreational and transport arrangements for the disabled. It operates 19 centres and institutions and subvents 68 centres run by voluntary agencies, serving some 10 000 disabled people.

       Considerable shortfalls have been identified in the Rehabilitation Programme Plan in the provision of day and residential care for the mentally handicapped and the ex-mentally ill. In order to provide sufficient facilities both for day care and residential services for these groups, the Social Welfare Department, with the assistance of the City and New Territories Administration, conducted a search for suitable sites in the New Territories. The feasibility of these sites was being examined during the year.

      Day care services for the mentally handicapped include work activity centres and sheltered workshops. Work activity centres provide day care for low, moderate and severely mentally handicapped adults who cannot benefit from vocational training or sheltered work. At the end of 1983, there were 598 work activity places provided by the Social Welfare Department with three new centres under active planning to cater for an additional 160 places in 1984. Sheltered workshops provide work opportunities for those



disabled who are unable to compete in the open job market and, at the end of 1983, the department and voluntary agencies operated 1 865 places in sheltered workshops and a further 160 places will become available in 1984.

A working party, consisting of representatives from the government, voluntary and commercial sectors, completed a comprehensive review of policy on the provision of sheltered workshops for disabled persons. The report's recommendations covered the role and objectives of sheltered workshops, the setting up of pilot workshops for more highly-skilled workers and new staffing provisions for sheltered workshops. Following careful examination, the report was endorsed by the Rehabilitation Development Co- ordination Committee and the government. Another joint government voluntary agency working party met regularly in 1983 to review the policy and services relating to the care, training and education of disabled children up to primary school age. This should be completed in mid-1984.


The Training Section of the Social Welfare Department is responsible for providing training programmes to meet the training needs of departmental staff and, as far as possible, those of staff working in voluntary agencies. Operating from the Lady Trench Training Centre, the section runs basic training courses in social work for untrained social work staff, staff development programmes for trained social work staff, and in-service training courses for social security workers and child care centre workers. A total of 82 courses, seminars and workshops was organised during the year. The section also operates a demonstration nursery for three purposes: to provide day-care for 100 children aged two to six; to serve as a training ground for child care centre workers; and to provide a centre for observation by people in related fields.

The department contributed to social work training through the provision of field work placement and supervision for social work students from the University of Hong Kong, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Polytechnic, the Hong Kong Baptist College and the Shue Yan College. A total of 181 students were placed in the department during the year: 106 were supervised by the section's staff, and the remainder by staff of the training institutions.

Being responsible for the co-ordination and planning of all welfare facilities, the department keeps up-to-date with new concepts and practices used in other countries by offering experienced officers periods of training or attachment overseas to learn more about specialised areas of service, or by participation in international courses and conferences. In 1983, 21 officers attended 16 such conferences and courses. To promote social work training, grants and scholarships are available from the Social Work Training Fund, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, the government and private donations.

Research and Evaluation

The department's Research and Statistics Section conducts studies for planning and monitoring services offered by the department. Of the 17 research projects conducted in 1983, two were carried out through the General Household Survey, monitored by the Census and Statistics Department, to study the awareness and participation of the public in community services and rehabilitation services for the disabled. The remainder were geared to obtaining statistical information for the planning, monitoring and evaluation of various services, particularly in the social security field.



      The Evaluation Section is responsible for developing, monitoring and reviewing the departmental system for the evaluation of services provided by the subvented agencies to ensure that public funds are used effectively and that the standards of service provided are satisfactory. In this connection, district staff of the department conduct regular visits to subvented service units. Summaries of reports arising from these visits are presented to the Social Welfare Advisory Committee when subvention applications are considered. In addition, the section conducts in-depth evaluations of individual subvented social welfare programmes and organisations as well as experimental projects financed by the Lotteries Fund, the Community Chest and the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club. In 1983, six such studies were conducted.

Community Building

To counter the effects of rapid development and high density living, the government attaches great importance to promoting community building which aims at creating a cohesive and harmonious society. Community building seeks to foster a sense of belonging and mutual care and responsibility through supporting citizens' organisations and promot- ing citizens' interest in and commitment to the community through participation.

      A number of government departments and non-government organisations contribute towards the community building programme. The Community Building Policy Committee was formed in 1977 to co-ordinate a territory-wide network of services and facilities. The City and New Territories Administration and the Social Welfare Department contribute directly to community building at the district and neighbourhood level. Through its network of district offices and sub-offices spread over the territory, the City and New Territories Administration is primarily concerned with promoting mutual care and concern and a community spirit through community organisations such as mutual aid committees, area committees, kaifong welfare associations, rural committees, women's organisations, service clubs and local arts and sports associations. The Social Welfare Department is responsible for various aspects of group and community work which aim at promoting the social development of individuals and groups and to foster a greater sense of community responsibility. Purpose-built community centre facilities, run either by the department or by voluntary agencies, are provided throughout the territory to serve as bases for community building work.




THE government commitment to housing is amply illustrated by the allocation to public. housing development of about one-third of total public capital expenditure, and 10 per cent of annually recurrent expenditure. This compares favourably with anywhere in the world, and far exceeds the five to six per cent of public expenditure generally accepted as being a desirable target for developing countries.

The bulk of public housing is produced by the Hong Kong Housing Authority in self-contained estates in new towns. In 1982-3, the Housing Authority completed 35 400 flats of which 7 500 were for sale under the Home Ownership Scheme. The private sector completed 22 200 flats and houses. From 1985-6, annual production will be further increased by an average of 5 000 flats to be produced each year through the Private Sector Participation Scheme, whereby private developers construct flats for sale at prices deter- mined by the government. Public sector production is also augmented by flats built for sale and rent by the Hong Kong Housing Society.

Public sector housing - both rented and owned - already accommodates 2.4 million people, representing more than 44 per cent of the population. With another million people scheduled to be housed by the end of this decade and production programmes extending into the 1990s, the government commitment to housing will continue to grow.

While the public sector presses ahead with meeting production targets in terms of quantity, quality has not been neglected. Today, the design of public housing estates is geared to the growing aspirations of an increasingly sophisticated society. In terms of open space, landscaping, active and passive recreation facilities, flat layout and finishes, estates built by the Housing Authority are well up to the standard of good class private developments. Standard facilities provided in new developments include a multi-storey commercial centre, a market, a comfortable hostel for the elderly, a multi-storey car park, a terminus for buses and minibuses, gardens and play-areas, nurseries, kindergartens, and primary and secondary schools; some estates have indoor games halls and recreation centres. Such self-contained communities mean tenants can get all their daily necessities within walking distance and can comfortably spend their leisure time within their estate.

Economy and practicability dictate that domestic blocks of public housing estates are primarily of standard designs, but architects are able to add identification and character to their projects by incorporating different architectural treatments to the commercial centres and other public facilities within each layout.

The Housing Authority

The Hong Kong Housing Authority, established under the Housing Ordinance 1973, is a statutory body responsible for co-ordinating all aspects of public housing. The authority advises the Governor on housing matters and through its executive arm, the Housing



     Department, plans and builds public housing estates for categories of people determined with the approval of the Governor; manages public housing estates throughout the territory - including cottage areas, temporary housing areas and transit centres; clears land for development; prevents and controls squatting; and plans and co-ordinates improve- ments to squatter areas. The authority also plans, builds and subsequently manages, on behalf of the government, flats provided under the Home Ownership Scheme. Legal powers to carry out these functions are provided by the Housing Ordinance. The Housing Authority also acts as the government's agent in the building and management of flatted factories, which provide small factory units for industrial undertakings displaced by development clearances.

The Housing Authority is chaired by the Secretary for Housing and comprises, in addition, 14 unofficial and six official members. Six committees, each chaired by an unofficial member, oversee building, finance, estate management, operations, the Home Ownership Scheme and appeals (from tenants whose tenancies are terminated). These committees are augmented by co-opted members who are not Housing Authority members. Unofficials constitute a two-thirds majority in the authority, and in total there are 28 serving on the authority and its committees. Many of these members also serve the community as Legislative Councillors, Urban Councillors, Heung Yee Kuk members and District Board members. Together, they have a very broad base of experience and representation and are able to apply a critical and conscientious perspective in determining public housing policies.

The Housing Authority is responsible for its own finances and management. Capital funding for the public housing programme is provided through government funds on the basis of a four-year expenditure forecast rolled forward annually. The government subsidises the programme by providing free land for both rental and home ownership projects, and providing loans from the Development Loan Fund (DLF) to finance construction of rental estates. The Home Ownership Scheme is funded by the government which recoups the money from sales of the cost-price flats. Loans from the DLF are repayable over 40 years at an annual notional interest rate of five per cent; however, the interest is not charged, being accounted for along with land value in the Housing Authority's balance sheet as part of the government contribution. Up to March 31, 1983, this subsidy amounted to $12,002 million - including $9,613 million-worth of free land and $626 million in interest not collected. Furthermore, the 40-year repayment period for loans means that, having regard to the declining value of money over time and interest forgone, the government recovers only a fraction of the real value of those loans.

      In the 1982-3 financial year, recurrent expenditure on the Housing Authority's domestic rented properties - covering mostly management and maintenance costs - totalled $1,164 million while income from domestic rents was only $1,028 million, resulting in a deficit of $136 million. This deficit arises because the very low rents on old estates are insufficient to meet management expenses and the high cost of maintenance and improvements. The Housing Authority is able to offset such loss from income derived from its non-domestic (commercial) properties which in the same period generated $577 million against expendi- ture of $302 million. Any surplus funds are used to help finance the housing programme.

During 1982-3, the Housing Authority spent $2,794 million on its capital programmes of which $2,256 million was financed by the government (mostly loans on concessionary terms) with the balance being financed from Housing Authority funds. In addition, the Housing Authority, acting as the government's agent, spent $716 million on flats for sale under the Home Ownership Scheme.




In forwarding the government's housing programme, the Housing Authority is now firmly geared to achieving the target of about 231 000 flats over the next five years. This programme comprises 168 000 public rental flats, 40 000 Home Ownership flats, and another 23 000 flats built for sale under arrangements with private developers called the Private Sector Participation Scheme. During 1983, some 31 building contracts worth a total of $2,784 million were let. At the end of the year, 85 contracts were in progress which, on completion over the next few years, will provide 108 000 rental flats, 25 300 Home Ownership flats, 22 schools and 18 commercial centres. In addition, six temporary housing areas and one factory project containing 2 200 working units were also under construction.

Home Ownership Scheme

The Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) is administered by the Housing Authority with funds provided by the government to build flats for sale at cost to public housing tenants and to families in the private sector with limited incomes. Since Phase I sales started in 1978, a total of 31 500 flats under this and the related Private Sector Participation Scheme have been sold to qualified families, 42 per cent of them being public sector estate tenants who, although not subject to restrictions on income and property ownership, were required to surrender their existing tenancies for reallocation to families in need of rental housing.

Two HOS sales exercises were mounted during 1983. The first, under Phase IVB, consisted of 3 300 flats in three projects and was put on the market in January. The flat prices ranged from $116,000 (48.2 square metres in gross area) at Wang Fuk Court in Tai Po to $267,300 (63.2 square metres) at King Shan Court (Stage II) in Ngau Chi Wan. Phase VA consisted of 4 900 flats in four projects and was opened for application in July. The flat prices ranged from $147,700 at Siu Shan Court in Tuen Mun to $318,000 at Yee Kok Court in Sham Shui Po, with flat areas of 48.3 to 62.2 square metres. Both phases were over-subscribed, by 3.7 times and 4.3 times respectively.

Under the Private Sector Participation Scheme, seven sites were sold during the year. Development of these seven sites will produce some 13 000 flats for sale to eligible families. Following a sharp decline in the prices of private flats, the Middle Income Housing Programme, which was designed to help families with incomes up to double those applicable to the main home ownership schemes, ceased to be necessary and was discontinued. The only project built under this programme, an estate of 2 240 flats at Tuen Mun, attracted very few buyers from the original target group. The strict eligibility criteria were therefore relaxed, and the flats offered for sale to a wider potential market.

Urban Housing and Redevelopment

On Hong Kong Island, due to the scarcity of developable land, most new public sector housing results from redevelopment areas. In Chai Wan, 1 300 flats were completed at Wan Tsui, including 300 for home purchasers, while site formation started for buildings which will contain 1 550 flats. To the south of the island, a hill is being removed under the Housing Authority's biggest-ever site formation contract which, upon completion in 1984, will provide building sites for 10 000 flats on the island of Ap Lei Chau.

       In east Kowloon, the final 700 flats at Shun On Estate and 1 300 HOS flats at Lok Nga Court were completed. Projects under construction comprise various phases at Lok Wah, Sau Mau Ping, On Kay Court and Lam Tin North Extension which will provide 10 700



     flats for rental and HOS. Site formation works at Lam Tin and Diamond Hill will provide sites for a further 7 500 flats.

In central Kowloon, major public housing projects are under development at Chuk Yuen, Ma Chai Hang and Kwun Tong Central which will provide a total of 17 900 flats. Estates completed during the year were Chak On providing 1 900 rental flats and Yee Kok Court providing 300 HOS flats. In addition, work started on the first joint venture between the Housing Authority and Urban Services Department at Po On Road which will provide 400 flats, a market and other social facilities for the area.

An extensive redevelopment programme to upgrade living conditions on the original Mark I and II estates made further progress during the year. Altogether, 3 400 flats were completed at Wan Tsui, Shek Kip Mei, Wang Tau Hom, Wong Tai Sin, Hung Hom and Jordan Valley. Two large commercial centres were also completed at Wong Tai Sin and Lok Fu. Additional projects at Shek Kip Mei, Tai Hang Tung, Lei Cheng Uk, Wang Tau Hom, Tung Tau, Wong Tai Sin, Kwun Tong and Tai Wo Hau will provide some 11 000 flats for rehousing purposes. Several old blocks were demolished at Chai Wan, Wong Tai Sin and Tung Tau and piling is under way for new blocks. In addition, one wing of Jordan Valley Factory Estate was demolished to make way for a bus terminus. More demolition work preparatory to rebuilding is being carried out at Tai Hang Tung.

Housing in New Towns and Rural Townships

In Tsuen Wan, construction started on extensions to Shek Lei Estate which will provide 3 000 flats. On Tsing Yi Island, the Cheung Ching Community Centre, as well as the final phase of Cheung Ching Estate providing 400 flats, was completed. Work proceeded on the construction of further phases of Cheung Hong Estate which will produce a total of 5 900 flats on completion in 1984-5. Construction work for two more housing estates also started.

      In Sha Tin, completion of various phases of Pok Hong Estate, Lung Hang Estate and part of Chun Shek Estate added 11 400 flats to the stock of public housing in the new town during the year. More than 13 000 flats in seven building contracts are under construction at Pok Hong, Mei Lam, Sun Chui and Chun Shek Estates. Progress on all these contracts is satisfactory and completions are scheduled over the next two years. Planning for another two large housing estates in Sha Tin, at Ma On Shan and Hin Keng, was also completed with piling work already started.

In Tuen Mun, a further 7 100 rental and HOS flats were added to the neighbouring Wu King and Butterfly Estates. Another big estate in the new town, Shan King, is progressing well with 2 600 flats completed during the year and another 6 100 flats under construction. The remaining 2 600 flats at the 4 700-flat Siu Hong Court - the biggest HOS project so far are due for completion in 1984, while building is under way on another HOS estate for 2 800 flats.

In Tai Po, construction of Kwong Fuk Estate is well advanced with 4 500 flats completed. Phase II is due for completion in early 1984, and Phase III, the Housing Authority's first semi-mechanised contract, is under way. This major estate will provide on completion a total of 6 250 rental and 2 000 home ownership flats. Work also started on another new estate for 5 500 rental flats and 1700 HOS flats using semi-mechanised construction methods.

In Shek Wu Hui, 2 100 HOS flats were under construction, while foundation works were under way for another estate containing 5 100 flats. In nearby Fanling, construction of 4 300 flats at Cheung Wah Estate was progressing satisfactorily with foundations for a




further 800 flats nearing completion. In Yuen Long, piling work has started at Long Ping, a new estate of about 8 500 flats. A rural public housing estate containing 500 flats is going up on Cheung Chau with anticipated completion towards the end of 1984. Sites for HOS and rental schemes in the new town at Junk Bay have been identified and piling work has begun, paving the way for 1 600 flats.


      The Housing Authority possesses one of the world's largest public housing stocks, comprising 488 000 rental flats in 113 housing estates. These flats are of varying sizes, amenities and rent levels to meet the wide-ranging requirements of families in need of public housing.

During the year, 27 400 new flats and 4 000 vacated units were let to the various categories of eligible applicants. The biggest shares went to waiting list applicants (41 per cent), families affected by development clearances (31 per cent), and tenants involved in the redevelopment of Mark I and II blocks (14 per cent). Other categories included victims of fire and natural disasters, occupants of huts and other structures in dangerous locations, and compassionate cases recommended by the Social Welfare Department.

The waiting list and the allocation of accommodation have been computerised. Nearly three million identities relating to applicants and tenants are stored in the Housing Applications and Tenancies Management Information System. The computerisation enables housing allocations and duplication checks to be carried out effectively and produces useful statistical information for management.

The 13 000 flats allocated to waiting list applicants during the year were located mostly at Sha Tin, Tuen Mun and Shek Wu Hui New Towns. Waiting times varied from seven years for estates in Sha Tin to four years for those in outlying new towns.

Applications from families of at least three persons are considered in the order of registration and in accordance with districts of choice, but accommodation is only offered to those found eligible, on investigation, in respect of their existing living space and whose family income is within a scale related to family size. The income limits are fixed having regard to the average household expenditure on food and other necessities plus the rent for a flat in the private sector, and range from a monthly income of $3,100 for a family of three to $5,600 for a family of 10 or more. The number of live applications at the end of the year stood at 167 000.

As a means of helping the elderly, the Housing Authority provides a priority scheme whereby elderly couples or single elderly persons in groups of three or more can register on the waiting list. This scheme enables such elderly persons to be allocated housing within two years. So far, 1 600 flats have been allocated to this category and, in order to maintain the waiting time at not more than two years, the annual quota was increased to 800 flats in 1983. Similarly, in July 1982, the authority approved an incentive scheme under which families with elderly members were allocated housing one year ahead of their normal waiting time. It is expected that each year about 2 000 families will benefit from this scheme.

Rent Policy for Public Housing

      Domestic rents on public housing estates have been maintained at low levels despite increasing management and maintenance costs. On average, rents charged at present represent less than seven per cent of the household income of tenants - an extremely low figure when compared with the maximum of 20 per cent used as an international guideline. In money terms, the all-inclusive rents would only cover the rates, management and



maintenance expenses of comparable flats in the private sector. It has been possible to keep rents low because of heavy government subsidy: land is provided free of charge and no land value is included in rents charged; construction of rental estates is financed largely by loans provided by the goverment on concessionary terms.

      Rents are reviewed on a biennial basis and adjusted having regard to increases in management, maintenance and other costs; estate values in terms of location, facilities and services provided; and tenants' ability to pay. However, due to the very low rents on old estates where maintenance and improvement costs are highest, there was an overall deficit of $136 million in the Housing Authority's estate working account for domestic properties in 1982-3.

The Housing Authority also has a large number of commercial premises with 16 200 shop, market stall, bank and restaurant tenancies of various sizes. Shops and markets in new commercial centres are let on tendered rents, thus giving the smaller operator with limited capital an opportunity to obtain an estate shop. Apart from some 9 500 small shops in the old estates, commercial properties are generally let on three-year agreements. Rents are usually kept at near-market levels on renewal of an agreement but, where increases are substantial, it is the authority's policy to apply them in stages over two or three years. In 1982-3, these commercial properties generated a surplus of $275 million. The authority also manages 17 200 factory units in 34 purpose-built blocks, and 4 200 cottages in various districts.

      Some 530 welfare premises on estates are let at concessionary rents. These premises include child and youth centres, nurseries, social and community services centres, libraries, study rooms, welfare clinics, sheltered workshops, hostels and centres for the mentally or physically handicapped. Hostels for the elderly are let to voluntary agencies at normal domestic rents. During the year, 73 welfare lettings were made. In order to maintain a balanced community for public housing tenants, a total of 407 premises are let for educational purposes such as kindergartens, primary and secondary schools. In most cases, estate kaifong and residents' associations and mutual aid committees in housing blocks are also provided with premises. Medical clinics and premises for various government departments are generally let at near-commercial rents.


     Estate management has been greatly improved since the Housing Authority was empowered to introduce road restrictions on estates and impose charges for the removal and towing of vehicles parked illegally within estates. During the year, road restrictions were further extended to 10 estates, bringing the total number of estates with road controls to 86. Notable examples were the road control operations carried out on estates at Lam Tin and Tsz Wan Shan, which resulted in the condition of access roads within these estates being greatly improved and some 1 200 additional car parking spaces made available for use by estate residents.

      The management staff also took strenuous and persistent action to combat hawking activities. The hawker situation is under control on most estates in the daytime but special measures have to be taken on estates where hawker problems are more serious, with staff working outside normal office hours to prevent the situation from deteriorating.

To cope with the development of the District Administration Scheme, senior estate management staff are decentralised to estates to enable closer contact with district boards and local interest groups in improving the management and living environment of public housing estates. Close contact is also maintained with tenants through frequent visits by estate staff. In addition, regular meetings are held with more than 880 mutual aid committees and residents' associations.



The overcrowding position on older estates has improved steadily over the years through various overcrowding relief exercises. Compared with 1973, when 77 000 households or 39.1 per cent of families in public housing estates were living at less than 2.23 square metres per person, only nine per cent were living below this density at the end of 1983. With an increasing number of new estates being completed, overcrowded families are provided with a greater chance to apply for transfers. The flats they vacate, usually being smaller and having a lower rent, are used for further overcrowding relief or made available for rehousing other families in need. Families wishing to move to a different flat can also register with the Mutual Exchange Bureau or, if they have valid reasons for moving other than overcrowding, they can request a transfer to a suitable flat.

       Maintenance and improvements are major items of estate expenditure, particularly in the older estates. During the year, some $118 million was spent on contract services such as cleansing, security and gardening, and about $380 million on painting contracts, planned preventive maintenance of buildings and electrical systems, and estate improvements such as recreation areas and lighting.

Temporary Housing

Temporary housing, which provides accommodation for the homeless who do not immediately qualify for admission to permanent public housing, has grown in importance in recent years to become a vital adjunct to the housing and development programmes. As a relatively rapid and inexpensive means of providing homes, it has enabled the Housing Authority to rehouse very large numbers of people made homeless by fire or landslip or other natural calamity. It is also an essential constituent in land clearance, having provided alternative homes for 37 100 people - 66 per cent of those involved in clearances in 1983. In recognition of these factors, the construction programme for temporary housing now aims to provide homes for 150 000 people in 1984.

The quality of both accommodation and facilities has improved remarkably over the years. Temporary housing blocks are now built as a duplex wooden framework on a concrete hardstanding with a pitched asbestos-cement roof. Hostels for single persons are one-storey constructions. Space is allocated to families according to family size and each unit is provided with its own water and electricity supply, while communal lavatories and bathing facilities are located separately. Since some may have to spend several years waiting their turn for permanent public housing, rest and play areas, market stalls, mutual aid committee offices and other community services such as restaurants, medical clinics and kindergartens may also be provided. There are round-the-clock security guards and a comprehensive management service. The monthly rent ranges from $6.50 to $9.70 a square metre.

During the year, 37 100 people, including 11 000 victims of natural calamities, moved into temporary housing. This brought to 130 400 the number of people living in 47 temporary housing areas managed by the authority, taking into account that during the year 27 400 moved out, mostly into permanent public housing.

Transit Centres

Transit centres give immediate shelter to people made homeless by natural disasters until more permanent arrangements can be made for them. They offer a transient home in a variety of other circumstances. During the year, one wing of the Housing Authority's Hoi Tai Flatted Factory in Tuen Mun was converted into a transit centre for 2 000 people, which enabled the authority to close the previous main centre housed in a rented industrial



building in Tuen Mun. Two other large centres were also closed during the year. At the end of the year, there were eight centres with a total capacity for 3 400 people.

Squatter Control and Clearance

     Despite the rapid expansion of both public and private housing there are still about 100 000 families living in squatter areas in the urban areas and the New Territories. A large squatter control organisation prevents any new squatting on Crown land scheduled for development and aims to limit squatting on other unallocated, undeveloped Crown land.

      In 1983, full control of squatting was maintained, in contrast to the steady growth of new structures built on Crown land in previous years. Squatter hut-builder racketeers formerly the main source of supply have been suppressed and prosecutions dropped dramatically to three during the year. Nevertheless, 21 300 illegal structures or extensions were demolished in the course of control.

      The clearance of land for development is an important function of the Housing Authority. People involved in compulsory and emergency clearances, which cover both land and boat dwellers, are eligible for permanent public housing provided that they satisfy residence qualifications. This requires the majority of household members either to have resided in Hong Kong for at least 10 years, or to have been born in Hong Kong to at least one parent with 10 years' residence. Other homeless people are allocated temporary housing.

A total of 450 hectares of land was cleared in 1983 with the result that 41 000 people were rehoused in temporary and 42 000 in permanent housing. In addition, 4 500 shops, workshops and agricultural undertakings were given ex gratia allowances to recognise disruption to the business on clearance. Previously squatter workshops were eligible for reprovisioning in Housing Authority factories. However, because of the plentiful supply of space in both public and private factories, there is no longer a need for direct reprovisioning and workshop clearees, after obtaining the ex gratia payments, are able to tender with others for Housing Authority factory space.

Improvements to Squatter Areas

While the aim is to rehouse all squatters in the urban areas, it is recognised that this will take many years to achieve and that in the meantime standards of hygiene and safety should be improved in squatter areas. A series of pilot schemes carried out in 1982 confirmed the feasibility of a range of improvements, and a programme of works has started on large squatter concentrations in the urban areas of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and Tsuen Wan where settlements are more densely populated, the risk of fire higher and sanitation less satisfactory.

      Measures taken initially improve safety, with the risk of large-scale fires reduced by the introduction of firebreaks (which also give fire-fighting access), fire mains and fire hydrants. Sanitation is then improved with a metered supply of water to individual households, drains and sewers, communal latrines, bath-houses, and refuse collection facilities. Foot- paths are also improved and provided with lighting. By the end of 1983, 15 000 squatters had benefited from improvements in five areas.

Management of Private Residential Buildings in Multiple Ownership

     During 1983, 175 new owners' corporations were formed under the Multi-storey Buildings (Owners Incorporation) Ordinance. This legislation, passed in 1970, enables owners of a building in multiple ownership to incorporate themselves and appoint a committee for the better management of their building, particularly to ensure its maintenance and to uphold



environmental standards. By the end of 1983, there were 2 250 owners' corporations in existence.

       The district offices of the City and New Territories Administration offer assistance and advice to owners and tenants in forming owners' corporations and mutual aid committees. By the end of 1983, the district offices had assisted in forming a total of 5 200 such building organisations, of which 3 846 were mutual aid committees. Mutual aid committees have aims similar to owners' corporations, but they are not incorporated bodies or legal entities in themselves, and membership is open to all residents of a particular building.

A standing committee, on which relevant government departments were represented, was set up in 1982 to consider problems associated with multi-storey building management and to suggest solutions. During 1983, the committee met regularly and concentrated on reviewing existing policies and examining ways in which owners' corporations and mutual aid committees could be further encouraged to perform their management functions effectively. It also completed a pilot study on private building management in a district of Kowloon and put together a programme of action designed to enable owners and tenants to improve their living environment through self-help efforts.

Rent Control in the Private Sector

      Statutory controls on rents and security of tenure in Hong Kong date back to 1921. The present legislation governing these matters is the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance which embodies a number of different ordinances previously regulating different aspects of landlord and tenant matters.

The legislation is complicated but is under constant review to improve its working and to achieve the long-term objective, recommended in 1981 by a Committee of Review and endorsed by government, that as soon as circumstances permit rent control should be phased out.

The Rating and Valuation Department publishes several booklets to help people understand their position in relation to the legislation, and provides a mediatory and advisory service to deal with the many practical problems arising from rent controls. It also operates a scheme under which rent officers attend urban and New Territories district offices on set days each week to deal with referred cases and answer enquiries on landlord and tenant matters. Heavy penalties are prescribed for harassment of a protected tenant with intent to induce him to quit. However, provisions exist to help the parties to reach agreement whereby the tenant surrenders his protected tenancy for a consideration.

Pre-war Premises

      Legislation controlling rents of pre-war premises and providing security of tenure was instituted by proclamation immediately after World War II and in 1947 was embodied in the Landlord and Tenant Ordinance since re-enacted as Part I of the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance. This legislation applies to both domestic and business premises and restricts rents by reference to pre-war levels (standard rent), while excluding from control new or substantially reconstructed buildings. Provision, however, has been made for the de-control of pre-war business premises from July 1, 1984.

Increases in rents have been permitted annually in recent years, the latest being in May 1983 when the legislation was amended to provide for permitted rents to be 16 times (previously 12 times) the standard rent in the case of domestic premises and 40 times (previously 27 times) for business premises. In neither case is the permitted rent to exceed the prevailing market rent. There are provisions for the Commissioner of Rating and



Valuation to certify the user of the premises, the standard rent and the prevailing market rent.

There is provision in the legislation for the exclusion from control of premises for the purpose of redevelopment, and generally possession is subject to the payment of compensa- tion to the protected tenants. Jurisdiction under Part I is exercised by the Lands Tribunal while technical functions are performed by the Commissioner of Rating and Valuation.

Post-war Premises

Comprehensive rent control legislation affecting post-war domestic premises in the private sector has been in force in one form or another since 1963 - apart from the period between 1966 and 1970 - and is now embodied as Part II of the Landlord and Tenant (Consolida- tion) Ordinance.

The legislation, which provides security of tenure and controls rent increases, now covers the majority of tenancies and sub-tenancies in post-war domestic premises in the private sector. It does not, however, apply to tenancies in buildings first certified for occupation after June 18, 1981, nor to new lettings created on or after June 10, 1983, nor - with effect from December 19, 1983 to tenancies of premises having a rateable value of $50,000 or above.

Under the legislation, landlords and tenants are free to agree an increase in rent, but such agreements must be endorsed by the Commissioner of Rating and Valuation. Where an increase is not agreed, the landlord may apply to the commissioner for his certificate of what increase may be made to the current rent. The amount of the increase is arrived at by taking half the difference between the current rent and the prevailing market rent. This is further subject to a maximum increase of 30 per cent of the current rent but where, after December 18, 1983, the increase so determined results in a new rent being less than 30 per cent of the prevailing market rent, an increase to bring the current rent up to 30 per cent of the prevailing market rent is allowed. Increases, except by agreement, are permitted only once every two years. Increases in rent for sub-tenancies are dealt with in the same way as tenancies. Both landlord and tenant are at liberty to apply to the commissioner for a review of his certificate and further to appeal to the Lands Tribunal against the commissioner's review.

For domestic tenancies outside these controls, Part IV of the Landlord and Tenant (Consolidation) Ordinance provides a measure of security of tenure for a sitting tenant who wishes to renew his tenancy and who is prepared to pay the prevailing market rent on renewal. Under these provisions a new tenancy must be granted unless the landlord can satisfy the Lands Tribunal that he requires the premises for his own occupation or that he intends to rebuild the premises, or on one of the other grounds specified in the legislation. The parties are free to agree on the rent and terms for the new tenancy but failing agreement they can apply to the Lands Tribunal for a determination. This scheme is intended as a permanent framework regulating the relationships of landlords and tenants for nearly all domestic tenancies not otherwise subject to the Part I or II controls.


Land, Public Works and Utilities

      LAND is one of the most important and valuable commodities in Hong Kong, being the raw material upon which all development, public or private, residential, commercial, industrial, governmental or institutional, must take place. Since all land in Hong Kong is Crown land, its disposal by lease for private development is also an important element of government


The development of land by way of public works projects is normally the government's largest single item of expenditure, covering the formation and reclamation of land; its servicing by roads, drains, sewers and the provision of water supplies; the construction of highways, bridges and tunnels; port and airport works; public buildings; and the disposal of liquid and solid wastes.

For the financial year 1983-4, the approved provision of funds for capital works was $7,595 million, some 21 per cent of the government's total expenditure. Of this sum, the largest portion, $3,880 million, was allocated to the development of new towns. Outside these towns, $984 million was to be spent on roads, $660 million on water supplies and $69 million on public housing other than that built by the Housing Authority. In addition, $1,700 million was earmarked for the acquisition of leased land for the projects involved.

These projects are carried out by the Building Development, Engineering Development, New Territories Development, Water Supplies and Electrical and Mechanical Services Departments which, with the Lands Department, form the Lands and Works group which was created in 1982 out of the former Public Works Department.

Policy responsibility for land, public works and private building is that of the Secretary for Lands and Works. He heads a branch which, in addition to its policy functions, monitors the performance of the six departments of the group through its three divisions. The Lands Division is responsible for the formulation of policies relating to the planning, supply and use of land to meet the needs of the government and the private sector and for the preparation of a territorial development strategy. The Works Division is responsible for the comprehensive planning and co-ordination of the physical development of the territory, planning and provision and efficient use of resources, both financial and manpower, and monitoring their use in capital works and maintenance programmes. The Administration Division is responsible for branch administration and the provision of certain services common to the 'works' departments.

Land Administration

Since April 1982, responsibility for all land matters in Hong Kong has been brought under a single authority, the Director of Lands. The unified department co-ordinates all aspects of land administration - surveying, planning, land sales and development, and legal matters - throughout the territory. In addition to its headquarters, the Lands Department has 12



district lands offices: two on Hong Kong Island, two in Kowloon and eight in the New Territories. District lands officers are responsible for most aspects of land administration and land disposal, while the headquarters formulates territory-wide policy and gives guidance on more complex matters. The establishment of district lands offices has paralleled the District Administration Scheme and the setting up of district boards throughout Hong Kong. The district lands officers are members of these boards and are therefore in a position to respond both quickly and sympathetically to district needs.

Land Supply

All land in Hong Kong is owned by the Crown, which sells or grants leasehold interests. In the early days, Crown leases were for terms of 75, 99 or 999 years. They have now been standardised in the urban areas of Hong Kong and Kowloon to a term of 75 years, usually renewable for a further 75 years at a reassessed Crown rent under the provisions of the Crown Leases Ordinance. Crown leases for land in the New Territories and New Kowloon are normally sold for the residue of a term of 99 years less three days from July 1, 1898.

The government's land policy is to optimise the use of land within the framework of land use zoning and development plans. Most land available for commercial, industrial or residential (other than public housing) development in the urban areas is sold by public auction or tender. Regular auctions are held by the government and a six-monthly provisional Crown land sales forecast is published twice a year. In the towns of the New Territories, however, where much of the development land has to be resumed, a high proportion of development land is disposed of by tender.

      Leases for certain special purposes, which have particular site requirements or other factors which would make a public auction inappropriate, are offered for sale by public tender. These special purposes include capital-intensive industries, introducing higher technology and more technological skills into Hong Kong, which could not be appropri- ately housed in multi-storey buildings. Such sales are initiated only in response to formal applications and in certain circumstances may be concluded by private treaty, subject to the approval of the Governor-in-Council.

The formulation of overall targets for the production and sale of land is the responsibility of the Special Committee on Land Supply, which is advised by the Lands Department and other departments. A Land Disposal Sub-Committee formulates and monitors a land sales programme, while specific sites are identified and collated in the Lands Department.

      1983 witnessed the continuing downtrend in both values and development activity that had been detected during the previous year. Conscious of the need to sustain private sector involvement, the Lands Department has been quick to respond to this position by taking a flexible and lenient approach on certain aspects of development in order to render assistance. Examples of this have been the sympathetic consideration of applications for modifications to permit construction of smaller residential units, reduction in parking requirements and a reduction in the premium charged for extending the time limits imposed for completion of development.

      Low-rent and low cost housing is provided by the Hong Kong Housing Society under the Urban Improvement Scheme or by the Housing Authority and the private sector in joint ventures under the Private Sector Participation Scheme. Land for such purposes is granted by the government. In all such cases, the government reserves the right to nominate purchasers of individual flats provided under the scheme.

It is also government policy, in certain areas, to modify old lease conditions which restrict the development permitted on a lot in order to allow redevelopment complying with



the applicable town planning requirements. A premium - equivalent to the difference in land value between the development permitted under the existing lease and that permissible under the new lease terms - is normally payable for any modification granted.

A premium is also payable where a lot held on an expiring non-renewable 75 year lease is regranted to the former owners. Special arrangements have been introduced to deal with expired leases where the ownership is divided among a number of owners. In the case of the owners of property, the leases of which give them the option to renew the lease for a further term, the Crown Leases Ordinance came into effect in 1973 to impose a new Crown rent related to the rateable value of the property situated on the lot.

Land Office

The issue, renewal, variation and termination of Crown leases are dealt with by the Land Office, a division of the Registrar General's Department. Records of transactions relating to land on Hong Kong Island, in Kowloon, New Kowloon (with a few exceptions) and some of the urban areas of the New Territories are kept at the Land Office. Records relating to transactions affecting the remainder of the New Territories and a few exceptional New Kowloon lots are kept at district land offices, most of which are at present operated by the Lands Department. The Registrar General's Department is assuming responsibility for land registration throughout the New Territories under a phased programme: the district land offices at Tsuen Wan and Yuen Long were taken over in 1982 and at Sha Tin in 1983. The Land Office has responsibility for the registration of all instruments affecting land; the drafting, completion and registration of conditions of sale, grant and exchange of Crown land; the granting of mining leases; the registration of owners' corporations; the apportion- ment of Crown rents and premia; the recovery of outstanding Crown rents; and the provision of conveyancing services for the Housing Authority in connection with the sale of flats built under the Home Ownership Scheme and for the Colonial Treasurer Incorporated in connection with regrants, interest-free loans to schools and the purchase of properties for government staff quarters and homes for the elderly. The Land Office gives legal and other advice to the government on matters relating to land and government land transactions.

       Since June 1981, under the Land Registration Ordinance, all memorials delivered to the Land Office for registration have been microfilmed. Of the 2 096 156 memorials registered before that date, 1 575 078 were microfilmed by the end of 1983. They are transferred to satellite storage available for search at the Land Office in microfilm form only.

Work on the computerisation of Land Office register cards, with a view to introducing a computerised land registration system, progressed as scheduled during the year following the design of the computerised system at the end of 1982 and the allocation of funds for the project.

The Land Registration Ordinance provides that all instruments registered under it shall have priority according to their respective dates of registration. This provision applies unless they are registered within one month of execution, in which case priority generally relates back to the date of the instrument. In the case of charging orders and pending actions, priority runs from the day following the date of actual registration. The ordinance also provides that unregistered instruments, other than bona fide leases at a rack rent for any term not exceeding three years, shall be null and void as against any subsequent bona fide purchaser or mortgages for valuable consideration. Registration is therefore essential to the protection of title, but does not guarantee it.

       During the year, 160 383 instruments were registered at the Land Office, compared with 165 226 in 1982. Detailed statistics are at Appendix 29. At the end of the year, the card



index of property owners contained the names of 444 871 owners, an increase of 20 507 over the previous year. Some own several properties throughout the territory, but most are owners or part-owners of small, individual flats.

Important Transactions

Important land transactions during 1983 included the sale by tender of a site of approximately 5 400 square metres on the perimeter of Kowloon Park facing Nathan Road. The land will be developed to form a natural shopping extension to the Tsim Sha Tsui tourist area, and strict attention will be paid to landscaping to ensure its compatibility with the adjacent park.

A large site of some 4.5 hectares on the Kowloon Bay reclamation was sold in August for residential development under the Private Sector Participation Scheme. When completed, this will provide some 6 000 flats for sale to purchasers who will be nominated by the Housing Department from applicants within a limited income group. The development will also include recreational facilities, a nursery, a kindergarten and in excess of 8 000 square metres of commercial floor space providing a full range of facilities for this small 'township' located conveniently in north Kowloon, close to the Mass Transit Railway.

At Ocean Park on the south side of Hong Kong Island, plans are in hand to expand the popular facilities by introducing a theatre, gymnasium, restaurants, swimming pools, shops, a crafts village and a roller coaster. All the amenities will be located within an extended area reached by an extensive system of escalators leading to the headland areas of the park.

An extension is to be granted to the owners of two of the existing container port lots at Kwai Chung. The area of land forming the extension amounts to more than 15 hectares and represents a 50 per cent increase in the size of the lots. The land granted will involve reclamation from the sea and the terms of the grant require that the owners carry out other work on behalf of the government and provide for the reprovisioning of the container port road.

Three developing new towns, Sha Tin, Tuen Mun and Tai Po, all continued to dispose of major sites for private sector development. A second hotel site and the first office site were sold in Sha Tin, while town centre lots for commercial and residential development were successfully tendered in Tuen Mun and Tai Po. In the northeast New Territories, the proposed development of a new town at Junk Bay has created much interest in the Sai Kung area. A study is under way to examine the general development of the hinterland of the new town and particular attention is being given to recreational facilities to cater for the large number of people anticipated to use this area.

Urban Renewal and Environmental Improvement

Special importance continues to be attached to urban renewal schemes including those carried out by the Hong Kong Housing Society. Following two major resumptions in 1982 for the society's urban improvement schemes at Wun Sha Street in Tai Hang, and Ap Lei Chau Main Street, efforts in 1983 have been concentrated mainly on acquisitions for other environmental improvement schemes.

Environmental improvement, particularly with regard to the provision of open space, was given considerable impetus in 1983 with substantial funds being made available for the acquisi- tion of private properties zoned for open space and government, institutional and community uses in the town plans for Western District, Wan Chai and Yau Ma Tei. By the end of the year, an estimated $45 million had been spent on the acquisition of properties in these areas.


Acquisition for Public Purposes


When private property needed for carrying out public works projects cannot be acquired by negotiation, the use of compulsory power becomes necessary. Property is then acquired under either the Crown Lands Resumption Ordinance or the Mass Transit Railway (Land Resumption and Related Provisions) Ordinance, or through the Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance whereby land is resumed for road projects. These ordinances provide for the payment of compensation based on the market value of the affected properties as at the date of reversion. If agreement cannot be reached on the amount payable, either party can refer the case to the Lands Tribunal for determination.

When it is necessary for the government to acquire private land for package develop- ments in the New Territories, power is invariably exercised under the Crown Lands Resumption Ordinance and statutory compensation is paid for the extinguishment of rights conferred by a lease. As from March 1983, the land exchange entitlement system, in respect of acquisition of agricultural land or building land within the new town development areas, was abolished and enhanced rates of ex-gratia cash compensation are paid. In respect of private land acquired outside the new town development areas, only cash compensation is offered. The need for land for public purposes continues to grow and, during 1983, about two million square metres of private land were acquired in the New Territories in order to carry out various public works projects, largely for new town developments.

      The compulsory acquisition of marine rights, usually required for reclamation projects or the grant of pier leases, is effected under the Public Reclamation and Works Ordinance or the Foreshores and Sea Bed Ordinance. These ordinances provide for the lodging of objections to a scheme and for the payment of compensation. Private rights over Crown foreshores or seabed affected as a result of road projects are dealt with under the Roads (Works, Use and Compensation) Ordinance.

      During 1983, about $80 million was paid in compensation for land and buildings acquired, either under compulsory powers or by agreement, in the urban areas of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon to be used for public projects. These included the proposed Shek Ku Lung Road Playground, Carpenter Road Playground, Hammer Hill Sports Ground, and the Urban Council Complex and Home Ownership Scheme at Po On Road, Cheung Sha Wan.

Development of New Towns and Rural Townships

With suitable land for development being virtually exhausted in the urban areas, it has been necessary to look beyond the range of hills north of Kowloon to the largely rural expanse of the New Territories for the creation of new centres of urbanisation. Since 1972, an ambitious programme of building new towns, one of the greatest challenges Hong Kong has ever faced, has been taking place.

      The New Territories Development Department (NTDD), which celebrated its tenth anniversary during 1983, was created to plan and carry out the New Towns Development Programme. Since 1982, the NTDD has operated autonomously as a result of the dissolution of the Public Works Department of which it was a part. For the past 10 years, the department has gone from strength to strength in meeting its target to foster the growth of the new towns as carefully planned communities for which land, much of it reclaimed from the sea, would be provided for a full range of social, educational and recreational facilities. The department consists mainly of professional officers with some technical support to co-ordinate and oversee the consulting engineers, private architects and 'works' departments Engineering Development, Water Supplies, Electrical and Mechanical



Services and Building Development Departments - in collaboration with other government departments such as Lands and Housing.

      During these 10 years, the population in the New Territories has more than doubled, to 1.6 million people, and a further one million people are scheduled to move to the seven new towns and rural townships by the end of the decade. In line with this population growth, just as dramatic improvements have taken place in the facilities essential to the success of the new towns.

Tsuen Wan

The present new town development plan covers an area of 2 670 hectares. When development is completed in 1993, the town, with a population of 680 000 in 1983, is expected to provide job opportunities for some 450 000 workers and housing for nearly one million people.

     With the exception of a few isolated sites, building development has been completed on the Tsuen Wan reclamation scheme. Reclamation work at Kwai Chung was completed in 1975 and the principal area from which fill material was taken has now been developed for public housing. The completion of Tsing Yi Bridge in 1974 marked the beginning of major development on Tsing Yi Island and its potential was further increased when a number of large platforms were formed during the process of providing fill for the container port. Tsing Yi town centre will eventually form the focal point for the island's proposed population of 220 000 and housing estates, such as Cheung Ching, are sub- stantially complete.

While it is expected that 70 per cent of the completed new town's population will be accommodated in public housing, there is also considerable private sector activity. For example, 20 000 people will be housed above the Mass Transit Railway station by 1984.

Major developments in hand but not yet completed include the Tsuen Wan Bypass and further reclamation of Tsuen Wan Bay which incorporates a new bus terminus, car park and ferry pier.

      The Mass Transit Railway Tsuen Wan Extension, completed in 1982, provided a much needed link with Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The construction of the line and of other formation works necessitated the resiting of affected existing villages by the government and this has largely been completed. Transport continues to be a matter of prime interest to the new town and projects already in the design stage include the Tsuen Wan to Sha Tin Route 5 Highway and the Tsing Yi North Bridge.

Expansion of the Kwai Chung Container Port, already the third busiest in the world, is in hand to meet the predicted growth in container trade. The rezoning of certain industrial sites for housing is already under way and plans have been drawn up to develop an industrial site adjacent to the waterfront as a private residential estate.

In contrast, improvement and expansion plans are being drawn up for existing villages, many of which lie in the green belt area of the foothills, to the north of Tsuen Wan. Proposals to reduce pollution and conserve many of the natural features should ensure the future of this area as a valuable recreational facility within easy reach of the new town. An extensive programme of additional park and recreational facilities is under way to meet the needs of an expanding population. For the coming years, more swimming pools, games halls and squash courts are planned, together with the reconstruction of Yeung Uk Road Sportsground as a modern stadium.

      About 1 300 hectares of serviced development land already exist within the new town, and another 600 hectares will be available soon. More than 20 per cent of this will be used



for public housing and community facilities, and a further 10 per cent set aside for open space and recreational facilities. Investigations have commenced on the comprehensive development of the Sham Tseng area, with a planned population of up to 60 000.

Sha Tin

Sha Tin Valley has a total area of some 1 700 hectares which includes 640 hectares of reclamation. The development of Ma On Shan as an extension of the new town will add another 419 hectares, of which 160 hectares will be reclaimed land. Land formation in the valley continued and by year-end was virtually complete, while engineering works for reclamation and land formation began at Ma On Shan.

Since 1974 the population of Sha Tin has grown from 25 000 to nearly 250 000. The ultimate population of 833 000 will be reached by the mid-1990s. To maintain a balanced social mix, about 60 per cent of the population will be housed in over 20 public housing estates (including Home Ownership and Private Sector Participation Schemes) with the remainder in private development schemes or in one of the 40 existing villages.

       Building works in the town are approximately 30 per cent complete and a full range of job opportunities and social, recreational, educational and community facilities is being provided to keep pace with this development. A comprehensive road, rail, cycle and footpath network is being laid down to link these functions of the new town. Stage I of the sewage treatment works is complete and Stage II was under construction during

the year.

        One of the features of Sha Tin is its recreational and social facilities. Added to the Sha Tin Racecourse and the Jubilee Sports Centre will be an international rowing course on the Shing Mun River, a football stadium, a swimming pool complex, and squash and tennis courts. All these will be linked by a proposed riverside promenade and culminate in a 7.5-hectare town park which was being constructed during the year. The town park will in turn link into the town centre, which is also well under way, with its cultural complex, commercial centre, hotels and offices.

Other important regional facilities include the Prince of Wales Hospital, completed during the year, providing some 1 400 beds, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Plans for other hospitals and a technical institute are being considered.

Tuen Mun

Although detailed planning for Tuen Mun's development began only in the mid-1960s, it already houses some 210 000 people. This rapid pace of development will continue over the next decade so that by the early 1990s the total population will number more than 500 000. The main high-density 'core' of the new town is being developed on land reclaimed from Castle Peak Bay and on the adjacent valley floor. Elsewhere, sites are being formed on hillsides to accommodate mainly medium and low-density residential developments. At the end of 1983, almost 50 per cent of all new development areas had been formed and serviced. In contrast, those areas of great landscape value which give Tuen Mun its impressive. natural setting are being preserved where appropriate.

      Like other new towns, Tuen Mun has been planned to meet the demand for a wide range of housing types and flat sizes. Substantial areas within the heart of the town have been set aside for high-density public and private housing. Public housing development is already well advanced: by the end of 1983, the new town contained seven public housing estates accommodating more than 150 000 people. In parallel, the provision of both high and low-density private housing was proceeding well.



Although still largely in its infancy, industrial development in the new town is progres- sing rapidly. About 30 hectares of industrial land within the core of Tuen Mun have been developed, accommodating a wide range of light manufacturing industries and godowns. New sites are being formed and serviced to meet the growing needs of a wide variety of industrial operations. Development of cargo handling facilities is also proposed at suitable locations along the waterfront, while development of the Castle Peak Power Station and a cement plant is already at an advanced stage.

To keep pace with the day-to-day needs of this growing community, a wide range of social and community facilities is being developed. Many facilities which serve individual housing areas, such as open spaces, schools, clinics and recreational facilities, have already been completed, while work on the development of those serving the wider needs of the population was also well under way during the year, for example, the Tuen Mun Hospital, a town park, a technical institute, and a civil and cultural complex. Development work has started on a new regional shopping centre, including a cultural complex, in the town centre to function as a focus for the new town's social and economic activities.

Despite its distance from Kowloon and Hong Kong Island, the six-lane Tuen Mun Road, the high-speed hoverferry service to Hong Kong Island and the Mass Transit Railway extension to Tsuen Wan have brought the new town within easy reach of the main urban areas.

Tai Po

Tai Po New Town covers an area of some 2 900 hectares. Of the total development area, about 330 hectares of land have been designated for residential and commercial develop- ment, 100 hectares for industrial development and 320 hectares for government, institution and community use, plus public open space. New residential and commercial development is planned on the reclamation to the north and east of the existing Tai Po Market. The partially completed Tai Po Industrial Estate caters to high-technology industries.

A rapid build-up in population in recent years has overshadowed Tai Po's more traditional role as a market centre for the surrounding region. In 1983, Tai Po had a population of about 86 000 and the design population capacity is approximately 213 000. There are three public housing estates planned, including a home ownership element which will accommodate about 113 000 people. On full development, private residential areas are expected to house approximately 89 000 people. The electrification of the Kowloon-Canton Railway makes it possible to be in the centre of Kowloon in less than 30 minutes.


Fanling New Town, which includes Fanling, Shek Wu Hui and Sheung Shui, lies about eight kilometres north of Tai Po. It will be linked to Yuen Long, Sha Tin and Tai Po by the New Territories Circular Route now under construction. The population of the new town reached some 83 000 during 1983, its projected capacity being 195 000. The town covers an area of about 780 hectares. Of the total development area, about 210 hectares of land are designated for residential and commercial development, 50 hectares for industrial development, and 140 hectares for government, institution and community use and for public open space.

The existing retail and commercial 'core' of Shek Wu Hui and Luen Wo Hui will be redeveloped while the On Lok Tsuen industrial area is being improved. Provision has been made for the retention and expansion of the existing villages.


Yuen Long and Northwest New Territories


Development of Yuen Long is now well advanced, with extensive areas of land to the north and south having been formed and serviced for residential, commercial and industrial development, and community facilities. The population has reached more than 50 000 of its projected total of more than 140 000 for the year 2000. A major new public housing estate which will house more than 37 000 people by 1990 is being built at Kik Yeung Tsuen to the northeast of the town. The two completed industrial estates at Tung Tau and Wang Chau provide over 70 hectares of serviced industrial land.

In addition to the new town, the sub-region is experiencing rapid growth and change from its former rural character. Another major settlement is planned to be built during the next decade at Tin Shui Wai, an area to the west of Yuen Long presently occupied by fish ponds. A study carried out by consultants for the government on the remaining rural areas in the northwestern New Territories was completed during the year. Proposals to be considered cover road and rail links - including a major new trunk road from Tuen Mun to Sha Tin and major flood protection, drainage and sewerage schemes. The study also proposes a comprehensive planning strategy to direct future development in an orderly manner, ways to upgrade existing settlements with limited intervention by the government, and ways to protect the small but valuable amount of agricultural land in the area.

The established settlements at Kam Tin and Lau Fau Shan will be enhanced by further limited expansion to enable them to serve the surrounding rural areas.

Junk Bay and Sai Kung

The approved Junk Bay Outline Development Plan makes provision for 380 000 people to be accommodated within the new town. During the year, work continued on its planning and design. The distribution of new housing will be 50 per cent public rental, 30 per cent Home Ownership and Private Sector Participation Schemes, and 20 per cent private development.

The town is being planned around three main districts, each with a population of between 60 000 and 95 000. Each district centre will have shopping and other commercial facilities, community facilities and a transport interchange. Initially, the town will be served by the Junk Bay Road Tunnel and the improved Po Lam Road; a Mass Transit Railway extension could be introduced later if and when necessary.

Outside the new town, planning for Sai Kung District has given priority to recreation and restricts urban development. Planning studies continued in 1983 on the expansion of the town of Sai Kung to serve an ultimate population of 40 000 from the present population of 14 300.

Islands District

In recent years, the outlying islands have taken on an increasingly important role in the life of Hong Kong. As part of the New Town Development Programme, projects continued during the year - both planned and under way - to provide for a build-up in population, to upgrade the living standards, and to improve general facilities for the increasing number of visitors to the islands. Although development remains generally low-rise and rural in character, the programme of works is large and diverse, concentrating mainly on the population centres of Mui Wo and Tai O on Lantau Island, and on the islands of Cheung Chau and Peng Chau.

More facilities will become available throughout the district, including ferries, schools, market buildings, recreational facilities, sewage treatment plants and abattoirs. Serviced



land for the proposed development of public and private housing, industry and commerce will be provided as the population of the district gradually increases.

Town Planning

The main aim of town planning in Hong Kong is to provide a good living and work- ing environment for its present and future population. The limited land resources must be properly planned to meet the competing demands of housing, commerce, industry, transportation, recreation, education, medical and health, and other community facilities. This applies to both new development areas, such as Tuen Mun and Sha Tin, and the older congested urban districts, such as Yau Ma Tei and Western District, where the need for improvement is even more apparent.

     The two authorities mainly responsible for town planning are the Town Planning Board, chaired by the Secretary for Lands and Works, comprising eight official and eight unofficial members, and the Land Development Policy Committee, chaired by the Chief Secretary and comprising nine official members and one unofficial member.

     Town plans, which can be broadly classified into two groups - statutory and depart- mental - are prepared to guide future development and redevelopment. They ensure the provision of the required community facilities and public utility services, and control land use and building volume on individual sites to meet the demands of the territory's growing population.

     Statutory plans for existing and potential urban areas are prepared under the provisions of the Town Planning Ordinance while the Town Planning Division of the Lands Department, under the direction of the Town Planning Board, is responsible for their preparation and revision. These statutory outline zoning plans show areas set aside or zoned for residential, commercial, industrial, government, institutional and other purposes. They act as an important link between the government and the public, providing a guide to public and private investment by indicating the future broad pattern of land use, including major public works for developing areas. Once a statutory plan is gazetted for public inspection, it has statutory effect. Under the Buildings Ordinance, the Building Authority may refuse to give approval to any plans of building works which would contravene any draft or approved plan prepared under the Town Planning Ordinance. To avoid piecemeal redevelopment and to encourage comprehensive urban design, suitable areas have also been designated as comprehensive redevelopment areas on statutory plans. Under this designation, redevelopment may only proceed in a comprehensive manner according to master layout plans approved by the Town Planning Board.

     During the year, the board published 16 draft statutory plans including draft outline zoning plans for Causeway Bay, Shek Kip Mei, Sha Tin and Tuen Mun. It considered 27 objections to the published plans and, as a result, some of the draft plans were amended for further public examination. By the end of the year, 26 out of 39 planning areas in the main urban areas were covered by gazetted or approved statutory plans. In the New Territories, there were seven draft statutory plans covering Tsuen Wan, Kwai Chung, Tsing Yi, Sha Tin, Tai Po, Tuen Mun and the South Lantau coast.

     The Town Planning Ordinance makes provision for a Schedule of Notes to be attached to each statutory plan. This schedule shows the land uses permitted in a particular zone, together with other uses for which the Town Planning Board's permission must be sought. This provision for applications for planning permission allows greater flexibility in land-use planning and improved control of development to meet changing needs. During the year, the board considered 138 applications, compared with 134 applications the previous year.



      Should the board refuse to grant permission, the applicant may apply for a review of the decision. In 1983 there were 19 applications for review, compared with 23 in 1982.

Departmental plans, which are used administratively within the government to guide and control development, comprise outline development plans, layout plans and planning guides. They are prepared, where applicable, within the framework of the statutory outline zoning plans prepared by the Town Planning Board. The Urban Area Development Organisation and the New Territories Development Department are responsible for the preparation and revision of these departmental plans in the main urban areas and the New Territories respectively.

Outline development and layout plans, compared with statutory plans, are normally drawn to a larger scale, showing road proposals and the disposition of sites in greater detail. They are action plans enabling land to be prepared and released for public and private development. Examples of those prepared during the year cover Wong Nai Chung Gap, Tai Ping Shan Street Comprehensive Redevelopment Areas, several Junk Bay New Town Planning Areas, and two Tsing Yi Planning Areas. In addition, many existing plans, including those for Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chau, Ngau Tau Kok and Tsuen Wan, were revised to take account of changes in population forecasts, government policies, planning standards and other trends.

Planning guides are prepared for large areas within the New Territories, such as Lantau Island and the Sai Kung Peninsula, where there is a need to lay down guidelines for development. They indicate broad areas reserved for water catchments, country parks, conservation, agriculture, urban development and other major land uses.

The Hong Kong Planning Standards and Guidelines lays down general planning concepts, defines standards, locational factors and site requirements for district and local land use and provides a framework for the preparation of statutory and departmental plans. The document is constantly kept under review to take account of changes in government policies, demographic characteristics and other social and economic trends. During the year, sections involving residential densities, educational and community facilities, car parking facilities and plot ratio for industrial land were revised.

Surveys on land and floor uses covering the whole territory were conducted or updated during the year to provide the basic input in the preparation of statutory plans, departmental plans and other planning reports. To achieve greater efficiency and accuracy, and to facilitate other special planning studies, work began on developing and maintaining computer systems for the storage and processing of planning data.

A development strategy for the territory is being formulated to direct future investment and development in the fields of housing, industry, recreation and infrastructure, including inter-urban transport links and services. In line with this, the government has completed a number of studies to assess the development potential of each major geographic sub-division of the territory. Major studies included the northwest and northeast New Territories, North Lantau, Junk Bay and its hinterland, and harbour reclamations and urban growth.

The first consultancy report on the northwest New Territories recommended a base strategy to allow for natural population growth in the sub-region. A follow-up study was commissioned in February 1982 to recommend the infrastructure needed based on projected population distribution, and to investigate ways to maximise the development potential of the area. The study of the northeast New Territories was concerned with the investigation of development potential from the west of Fanling to the east of Sha Tin, including the northern part of the Sai Kung Peninsula.



      Further studies on North Lantau were completed, redefining the potential areas for development with and without a replacement airport, and proposing population limits and broad concepts for the staging and timing of development. The Junk Bay Development Study, undertaken to facilitate the development of a new town at Junk Bay and to study the implications and development opportunities in the Sai Kung hinterland, was submitted to the government in June.

      The study on harbour reclamations and urban growth served as part of a programme to co-ordinate overall planning, and to meet housing, transport, employment and other needs of the population. It included the possibility of further reclamation within the harbour area, the levelling of hills, and the scope for additional urban growth through the redevelop- ment of existing properties and development of new sites. The study also examined future use of the Hong Kong International Airport site at Kai Tak should the airport be relocated, and possible sites for additional container berths and associated port facilities.


Major responsibilities of the Survey Division of the Lands Department include the revision and production of all topographical and special-use maps in Hong Kong, land title boundary surveys, geodetic surveys, large scale topographical mapping, and survey and draughting services for the Lands Division and other departments.

      During the year, cadastral surveys for the alienation of Crown land, the acquisition of land for government projects, the allocation of land for government purposes and boundary re-establishment for existing lots to enable redevelopment, accounted for the bulk of the work in the urban areas. In the New Territories, cadastral surveys declined in the new towns, but there was a large increase in surveys for village housing in rural areas.

      Revision and metrication of the 1:1 000 basic mapping series and production of the new New Territories 1:5 000 series continued as major tasks throughout the year, as did cyclic revision for all other mapping series. Various colour maps, including the Hong Kong Official Guide Map and several in the Countryside series, were reprinted. The final sheet of this series, covering the northeast New Territories, was published in May. Reprographic and cartographic services were provided for other government departments throughout the year, including the provision of special thematic maps for the Urban Council elections, country parks, civil aviation and a joint maritime communications project.

The geodetic sections continued the upgrading, extension and essential maintenance of the geodetic control networks, both horizontal and vertical, upon which all mapping, cadastral and engineering surveys in Hong Kong depend.

The division's photogrammetric unit carried out a full programme of large scale map- ping for essential development purposes as well as the continuing metrication of the basic mapping series. A magnetic tape recording unit plus an additional graphic terminal was acquired to improve the unit's capacity to process digital data taken from aerial photography for complex engineering and environmental studies, volumetric calculations for quarries and reservoirs, and for recording monuments and historical buildings. The air survey unit, with the continued assistance of the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force, provided all mapping photography and carried out general purpose photography at various altitudes over the whole of the territory for revision and record purposes.

Computerisation of the division continued for the processing of field survey data, for automated plotting of survey record plans and large scale site plans, and for the automation of other survey activities, including volumetric surveys. The Lands Department Survey



Training School continued to provide training for land surveying and cartographic technicians. In addition, 10 officers were undergoing post-graduate training in Hong Kong and 17 were on government training scholarships overseas.

Public Building

Public building activity maintained momentum throughout 1983. Capital expenditure on government building projects through the Building Development Department in the financial year 1982-3 rose by 62 per cent above the previous year. Tendering remained extremely competitive with prices decreasing for the second year, by 19.5 per cent, compared with a drop of six per cent for the corresponding period of 1981--2. The decrease is in part due to a general stabilising of construction costs. During the 12 months to June 1983, labour costs increased only marginally, by three per cent, while basic material costs decreased by two per cent.

One of the most notable projects completed by the Building Development Department during the year was the Hong Kong Coliseum. This 12 500-seat multi-purpose indoor stadium, one of Asia's largest, was funded by the government at a cost of $130 million. It provides a venue for international professional sporting events and mass spectacles such as parades, concerts, ballet performances, circuses and ice-skating. The ultra-modern design incorporates features that are unique to Hong Kong, the most spectacular being a television projection system above the centre of the arena enabling spectators to watch a larger-than-life telecast of events taking place.

      Two other major community projects, the Sha Tin Cultural Complex and library and the Tuen Mun Civic and Cultural Complex, were well under way at the end of the year and should be completed in 1986. Both feature a 1 450-seat auditorium with a large stage, side stages and orchestra pit to suit large-scale orchestral, operatic, dance and theatrical performances.

Recreation facilities have taken on more prominence in recent years and further progress was made during 1983. In March, the transformation of the recreation ground at Ko Shan Road from an old quarry site into a highly developed urban park containing a 3 000-seat open air theatre, a mini-soccer pitch, four tennis courts, a children's playground and a rest garden was completed. The Wan Chai Reclamation Recreation Centre was being extended by the addition of a 50-metre swimming pool for life saving and training, scheduled for completion in September 1984.

      To meet the changing needs of the urban areas, out-dated markets are being replaced with new market complexes which incorporate community and recreation space as well as modern market facilities. Following the completion of the first such multi-storey complex in Aberdeen the previous year, a second and even larger complex to serve Central and Western Districts was under construction on the site of the former Western Market during the year and is scheduled for completion in 1986.

       In an attempt to end, to some extent, its dependency on leased office accommodation, the government is constructing purpose-built offices in Central District and on the Wan Chai reclamation area. The tallest building ever undertaken by the government was well under way in Queensway during the year and is scheduled for completion is 1986. The building comprises one seven-storey and one 49-storey tower above a four-level carpark podium. The two blocks will be inter-connected by escalators with a pedestrian walkway linking the future Supreme Court. In the Wan Chai development, a proposed government complex overlooking Victoria Harbour will consist of two 49-storey office towers, a 30-storey District Court and Magistracy, a 19-storey science building for government



laboratories, a fire station and public car park. Foundations were completed in part in 1983 to enable work to start on the District Court and Magistracy and the office building early in 1984. The other buildings are being planned and will be constructed later.

      In line with the plan to provide more medical facilities, many hospital projects were in hand during the year. Queen Mary Hospital, the major hospital for Hong Kong Island originally built in the 1930s and improved through the years - will be further extended by the addition of more wards in a tower block due for completion in 1987. As part of associated improvement works, a new Physiotherapy Department and the installation of a whole-body scanner were completed in September. A 1 600-bed general hospital for the Tuen Mun and Yuen Long area was under construction in the New Territories. Its facilities include psychiatric wards and a radio therapy unit and the design incorporates a new concept of wide hospital 'streets' to link the wards. The Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin was substantially completed in November. This large 1 400-bed hospital, serving the eastern New Territories, will be the teaching hospital for the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Major military projects in hand at the end of the year included site formation works at Kohima Barracks on Clear Water Bay peninsula and construction of military quarters at Stanley Fort, Sek Kong Village, Castle Peak and Stonecutters Island. A closed refugee camp on Hei Ling Chau was completed and work commenced on another camp in Tuen Mun.

As Hong Kong International Airport will serve the territory into the 1990s, planning was under way for the expansion of the passenger terminal facilities to cope with the anticipated growth in traffic. Work will start in 1984 and the new facilities will be fully operational by mid-1987.

Mindful of Hong Kong's heritage, the government was working on the restoration of a 150-year-old Hakka village in Sai Kung Country Park. The village will serve as a folk museum when it opens in February 1984.

Private Building

Building development in the private sector in 1983 reacted to the prevailing socio-economic situation: construction work stopped on a number of building sites and approved building proposals were subjected to revision. The latter took the form of a general reduction in the size of residential units and a change from commercial to residential use. The usable floor area of building projects for which consent to commence works was given increased by 35 per cent over that in 1982.

During 1983, 496 proposals for private building development were submitted to the Buildings Ordinance Office for approval, compared with 604 in 1982. Occupation permits issued for completed buildings numbered 523, providing a total usable floor area of 3 061 289 square metres. This represented an approximate decrease of three per cent below the previous year. The total sum expended on private building work, excluding the cost of land, was $11,962 million, an increase of 18 per cent. Building contractors registered under the Buildings Ordinance numbered 2 502 at the end of the year.

     Some confidence in luxury flat development was manifested in the continuing work on several large residential projects in Happy Valley and Jardine's Lookout. On the commercial side, work continued steadily on Exchange Square, on the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation's headquarters and on the new Hong Kong Club building. Also being built during the year was the second grandstand at Sha Tin Racecourse, which will have seating capacity for 37 000, and the power station at Castle Peak, both of which were half finished. Site formation work started at Kornhill opposite Tai Koo Shing in



      Quarry Bay. The 17.2 hectare site will house a population of 36 000 when development is complete around 1988.

A New Code of Practice on wind effects replacing the 1959 edition and a new Code of Practice on oil storage installations replacing the 1978 edition were published. The provi- sion of ventilation for gas water heaters was made mandatory and additional safety provisions for lifts were also made. The study of other parts of the Buildings Ordinance and Building Regulations continued.

As well as administering the statutory provisions for the design, planning and construc- tion of new buildings, the Buildings Ordinance Office deals with dangerous buildings and unauthorised building works. During the year, 92 dangerous buildings were closed, of which 56 were emergency cases. In addition, 533 notices requiring the demolition or repair of dangerous buildings, 58 notices requiring remedial works to dangerous slopes, and 129 notices requiring repairs to defective drainage were served. Action on unauthorised building works, however, continued to lag behind the increasing number of cases reported to the Building Authority. During the year, 2 779 buildings were visited in connection with suspected unauthorised building works resulting in 82 notices being served.

Geotechnical Control

The exceptionally heavy rains experienced in 1983, especially during the first half of the year, resulted in the issue of landslip warnings. More than 400 landslip incidents were reported to the Geotechnical Control Office of the Engineering Development Department for advice on emergency precautions, remedial measures and evacuations.

A particularly heavy downpour on June 17, when 236 mm of rain fell in four hours, resulted in 78 landslip incidents including two major slope failures on Hong Kong Island. The first was near Magazine Gap and severed Peak Road, necessitating emergency remedial measures including the erection of a temporary bridge over the landslip site to restore traffic. By the end of the year, permanent remedial works were nearing completion. The other major slope failure occurred at Tin Wan Hill Road, Aberdeen. This failure threatened a new home for the aged, the opening being delayed until permanent remedial works to the slope were completed in September.

The passage of Typhoon Ellen in mid-September brought 200 mm of rain and caused 47 landslips. A landslip above Hoi Pong Village on the slopes of Mount Davis killed a fire services officer and seriously injured another on duty at the site. Permanent evacuation of 92 squatter huts was required. Another landslip at Telegraph Bay claimed the lives of two sisters when mud filled their family's hut. Six squatter huts were permanently evacuated at this site.

Also during the year, substantial geotechnical engineering services were provided to government departments and offices; site investigation services occupied an average of 21 land-based and three marine-based drilling rigs; aerial photograph interpretation studies and the Geological Survey of Hong Kong continued; and geotechnical engineering advice was given on 185 government engineering projects and 150 town planning and engineering proposals. A Special Projects Division was set up to carry out research and development work on projects identified as being of importance to geotechnical engineering in Hong Kong. In addition to a number of internal design guides and technical notes, the division produced a second edition of its popular Geotechnical Manual for Slopes which will be on sale in early 1984.

      The heavy demand for materials testing services - covering soil, rock, concrete, steel, asphalt, timber and other building materials - exceeded the capacity of the Public



Works Materials Testing Laboratories. Materials testing contracts were let to deal with the excess workload.

Land Development

     Most of Hong Kong Island's development is concentrated on a narrow strip of flat land to the north. With the remainder of the land being generally hilly and unsuitable for construction work, the only way to provide additional areas for development on the island is to reclaim land from the sea. In the urban areas the responsibility for carrying out such reclamation projects lies with the Civil Engineering Office of the Engineering Develop- ment Department.

During the year, 20 hectares of land were gained in this way for developments such as the Mass Transit Railway Island Line, roads, a sewage treatment plant, a wholesale fish market and general urban development. On Ap Lei Chau, 1.5 hectares of land were reclaimed for boatyards and a coastal road. To the west of the densely populated Kowloon peninsula, four hectares of land were reclaimed for construction of new wholesale vegetable and fish markets and for industrial use. In the eastern New Territories, a further five-hectare area of land was formed for the Tai Po Industrial Estate.

In the continuing quest for more usable flat land, studies were conducted to investigate the feasibility of further reclamation in Victoria Harbour for urban development, develop- ment in the northern and eastern parts of Lantau Island, and in the northeastern and northwestern New Territories.

Port Works

The construction of sea walls and breakwaters for cargo handling areas, typhoon shelters and the containment of reclamation is fundamental to the development of the marine infrastructure. And, due to the large and expanding volume of sea traffic in the territory, the demand for new marine facilities continued to increase during 1983. Work by the Civil Engineering Office of the Engineering Development Department was progressing at nine locations on almost 5.5 kilometres of seawall and breakwaters, mainly on the north shore of Hong Kong Island.

In addition, the construction of 11 piers throughout the territory was in progress: of these two were started, two continued from the previous year and seven were completed. They included four to serve passenger or vehicular ferries, two for general public use, two for the Fish Marketing Organisation, one for an abattoir, one for a cattle quarantine depot and one for the police.

Water Supplies

Full supply was maintained throughout the year. The storage situation continued to improve after the recovery from water restrictions in 1982 and the total storage reached a record high of 581 million cubic metres. The Lok On Pai desalting plant was not operated, and continued to remain as a 'standby resource'.

      At the beginning of 1983, there were 434 million cubic metres of water in storage, compared with 260 million cubic metres at the start of 1982. Rainfall for the year was 2 894 millimetres compared with the average of 2 225 millimetres. A total of 251 million cubic metres of water was piped from China during the year.

On January 1, 1983, the combined storage in Hong Kong's largest reservoirs, High Island and Plover Cove, was 383 million cubic metres. The salinity of water at High Island remains at about 12 milligrams per litre, while at Plover Cove the salinity varied from


Leisure Islands

Strung across Hong Kong waters lie more than 230 islands providing a leisurely alternative to the fast pace of urban life. They range in character from dumb- bell-shaped Cheung Chau, bustling with traditional fishing and other time- honoured activities, to the granite rock of the Ninepin Islands used seasonally by fishermen drying their catch or repairing nets. Some of these islands have a long and rich history rock carvings on Lantau, Po Toi, Cheung Chau and Kau Sai show the presence of aboriginal tribes in ancient times. These were the forerunners of the first Chinese settlers, the fisherfolk and farmers of the Song (Sung) Dynasty. Many of the smaller outlying islands still maintain the lifestyle of yesteryear, with tranquil and picturesque fishing villages and rural farming communities dotted among long sandy bays and rich green hills. Recent years, however, have seen substantial migration to the urban areas by the younger generation. This, coupled with financial pressures on fishing and farming, has meant a dwindling rural population. At the same time the march of progress has changed forever the nature of some of the bigger islands. Today Tsing Yi Island is a thriving industrial and ship- repairing centre with housing estates dominating its skyline; High Island has since the 70s been part of a large fresh- water reservoir; Lamma Island houses a major power station; while Lantau has emerged as a thriving live-in resort, and tourist and recreational centre.

Previous page: A bird's eye view of private development at the tip of Discovery Bay on Lantau Island, home to many city com- muters. Left: The Bun Festival is Cheung Chau's major religious event, with figures depicting gods and deities; 'lucky' buns for distribution to the 50 000 residents; prayers to pacify the spirits.




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A catch lies drying in the sun on the picturesque island of Fap Mun, an important base for Hong Kong's fisherfolk with a natural harbour formed by an inlet in Mirs Bay-



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Imposing traditional Chinese architecture combined with the tranquil charm of its hill-top setting helps make remote Po Lin Buddhist Monastery on Lantau Island a place apart both for local people and tourists.



While some worshippers visit Po Lin Monastery to burn incense and offer prayers, others stay in the overnight accommodation so they can admire the spectacular sunrise, sample the vegetarian fare and absorb the peaceful atmosphere.




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Checking the 1500-watt light on Waglan Island Lighthouse, situated at the southeast extremity of Hong Kong waters to guide shipping in and out of the harbour.


Handed down from one generation of islanders to another are traditional cottage industries and intricate crafts, such as candle and joss stick-making which still survive modern-day development on Peng Chau.









  Linking High Island to Sai Kung peninsula are two main dams; the eastern one is shown here with its cofferdam in the foreground, forming a huge 273-million-cubic-metre freshwater reservoir carved out of the sea.






78 milligrams per litre at the beginning of the year to 68 milligrams per litre at the end of the year.

A peak consumption of 1.90 million cubic metres per day was experienced, as compared with the 1982 peak of 1.70 million cubic metres per day. The average daily consumption throughout the year was 1.62 million cubic metres, an increase of 14.1 per cent over the 1982 average of 1.42 million cubic metres. A total of 592 million cubic metres of potable water was consumed, compared with 519 million cubic metres in 1982. In addition, 87 million cubic metres of salt water for flushing were supplied, the same amount as in 1982.

Planning studies were completed on the primary distribution of potable water in the central and western areas of Hong Kong Island; on the improvement of water supplies to Stanley, Repulse Bay, Cheung Chau, Tai Po high-level areas, Tsing Yi Island, Ma Chai Hang and Chuk Yuen Estates, and the developments associated with the Mass Transit Railway depot in Chai Wan; and on the improvement of salt water supplies to East Kowloon and Wan Chai. Other studies in hand included those for the improvement of water supplies to developments in Quarry Bay, Central Mid-Levels, Tsuen Wan, Kwai Chung and Yuen Long; for permanent water supplies to Junk Bay and Ma On Shan; and for a new treatment works at Ma On Shan.

During the year, construction of the reception and distribution systems for future increases in the water supply from China continued with some of the installations completed and put into service. Construction of treatment works and ancillary facilities at Yau Kom Tau was in hand. Design and construction works progressed satisfactorily on the new water supply systems for Sha Tin, Tai Po, Fanling, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan new towns. Works proceeded, either in the design stages or under construction, to improve the water supply to the eastern and western areas of Hong Kong, as well as to Pok Fu Lam and Aberdeen in the south of the island. The project for Lamma Island water supply, the new tunnel pipeline system as a further development of the East River Scheme, the supply system for Yuen Long Industrial Estate, and work on improvement of the water supply to Wong Chuk Hang were completed. The laying of the new cross-harbour mains from Kowloon to Hong Kong was well in progress. Works to improve the water supply to Sheung Shui and to Sai Kung continued.

Distribution systems were extended and enlarged to meet urban and rural demands in areas such as Sha Tin, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun, Tsuen Wan, Junk Bay, Fanling and Tai Po. In addition, several new pumping stations were put into service at Mount Parker, So Kon Po, Tong Shui Road, Sai Kung, North Point Ultra High Level and Tai Wo Chuen, Additional pumping equipment was also installed in pumping stations on Cheung Chau and at Tuen Mun, Central waterfront, Kau Wah Keng, Magazine Gap, Telegraph Bay, Shum Wan Shan, Tai O and Beacon Hill.

A network of consumer enquiry centres was being set up at various locations, adding to the existing three centres at Causeway Bay, Mong Kok and Tai Po which have proved very successful. The additional management information to be produced by the existing computer for water billing was still under consideration.



Kowloon and the New Territories - including Lantau and a number of other outlying islands are supplied with electricity by the China Light and Power Company Limited (CLP), while Hong Kong Island and the neighbouring islands of Ap Lei Chau and Lamma receive supplies from the Hongkong Electric Company Limited (HEC). During the year, agreement was reached between CLP and Cheung Chau Electric Company Limited by



     which CLP would take over from Cheung Chau Electric Company the supply of electricity for Cheung Chau by January 1, 1984.

The two supply companies are investor-owned and do not operate under franchise. The government monitors the financial arrangements of the companies through the published Schemes of Control. Under these schemes, the long-term financing plans of the companies and any proposed tariff charges require the approval of the Governor-in-Council. During the year, the government appointed independent consultants to assess the technical aspects of the companies' generation of electricity. The consultants' first report indicated that the generation expansion plans of both companies are based on good engineering practices and sound economic judgement, and are sufficiently flexible to allow for changes without the risk of over-provision.

      Generation of electricity is carried out by CLP and two associated companies, Peninsula Electric Power Company Limited (PEPCO) and Kowloon Electricity Supply Company Limited (KESCO). The combined capacity of the three companies at the end of 1983 was 3 356 MW. Both PEPCO and KESCO are financed 60 per cent by Esso and 40 per cent by CLP.

      PEPCO owns the power stations at Tsing Yi 'A' (762 MW), Tsing Yi 'B' (800 MW) and Hok Un 'C' (240 MW). KESCO owns 504 MW of gas turbine capacity and is constructing the Castle Peak 'A' power station. The first dual coal or oil-fired 350 MW unit at Castle Peak 'A' was commissioned during 1982 and the second in the spring of 1983; the remaining two 350 MW units at this station will be commissioned in 1984 and 1985. Operation of the plants owned by PEPCO and KESCO is in the hands of CLP, which also has its own stations Hok Un 'A' and 'B' (total 350 MW).

Castle Peak 'B' station, adjacent to the 'A' station, will have four 660 MW coal-fired units, scheduled to be commissioned between 1986 and 1990. Castle Peak Power Company Limited (CAPCO), under the same financial arrangements as those adopted for PEPCO and KESCO, has been incorporated to own the station. The Castle Peak 'A' and 'B' power stations, with an ultimate capacity of over 4 000 MW, will be the largest power station complex in Southeast Asia. The use of coal as the primary fuel for both stations is expected to reduce operating costs and will be a direct benefit to consumers. Transmission is carried out at 400 kV, 132 kV and 66 kV, while distribution is effected mainly at 33 kV, 11 kV and 346 volts. The supply is 50 hertz alternating current, normally at 200 volts single-phase or 346 volts three-phase. For bulk consumers, supply is available at 33 kV and 11 kV.

      Work continued during the year on the staged development of an extra high voltage transmission system to transmit power from the Castle Peak power stations to the various load centres. When completed in 1986, the network, at 400 kV, will comprise 87 kilometres of double-circuit overhead line encircling the New Territories, 14 kilometres of cables and six extra high voltage substations. At present, two substations at Tsz Wan Shan and Tai Wan are energised, 38 kilometres of overhead line is operating at 400 kV, and 12 kilometres at 132 kV. The 14 kilometres of cables are on load at 400 kV. Construction is now complete on the 20 kilometres of overhead line from Castle Peak to Yuen Long and work is in progress on the Yuen Long to Tai Po section. Site formation works have commenced at the Tai Po, Yuen Long and Lei Muk Shue future 400 kV substation sites.

      HEC's Ap Lei Chau Power Station, which started commercial operation in 1968, has an installed capacity of 935 MW consisting of two 60 MW and six 125 MW oil-fired generating units together with two gas turbines rated at a total capacity of 65 MW.

     In 1978 the company was granted a site on Lamma Island for a new dual coal or oil-fired power station. The first two 250 MW units were commissioned during 1982 and a third 250



MW unit, consisting of two 125 MW units operating in tandem from a single 250 MW boiler will be completed early in 1984. These two units were originally designed for oil firing at the Ap Lei Chau Power Station. This will see completion of Phase I of the Lamma Power Station. Phase II will consist of two 350 MW units ensuring that the company will be able to meet rising electricity demand in the future - a demand that has grown over the last decade from 423 MW in 1973 to 1 340 MW in 1983, an increase of 216 per cent.

The company's transmission system operates at 275 kV, 132 kV and 66 kV, whereas distribution is effected mainly at 11 kV and 346 volts. With the exception of a small proportion of 132 kV overhead transmission lines, the entire transmission and distribution system is underground or by submarine cable. The electricity supply is 50 Hz, 200 volts (single phase) and 346 volts (three phase). For larger consumers, supplies at high voltage are also available.

The transmission systems of CLP and HEC are interconnected by means of cross- harbour links. The interconnector, which was commissioned in 1981, currently has a capacity of 480 MVA. When completed, the system will have a total capacity of 720 MVA. The interconnection results in cost savings to consumers due to economic energy transfers between the two systems and a reduction in spinning reserve requirements.

CLP's system is also interconnected with that of Guangdong Power Company of China and about one million units of electricity are exported to Guangdong Province each day. The interconnection results in better utilisation of the company's generating plant during off-peak demand periods and provides the facility to feed power from Guangdong to the company's system when necessary.

As a future means of providing additional electricity for the territory, the government announced in November its willingness, in principle, to endorse a suitable off-take agreement through which Hong Kong would purchase power from a nuclear power plant to be built at Daya Bay, Guangdong Province in China. The government, in making its decision on the project, did so in the belief that the project will ultimately prove to be in the interests of Hong Kong's consumers, and that the cost of power would be no greater than that of power provided by fossil fuel-based generating plant in Hong Kong.

On December 5, the Hong Kong Nuclear Investment Company Limited (HKNIC) was incorporated with an initial authorised capital of $400 million. HKNIC, in a joint venture with the Guangdong Nuclear Power Investment Incorporated, will build and operate the proposed nuclear power station. Later in the month, a team of Hong Kong Government officials, led by the Secretary for Economic Services, made a two-day visit to Guangdong where they had discussions with China's Vice Minister for Water Resources and Electric Power about the nuclear power station and visited the site of the project at Daya Bay. During the meeting it was agreed that liaison should be established between the Royal Observatory and the relevant departments on the Chinese side responsible for the setting up of radiation monitoring facilities. The nuclear power station will comprise two 900 MW nuclear reactors.

Main electricity statistics and sales figures are at Appendix 30.


      Gas is supplied for domestic, commercial and industrial use as conventional Towngas by Hong Kong and China Gas Company and in the form of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by most of the major oil companies in Hong Kong. Towngas accounts for approximately 40 per cent of the total gas sold and LPG 60 per cent. The customer split, however, is approximately 260 000 for Towngas and 800 000 for LPG.



     About 90 per cent of the total LPG sold is distributed through a dealer network in portable 15-kilogram cylinders. This is the most widely used form of gas supply in Hong Kong at present but as a result of recent government action to improve gas safety, all LPG supplied in future to new housing developments will be in the form of piped gas from bulk storage/vapor- iser installations. The proportion of LPG supplied from these bulk installations will therefore soon increase significantly from the present level of 10 per cent. Overall, sales of LPG are increasing by approximately 14 per cent per annum, mainly in the form of piped gas to meet new housing demands but also partly to replace kerosene in existing markets.

The Hong Kong and China Gas Company supplies Towngas to Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and many towns in the New Territories. Supply is available throughout the urban areas - including Aberdeen, Ap Lei Chau, Repulse Bay and Stanley on Hong Kong Island, together with the industrial towns of Kwun Tong, Yau Tong, Sha Tin, Kwai Chung, Tsuen Wan and neighbouring Tsing Yi Island in the New Territories.

     Towngas production is centred at Ma Tau Kok in Kowloon. Hong Kong Island is supplied by four submarine gas mains across the harbour and Tsing Yi is supplied by one gas main along the Tsing Yi Bridge. The New Territories north of Kowloon are supplied by a pipeline through the second Lion Rock Tunnel. A new 750 mm diameter pipeline through the old Beacon Hill Railway Tunnel has been commissioned.

Towngas is distributed at a heat value of 17.27 MJ/m3 and a specific gravity of approximately 0.56. Gas is sold on the basis of a megajoule. Towngas sales in 1983 amounted to 5.92 million gigajoules compared with 4.86 million in 1982. Consumption and distribution statistics are at Appendix 30.

Gas is produced in 10 cyclic naphtha reforming plants, with a total installed capacity of 2 293 748 cubic metres per day. Two more units of naphtha plants are under construction and when commissioned towards the end of 1984 will add 679 629 cubic metres per day to the installed capacity of the station. To meet peak demand there are five gasholders with a total capacity of 113 282 cubic metres.

Towngas sales are presently increasing at a rate in excess of 20 per cent per annum due mainly to the increased sales of piped Towngas to new and existing housing estates. To meet this growth and the expected future demand for piped gas, the company is planning to construct a major production station in the New Territories and this will be linked by a 58-kilometre transmission pipeline to Kowloon, Hong Kong Island and all the major towns in the New Territories.




RAPID and dense urban development, the growth of new towns and sustained activity places a heavy burden on Hong Kong's internal transport system. The smooth and efficient movement of people and goods is essential and, with a daily average of 8.6 million passenger trips on public transport and some 327 800 vehicles of all des- criptions and sizes in a small territory, the system needs careful co-ordination and management.

The overall objective is to maintain and improve the mobility of both people and goods through an integrated, multi-modal transport system. This involves a programme to improve the road network; expansion of public transport, especially off-road modes, to meet rising demand; and measures to achieve a more economic use of the limited road capacity. The task of achieving this falls mainly on the Transport Branch and Lands and Works Branch and, at the operational level, the Highways Office of the Engineering Development Department, the Transport Department, the Traffic Branch of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force and the individual transport operators.

The main thrust of 1983 was to consolidate the achievements of 1982 and to sustain the momentum obtained in the smooth and efficient movement of people and goods in Hong Kong.

The final phase of the electrification of the Kowloon-Canton Railway was completed and train services were extended to Lo Wu from July 15. Construction of the Mass Transit Railway Island Line was going ahead on schedule. Works on major road networks, such as the Hong Kong Island Eastern Corridor, the West Kowloon Corridor and the New Territories Trunk Road and Circular Road, were also progressing smoothly. The Aberdeen Tunnel was fully opened to traffic on March 14.

Much effort during the year went into tackling the problems of road congestion. New traffic management schemes, which give priority to public transport, continued to be introduced wherever possible. In addition, as part of the budgetary proposals for 1983-4, the annual vehicle licence fees and the duty on petrol and diesel oil were further increased in February. These increases strengthened the effects of the tax, licence and duty measures introduced in May 1982 to restrain the rate of growth of private vehicles, resulting in an overall reduction of six per cent in the number of private vehicles registered in 1983 compared with 1982. But in spite of this, the level of congestion in major commercial and industrial areas is still serious. Other measures have to be found to reduce the use of vehicles in these areas at busy periods. In May, approval was given for the pilot stage of an Electronic Road Pricing System, the results of which will be ready for considera- tion in 1985. This has attracted considerable interest from many countries with similar problems.




The Transport Branch, headed by the Secretary for Transport, is responsible for overall policy formulation and the direction and co-ordination of all transport matters. In discharging this responsibility, the Secretary for Transport is assisted on major transport issues by the Transport Advisory Committee (TAC) which advises the Governor-in- Council on transport policies. The TAC, chaired by an unofficial, has 11 unofficial and six official members. Internally, the Secretary for Transport is advised by the Transport Policy Co-ordinating Committee (TPCC), of which he is chairman.

     The Transport Department is responsible for carrying out policy and for regulation of much of Hong Kong's internal transport system. The Commissioner for Transport, who heads the Transport Department, is the statutory authority under the Road Traffic Ordinance and under other legislation dealing with public transport operations other than railways. As such, he is responsible for road traffic management - including government road tunnels, car parks and metered parking spaces and for the regulation of internal road and waterborne public transport. On these matters, he is advised by the Standing Conference on Road Use and the Standing Committee on Waterborne Transport. He is also responsible for the licensing of drivers and vehicles.

     A Transport Tribunal, chaired by an unofficial and set up under the Road Traffic Ordinance, provides members of the public with an avenue for the review of certain decisions made by the Commissioner for Transport, for instance, with regard to hire car permits and the suspension of vehicle licences.

     The Highways Office of the Engineering Development Department is responsible for the design and building of all highways and roads, and their repair and maintenance. The Royal Hong Kong Police Force enforces traffic legislation and prosecutes offenders.


The task of overhauling the existing Road Traffic Ordinance was completed on August 9, 1983, when the Executive Council approved seven sets of regulations under a new Road Traffic Ordinance which was enacted in December 1982. This new legislation, which is simpler and better structured, will greatly strengthen and streamline the administration of Hong Kong's roads and traffic when it is brought into effect in 1984.

     In addition, the Road Traffic (Driving-Offence Points) Ordinance was enacted on June 8 and will come into force at the same time as the new road traffic legislation. Its aim is to promote safer driving and more considerate use of the roads. Also in connection with road safety, legislation was enacted to make the wearing of seat belts in private cars compulsory with effect from October 1, 1983, and to require the fitting of seat belts in light buses and taxis as from January 1, 1984. From June 1, newly registered vehicles were required to fit reflecting number plates, and vehicles already registered were given a grace period of two years to make the switch to such plates.

Drafting work continued on amendments to the Public Omnibus Services Ordinance which will help the franchised bus companies to meet more effectively the ever-changing public transport needs of Hong Kong. It will also provide the Commissioner for Transport with wider authority in monitoring and regulating the services of the franchised bus companies.

Improvements to the Road Network

    With a traffic density of 270 registered vehicles per kilometre - thought to be the highest in the world - improvement of the road network in Hong Kong is a continuous commitment. During the year, good progress was made in the road building programme with several



major projects opened to traffic and several more at various stages of investigation, design and construction. Expenditure of the Highways Office of the Engineering Development Department was $900 million on major highway projects, with a further $150 million spent on improving and maintaining existing roads. At the end of the year, there were 1 238 kilometres of carriageway in the territory: 360 on Hong Kong Island, 345 in Kowloon and 533 in the New Territories, representing an increase of 1.8 per cent over 1982.

On Hong Kong Island, the construction of the Island Eastern Corridor progressed well and is due for completion in 1986-7. This eight-kilometre high-speed urban road from Causeway Bay to Shau Kei Wan will greatly improve the traffic flow along the north shore of the island. Projects completed on Hong Kong Island in the year include the Tai Hang Road flyover, the second tube of the Aberdeen Tunnel, the widening of Pok Fu Lam Road in the west and the reconstruction of Ap Lei Chau main street. Significant major projects under investigation were Route 7 from Kennedy Town to Aberdeen, Route 81 from Aberdeen to Stanley, an additional cross-harbour link at Lei Yue Mun, road links for the Kornhill development, Lau Sin Street flyover in Causeway Bay and the improvement to May Road including grade separation at the junction of Magazine Gap Road. Planning was also in progress for capacity improvements for Gloucester Road, Connaught Road Central and Connaught Road West, additional grade-separated accesses to Wan Chai reclamation, and transportation requirements for Mid-Levels and Central. Works in progress included the grade-separated interchange in Queensway to connect Central District with the development on the former Victoria Barracks site, the Pak Fuk Road extension, the Gloucester Road flyover in Causeway Bay, the widening of Tai Hang Road from Lai Tak Tsuen Road to connect with the Tai Hang Road flyover and the widening of Garden Road and Cotton Tree Drive.

In Kowloon, a more direct route to central Kwun Tong from the Cross-Harbour Tunnel is now possible with the completion of the flyover link on Kwun Tong Road. One of the major bottlenecks on the Northeast Kowloon Corridor was eliminated when the last section of Lung Cheung Road was converted to dual carriageway. Further east, there was marked improvement to traffic flow in the Kowloon Bay area when a major new interchange was opened to traffic. Construction of another interchange system in the vicinity was progressing well and, on completion in 1984, will further improve traffic flow in the area. Much headway has been made with the construction of the grade-separated interchange along Waterloo Road at its junction with Cornwall Street and Junction Road. The opening of the section of West Kowloon Corridor between Cherry Street and Yen Chow Street has helped to smooth the traffic flow between Tai Kok Tsui and Sham Shui Po. Active planning and design work continued for the elevated vehicular link between east and west Kowloon Tong and the improvement to Gascoigne Road and Chatham Road.

       In the New Territories, work on the New Territories Trunk Road and the Circular Road improvement, from Sha Tin to Fan Kam Road, progressed satisfactorily. Projects completed during the year included the dual carriageway from Yuen Long to Au Tau, the second carriageway of Tuen Mun Road providing a dual three-lane link between Tuen Mun and Tsuen Wan, the grade-separated interchange at Pillar Island and the widening of Cheong Wing Road and Kwai Tsing Road in Tsuen Wan. Under construction was the grade-separated interchange to replace the roundabout at the junction of Tuen Mun Road and Pui To Road, the Castle Peak Road/Tai Ho Road intersection in Tsuen Wan and the re-alignment of Po Lam Road to form the initial access to Junk Bay New Town.

On the New Territories Circular Road improvement, design was completed for the section from Au Tau to Fan Kam Road. In the south, consultants were appointed to design



    a new dual carriageway road linking Tsuen Wan and Sha Tin as well as the improvement of Tai Po Road from Tai Wo Ping interchange to Tai Wai. In Sai Kung, the detailed planning for improvement of Hiram's Highway to dual carriageway standard between Clear Water Bay Road and Ho Chung was completed while planning for the remaining section from Ho Chung to Sai Kung was in hand.

Road Links with China

The bridge at Man Kam To is the only road link with China and traffic has been growing rapidly. In the first eight months of 1983, goods vehicle and coach traffic increased by 30 per cent and 15 per cent respectively over the same period in 1982. During 1983, the number of closed road permits for the private cars of businessmen with investments in Shenzhen was increased to 200. Operational issues and measures to maximise the use and efficiency of the existing road link were discussed regularly at the Hong Kong Government's and Shenzhen authorities' Joint Working Group on the Control at Entry/Exit Points.

A Memorandum of Agreement signed in 1982 between the government and the Shenzhen authorities includes the improvement and development of road links with China. The construction of a second bridge at Man Kam To (and expanded immigration and customs facilities) will begin in early 1984 and be completed by mid-1985. The planning and procedures for a bridge at Sha Tau Kok are also under way, and discussions continue about a bridge at Lok Ma Chau following the agreement on a bridge alignment.

Planning for the Future

A series of transport studies was carried out to assess existing and future travel demands, notably covering the northwest and northeast New Territories, Junk Bay, Tsuen Wan, Lantau Island and Ma On Shan. These studies, undertaken by several international consultancies and monitored by the government, are designed to select the best develop- ment options for balanced new townships well provided with industrial, commercial, social, educational and transport facilities. A study of the transportation requirements of Mid-Levels and Central District and a traffic study for North Kowloon was in progress.

     The Planning and the Traffic and Transport Survey Divisions of the Transport Department carried out in-house traffic studies and provided economic and statistical surveys. They included a study to forecast public transport demand on Hong Kong Island in anticipation of the advent of the Mass Transit Railway Island Line in 1985-6, a comprehensive study of the local ferry operations of the Hong Kong and Yaumati Ferry Company, and public transport patronage forecasts for Tuen Mun New Town. A study to integrate buses and the railway along the Kowloon-Canton corridor in the New Territories was in progress.

New Town Development

To ensure that an efficient and integrated public transport network is provided for each of the new towns in the New Territories, comprehensive transport studies are carried out. Most of the new town transport plans reflect the policy objective of economical use of roads, giving priority to the development of off-road systems.

Tsuen Wan's accessibility has been greatly improved since the Mass Transit Railway Tsuen Wan Extension became operational in 1982. The electrified Kowloon-Canton Railway, the first phase of which opened between Kowloon and Sha Tin in 1982, was extended in 1983 to the border at Lo Wu and serves the new towns of Tai Po and Fanling en route. Progress in the planning of the proposed light rail system for the Tuen Mun and



Yuen Long area was delayed early in 1983 when the company with which the government had been negotiating for some years to build and operate the proposed railway decided it could not proceed. Work, however, continued and several international consortia sub- mitted broad proposals for construction of the system. The decision whether or not to proceed with the project or to adopt a bus-based transport system for the area was due to be taken in late 1983.

       During 1983, it was decided to proceed with the limited development of Ma On Shan (an extension of Sha Tin New Town) and of Junk Bay. Full development of these areas depends on rail links. Further decisions regarding these developments will be made when studies of strategic land use and transport, producing alternative development strategies for the territory as a whole, have been completed.

Although the volume of traffic indicates the need for railway systems serving the new towns, bus services will retain an important role throughout the territory, complementing rail systems by providing feeder services and catering for demand outside the railway corridors. Ferry services will play a significant role in the further development of Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun, and the proposed new town at Junk Bay. A new permanent ferry pier and associated interchange facilities on the Tsuen Wan Bay reclamation were partially opened in late 1983 and a similar facility at Tuen Mun will open in 1985.

Improvement and Expansion of Public Transport

Expanding and improving public transport is a principal objective in improving the mobility of the population. The intensity, cost-effectiveness and diversity of Hong Kong's public transport services is probably unsurpassed, with a significant proportion of Hong Kong's 5.3 million people making over eight million passenger journeys per day. The range of services includes the Mass Transit Railway which runs through the most densely populated parts of the urban area, and the suburban Kowloon-Canton Railway operating between Kowloon and the eastern New Territories; a relatively slow but high capacity tram service; more than 300 bus routes, operated by three private franchised bus companies; ferry services provided by two major companies and a number of small operators; 14-seater 'public light buses'; and a fleet of taxis. Of interest to tourists is an aerial ropeway, and a funicular railway climbing one of the world's steepest gradients to Victoria Peak.

Kowloon-Canton Railway

The year saw the virtual completion of the five-year, $3,500 million modernisation and electrification project of the Kowloon-Canton Railway (KCR). On July 15, the Governor, Sir Edward Youde, performed the ceremony to mark the provision of electric train services over the whole 34-kilometre route, also marking the end of 21 years of diesel passenger trains. The electric train service had been extended from Sha Tin to Tai Po Market on May 2, following the introduction of the 10.5-kilometre inner suburban section between Kowloon and Sha Tin in May 1982.

Trains operate from 6 a.m. to midnight. During the morning and evening peak periods they run at 33-minute intervals between Kowloon and Sha Tin, five-minute intervals to Tai Po Market, 74-minute intervals to Sheung Shui, and 15-minute intervals to Lo Wu. Outside the peak hours there are nine trains an hour each way between Kowloon and Tai Po Market, six trains an hour between Kowloon and Sheung Shui, and three trains an hour between Kowloon and Lo Wu. The 70-minute journey time by diesel train from Kowloon to Lo Wu has been reduced to 36 minutes by electric train.



     The modernisation and electrification of the KCR required complete rebuilding of the railway, taking out virtually all the old infrastructure and rebuilding in situ a new railway to serve the growing transport needs of the new towns on the northeast axis of the New Territories.

With the greatly improved service, in particular in frequency and journey times, patronage grew steadily from about 80 000 daily at the beginning of the year to 120 000 in early July and to 190 000 by the end of the year. The diesel freight trains carried 2.25 million tonnes of freight and 2.27 million head of livestock during 1983.

Rebuilt stations at University, Tai Po Market, Fanling and Sheung Shui were opened to cope with the electrified service. A temporary station at Tai Wai was commissioned in August to serve the southern part of Sha Tin. All stations are equipped with automatic ticketing machines to facilitate passenger flow. New transport interchange facilities are provided at many stations for the convenience of the public, including bus and maxicab termini, car parks and taxi stands. The express through trains between Kowloon and Guangzhou continued to be popular.

The Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation created in late 1982 assumed responsibility for operating the railway on February 1. It is a public corporation wholly owned by the government and required to operate on normal commercial principles. The railway had been run as a government department since its inception in 1910.

Mass Transit Railway

At year's end, the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) was carrying about 1.2 million passengers each weekday, making it the heaviest carrier per track kilometre in the world. It now operates on 26 kilometres of track, with 25 stations. Excluding finance costs, over $10,000 million has been spent on the construction of the Modified Initial System and the Tsuen Wan Extension. Two distinct lines are now in operation: the Kwun Tong to Waterloo and Tsuen Wan to Central lines. As a result, interchange facilities operate at Prince Edward and Argyle Stations.

A record number of passengers, 1.54 million, was carried on December 24. The operating timetable was adjusted during the year and trains now run at two-minute intervals during the morning peak and at 24-minute intervals during the evening peak. The arrival of trains at destinations within two minutes of the scheduled time was main- tained at 99.4 per cent during the year.

An overall fare increase of eight per cent was made in May, resulting in a new adult fare range of $1.50 to $4.00. Discounts continued to be offered to purchasers of stored value tickets, which include a last-ride bonus and an off-peak fare reduction. Half price child/student single journey tickets and child/student stored value tickets also continued to be offered.

During the year, the facilities provided within stations for the convenience of passengers were further expanded. Banks now operate on all concourses, meeting the normal banking needs of passengers and also selling stored value tickets. A variety of shops and kiosks operate on the concourses. A 'tourist ticket' valued at $15 was introduced. This is sold at Hong Kong Tourist Association information counters, a number of hotels and six MTR stations located in the tourist belt.

With a view to improving the operating environment of public transport, particularly at peak hours, the MTR together with other transport operators - the KCR, the Kowloon Motor Bus Company and the Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry Company - jointly launched a courtesy campaign during the year. The aim of the campaign was to demonstrate the



      benefits of courtesy when using public transport, with particular emphasis on safety. The courtesy message was conveyed to the public in various ways, including animated television advertisements, posters, banners, leaflets and T-shirts.

Construction work on the corporation's third line, the Island Line, reached a peak during the year. All major civil engineering contracts for work associated with this line were awarded and let at fixed prices and in Hong Kong dollars. The cost of the Island Line in 1986 dollar terms is estimated at under HK$11 billion. Civil engineering work is about 60 per cent complete.

The Island Line, along the island's northern shore, will link Chai Wan and Sheung Wan and comprise 14 stations. The greater part of the line, Chai Wan to Admiralty, will be completed in mid-1985, with the remainder from Admiralty to Sheung Wan in September 1986. Close liaison is maintained between the corporation and government departments to solve problems and handle complaints resulting from the construction work. Compensa- tion payments for property resumptions and affected business due to the first two lines were $329 million, while for the Island Line the figure at the end of 1983 was $405 million. The Island Line is being financed in a similar manner to the first two lines, by a mixture of export credits covering construction and equipment contracts placed with overseas companies, property development profits and commercial borrowings. Three residential and commercial developments associated with the Tsuen Wan Extension were completed during the year.

By the end of 1983, the MTR rail network was served by 38 feeder bus services terminating at stations. To encourage motorists to make use of the system, multi-storey car parks are provided at MTR stations at Kwai Fong and Tsuen Wan.


More than 300 bus routes are operated by three private companies under franchises granted by the government on a route basis. Together, they carry 3.7 million passengers a day.

The largest, the Kowloon Motor Bus Company (1933) Limited (KMB), operates 177 daily bus routes in Kowloon and the New Territories, and 15 cross-harbour routes jointly with the China Motor Bus Company Limited (CMB). During the year, 100 double-deck buses were added to the fleet which at year-end totalled 2 380 buses, comprising 2 150 double-deckers, 140 single-deck buses and 90 coaches. Bus services were reorganised in several areas following the completion of electrification of the KCR with a view to strengthening feeder bus services to KCR stations. The increase in KCR capacity significantly improved services to the public and bus passengers along the KCR corridor generally fell by 20 per cent. The easing of pressure on these services has brought benefits in terms of reduced overcrowding and shorter waiting times.

Bus fares for KMB were revised in April. Fares on urban routes range from 60 cents to $1.20 and on rural routes from 70 cents to $3.50. All cross-harbour routes with the exception of the airport coach service, recreational routes to Sha Tin Racecourse and a route linking Sha Tin Market with Wah Fu Estate, have a flat fare of $2 with a section fare of $1 after crossing the tunnel. Higher fares are charged on the express coach services. During the year, a total of 980 million passengers were carried by KMB and 160 million kilometres were operated - increases of five per cent and 10 per cent respectively over the previous year.

The China Motor Bus Company Limited (CMB) operates 80 daily bus routes on Hong Kong Island and 15 joint cross-harbour routes. In 1983, its fleet of 1 090 double-deckers carried 350 million passengers and operated 52 million kilometres. Development of the



company's services continued and further increases in fleet capacity were achieved by the replacement of buses with new, larger models. During the first quarter of the year, routes serving the Chai Wan and the Mid-Levels areas were reorganised to reflect changes in demand. In order to strengthen the feeder bus services to MTR stations on Hong Kong Island, two new feeder routes were introduced in August on an experimental basis. Fares are charged according to distance and range from 60 cents for urban routes to $4 for the longest cross-harbour route.

     Following a review of CMB's operation in June 1982, a further review in July 1983 showed that satisfactory progress had been made towards carrying out recommendations on improvements to bus depots, route development and economy measures. Further attention is to be given to the maintenance system.

     Bus operations continued to be affected by traffic congestion. The year saw the completion of 21 public transport priority schemes which have helped to improve bus speeds. To maintain mobility for the majority of commuters who use public transport, public transport priority measures will continue to be developed wherever feasible.

     On Lantau Island, the New Lantao Bus Company (1973) Limited (NLB) operates a fleet of 58 buses over eight routes, two of which were new bus routes introduced during the year. In 1983, NLB buses carried 7 000 passengers each weekday. Recreational demand increased this figure to 16 000 on Sundays and public holidays. To cope with the peak demand, the company acquired an additional double-deck bus during the year.

Fares on NLB services were increased in April. Weekday fares range from 70 cents to $5.20, while higher fares ranging from $1.50 to $8 are charged on Sundays and public holidays. To improve cost-efficiency, a programme to convert NLB routes progressively to one-man operation began during the year with a target of full conversion by April 1984.

     Franchised bus services are supplemented by a fleet of 2 180 non-franchised public buses which are operated for hire on a contract basis, as well as private buses operated by private housing or factories. Residential coach services, which are operated under licences granted by the Transport Department to meet the transport needs of outlying residential areas, continued to expand. During the year, 54 licences were issued for the operation of residential coach services, four on Hong Kong Island and 19 in the New Territories, bringing the total of routes to 23.


The size of the public light bus (PLB) fleet has been fixed at 4 350 since May 1976. In 1983, these 14-seater minibuses carried an estimated 1.4 million passengers a day. PLBs are authorised under the Road Traffic Ordinance to carry passengers at separate fares. There is no control on fares charged and there are no fixed routes. The service is popular with passengers prepared to pay higher fares for a quicker, more direct or more comfortable service with the added advantage of being able to board or alight anywhere along the route. PLBs, however, contribute to congestion as they tend to concentrate on the main bus and tram corridors, delaying high capacity carriers and other traffic by their frequent stops. The full electrification of the KCR in July caused a considerable drop in passenger demand on PLB routes paralleling the railway. As expected, they have adjusted their services according to demand.

     Expansion of the 'maxicab' scheme continued in 1983, with PLBs converting to fixed routes and fares under the control of the Transport Department to serve areas of particular need. By the end of 1983, 110 maxicab routes utilising 820 PLBs were in operation throughout the territory, carrying about 285 000 passengers daily. Concessionary fares for



      handicapped passengers are offered on some maxicab routes. Some operators are beginning to provide air-conditioned vehicles.

A fleet of 1 700 private light buses is also maintained by schools, private developments and commercial enterprises for their own needs.


The tram service in Hong Kong dates back to 1904, when Hongkong Tramways Limited began a service of five overlapping routes over 30 kilometres of track along the densely populated north shore of Hong Kong Island. During 1983, the fleet of 163 double-deck tramcars carried a daily average of 360 000 passengers. A fare increase in July raised adult fares from 50 cents to 60 cents and monthly tickets from $45 to $50. Fares for children (under 12 years) and Student Travel Card holders remained at 20 cents and 30 cents respectively.

The Peak Tramways Company Limited has been operating a cable-hauled funicular railway service up Victoria Peak between the lower levels of Hong Kong Island and Victoria Gap, 397 metres above sea level, since 1888. The service stops at five intermediate stations on the 1.4-kilometre line, and in places negotiates a gradient of one-in-two. It is popular with tourists, and at the same time provides a direct route to Central District for Peak residents. In 1983, the service carried 4 900 passengers a day, an increase of two per cent compared with 1982. In June, the lower terminus of the service was relocated to the ground floor of the new St John's Building.

Aerial Ropeways

An aerial ropeway operating at Ocean Park carries visitors between the park's lowland and headland sites. There are 246 cars on the system with a total carrying capacity of 1 476 persons. In 1983, it carried an average of 2 600 passengers a day.


Ferry services in Hong Kong are mainly provided by two principal companies - the Hong Kong and Yaumati Ferry Company Limited (HYF) and the Star Ferry Company Limited. The Star Ferry has a fleet of 10 vessels, plying across the harbour between Edinburgh Place on Hong Kong Island, and Tsim Sha Tsui and Hung Hom in Kowloon. During the year, the company carried 38 million passengers on its two routes. Fares on the two Star Ferry services were increased on March 1, to 70 cents per journey for adults and 40 cents for children. HYF operates a varied fleet of vessels on 16 cross-harbour services (three of which carry vehicles), 10 outlying district services, two excursion services and two coastal ferry services along the northern shore of Hong Kong Island. The company has a fleet of 84 vessels, some of which are air-conditioned, comprising double and triple-deck ferries, water buses and high-speed hovercraft. During the year the company carried 100 million passengers and three million vehicles.

Patronage of HYF's cross-harbour ferry services continued to be affected by the Mass Transit Railway. Decreases in passengers, from three per cent to 50 per cent compared with 1982, were recorded on these routes. Overall, passenger traffic on HYF's cross-harbour services dropped by 12 per cent compared with 1982. This process is expected to continue with the opening of the MTR Island Line in 1985. During the year, seven ferry services were cancelled and service adjustments were introduced on several others to reduce operating costs. Against this background, a five-month comprehensive study of HYF's local ferry operations was undertaken by the Transport Department with a view to formulating both short and long-term strategies for the development of waterborne transport in Hong Kong.



      In addition to the services operated by the two major ferry companies, 11 minor ferry services are run to isolated communities by seven operators. Supplementary services known as 'kaitos' are also available, mostly in the New Territories, to cater to local rural demand. Both types of service are controlled by licences issued by the Transport Department under the Ferry Services Ordinance. In Victoria Harbour, fleets of motor boats known as 'walla- wallas' are available for hire at public piers, although demand for this service is decreasing due to the introduction of more all-night cross-harbour bus services.


Hong Kong is served by three types of taxi: Hong Kong and Kowloon taxis which may operate anywhere in the territory (but primarily serve the urban areas); New Territories taxis which operate only in permitted areas in the New Territories; and Lantau taxis which operate only on Lantau Island. At the end of 1983, 12 500 Hong Kong and Kowloon taxis were registered. New licences continued to be issued by tender at a rate of 100 per month. There were 1 900 New Territories taxis, with 50 new licenses being issued each month, and 20 Lantau taxis.

      For Hong Kong and Kowloon, fares are $4.50 for the first two kilometres and 60 cents for each subsequent 267 metres; for the New Territories and Lantau, the first two kilometres cost $3 and 30 cents for each subsequent 200 metres. At the end of 1983, applications for taxi fares revision were being considered. A double charge is applicable for the Cross-Harbour Tunnel toll. A comprehensive review is being carried out on taxis and their role in the present transport system in Hong Kong.

More Economic Use of the Roads

The wide and comprehensive range of public transport services in Hong Kong makes co-ordination for effective services a priority task. The Commissioner for Transport exercises control over schedules of services, monitors performance standards, undertakes duties relating to the provision of transport-related needs - such as bus terminals, ferry piers and land for depots and meets operators regularly to co-ordinate and further improve services.

     Although the total number of registered vehicles dropped slightly during the year, the volume of traffic using the roads was still very substantial. To alleviate congestion, various traffic management measures have been introduced with emphasis on public transport priority and pedestrian safety. On Hong Kong Island, schemes to ease public transport operation came into effect along King's Road, Hennessy Road, Queen's Road East, Gloucester Road, Queen's Road West, and in Central District. Traffic management schemes to improve general traffic circulation in Happy Valley and in Causeway Bay are being prepared. Similar traffic management schemes have been introduced in Jordan Road, Nam Cheong Street, Tai Po Road, Lung Cheung Road and Clear Water Bay Road at the Choi Hung and Ping Shek Estates. In the New Territories, they came into effect in Kwong Fuk Road in Tai Po and Fu Hing Street and Lung Sum Avenue in Shek Wu Hui. These schemes were generally successful and are subject to continued monitoring to ensure they operate satisfactorily and are modified as necessary. Investigations were being made into other problem areas with a view to developing further improvement schemes.

     Good progress was maintained on the installation of traffic lights at road intersections and pedestrian crossings, with 550 sets in operation by the end of the year.

Area traffic control (ATC) was introducted in 1977 with the central computer control of 83 junctions in West Kowloon. The system has gradually expanded, and by 1983 there



were 215 junctions under control in West Kowloon. The installation of an additional computer during the year brought 70 junctions along the northern corridor of Hong Kong Island between Wan Chai and Quarry Bay under central control. This system will be expanded to cover 90 junctions. International tenders have been invited for the Hong Kong Island Final ATC System, covering the northern corridor of Hong Kong Island between Kennedy Town and Shau Kei Wan, and work will begin in 1984.

Road Tunnels

Four principal road tunnels serve Hong Kong. The Lion Rock, Aberdeen and Airport Tunnels are managed by the Transport Department, and the Cross-Harbour Tunnel is under private management.

The oldest tunnel, through the Lion Rock, provides an essential road link between urban Kowloon, Sha Tin and the northeast New Territories. It was opened in 1967 as a single-tube tunnel, and modernised and expanded to a two-tube operation in 1978. The average daily traffic exceeds 57 000 vehicles. Tolls are $1 for private cars and $2 for heavy goods vehicles. The Aberdeen Tunnel on Hong Kong Island was opened with one tube in March 1982; the two-tube operation followed in March 1983. It provides a road link between Happy Valley in the north and Wong Chuk Hang in the south and is used by 32 000 vehicles daily, at a $2 toll.

The Airport Tunnel crosses under the runway of Hong Kong International Airport providing a more direct road link from the central area of Kowloon to Kwun Tong. Both tubes of the toll-free tunnel were opened to traffic in October 1982 and 30 000 vehicles use it daily.

The twin-tube Cross-Harbour Tunnel links the Kowloon peninsula and Hong Kong Island and is operated by the Cross Harbour Tunnel Company Limited. Since opening in August 1972, average daily traffic has risen progressively and now exceeds 110 000 vehicles paying tolls varying from $2 to $20. The tunnel is the busiest four-lane toll facility in the world.


With the opening in 1983 of new car parks in Kwai Fong and Tsuen Wan and the transfer of the Hung Hom car park to the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation, the Transport Department operates 10 multi-storey car parks which provide 6 267 parking spaces. In addition, five open-air car parks - two of which cater wholly for lorries - provide a further 856 spaces. The Civil Aviation Department operates a multi-storey car park and an open-air car park at Hong Kong International Airport. Hourly charges at government multi-storey car parks vary between $1 and $5, depending on the time of day and the location. Open-air parking facilities are cheaper, with hourly charges between 50 cents and $3 per hour. Monthly tickets for up to 50 per cent of all spaces in government multi-storey car parks are available at charges between $100 and $1,000 depending on location.

Public parking facilities are provided by the private sector through more than 50 multi-storey car parks with a total of about 10 000 spaces. Commercial charges are generally higher, ranging from $2.50 to $7 per hour, often with a minimum charge of $10.

On-street parking spaces are provided where traffic conditions permit, with parking meters to regulate use. There are 13 100 metered on-street parking spaces throughout the territory, generally operating from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight, from Monday to Saturday. Where parking demand is consistently high, however, meter operation is being extended to include Sundays and public holidays. On-street parking is controlled by traffic wardens and



the Traffic Branch of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force who together apply a fixed penalty system for parking offences. The current fine for illegal parking is $140.

      In July 1983, tenders were invited for the purpose of contracting out the management of government multi-storey car parks, and it is planned that private operation should commence in early 1984. Future car park sites will be developed by the private sector and a further 7 900 spaces in multi-storey car parks are projected over the next four to five years.


During the year, the number of driving licences held by Hong Kong residents reached 870 000, compared with 741 922 the previous year. The computerisation of registration and licensing procedures for motor vehicles was completed. This provides instant processing of applications, printing of registration and licensing documents and traffic permits, checking of records, and random allocation of vehicle registration marks. A new licensing office was opened in Sha Tin in November, marking the first step towards regional licensing offices and extending services to new towns.

      In May, legislative amendments exempting disabled people from paying First Registra- tion Tax for private cars with C.I.F. value below $30,000 were introduced. The Kowloon Bay Vehicle Surrender Centre opened in May, providing a free service to registered owners for easy disposal of unwanted vehicles. Surrendered vehicles are collected and crushed by the government car crushing contractor. A 13 000-square-metre site near Ocean Park in Aberdeen was converted into an off-street driver training school, the first in Hong Kong. The school, a private concern, can provide driver training for up to 12 000 students a year.

Vehicle Examination

The Transport Department's vehicle examination centres at Kowloon Bay, To Kwa Wan, and Soo Kun Po provide facilities for the annual inspection of all urban and New Territories taxis, hire cars, private and public light buses, private and public omnibuses and dangerous goods vehicles. The programme was extended in 1983 to include goods vehicles manufactured in 1972 and 1973, and all private cars manufactured before 1972. All franchised buses were examined at the bus companies' premises for roadworthiness.

     Inspections carried out in 1983 exceeded 65 000. Vehicles involved in accidents were examined at police pounds at Ho Man Tin in Kowloon, Hung Hing Road on Hong Kong Island and Kwai Shing Circuit in the New Territories. Vehicles and other equipment within the Hong Kong International Airport perimeter were inspected on site. Pre-registration inspections are conducted on all goods vehicles and the first example of all new private car and motor-cycle models, but new goods vehicle inspections had to be deferred for the first seven months of the year due to staff shortages. Plans are in hand for the construction of three fully-automated computerised vehicle inspection centres at Tsuen Wan and Yuen Long, and on Hong Kong Island.

Road Safety

In 1983, there were 16 813 traffic accidents involving injury, 7 116 serious and 336 fatal, compared with 18 337 in 1982 (9 634 serious, 457 fatal) which represents a decrease of 8.3 per cent. Investigations to identify the causes of traffic accidents and to identify remedial measures are carried out by the Transport Department's Road Safety Division. Accidents affecting all road users are analysed, but particular attention is given to those involving pedestrians. Altogether, 157 accident black sites were investigated during the year and 82 remedial measures were recommended.



With traffic accidents continuing to take a heavy toll of human life and property, the promotion of road safety is of great importance. The Road Safety Division drafted a new Highway Code in collaboration with other government departments, participated in the production of traffic education teaching kits for schools, advised target groups on road safety campaigns, and provided technical advice in connection with road safety legislation. At the end of 1983, there were 243 Road Safety School Patrols comprising 10 000 members whose main function is to ensure safe crossing of roads by school children on their way to and from school. The Road Safety Council, an advisory body, was reconstituted and strengthened in early 1983.

Tackling Congestion on the Roads

The 1974 White Paper on Transport predicted that with the continuing increase in the number of vehicles and the inevitable limitation on growth of the road system in the urban areas, it would become necessary, as one of the measures to relieve overall road congestion, to restrain the rate of growth of the vehicle fleet. In May 1982, measures were introduced for transport policy reasons doubling the first registration tax for private vehicles, broadly tripling their annual licence fees and raising the duty on petrol. In February 1983, the Annual Budget included increases for fiscal reasons in vehicle licence fees and the duty on petrol and diesel oil. Disabled drivers were exempted from all measures except the fuel duties. As a result, the number of new private cars licensed during 1983 dropped by six per cent compared with growths of 11 per cent and two per cent in 1982 and 1981 respectively. The number of private cars licensed at the end of 1983 was 201 000, compared with 214 849 at the end of 1982. For motorcycles, the figures were 26 000 and 27 434 respectively.

       Although the objective of the May 1982 measures was to restrict the rate of growth in private vehicles to five per cent, the economic recession accentuated its effect. Past experience has shown, however, that as the economy picks up again, and as the effect of increased taxes and licences wears off, growth will resume. Details are at Appendix 32. The government believes that such fiscal measures, although necessary and effective, are not the most equitable way of dealing with congestion, and an exhaustive examination of alternatives was carried out during 1982 and 1983 with the aim of reducing vehicle usage in congested areas, at peak periods in particular.

       As a result, and following consideration of a feasibility study carried out by the United Kingdom Department of Transport, the government approved a pilot stage of an Electronic Road Pricing System (ERP). ERP, by charging for the use of busy roads at congested times, aims to reduce traffic volume by the margin necessary to achieve satisfactory traffic flows by discouraging users who can make journeys at less congested times or by public transport. It is equitable because it does not attack the ownership of vehicles, as each motorist can decide on an individual economic basis how much he wishes to use congested roads, rather than all motorists paying the same levels of taxes and licences, with some using congested roads a great deal, some not so much and some hardly at all. The potential benefits of the system for all vehicles (private, commercial and public transport) and to the community are significant in terms of improved traffic flows, the economy, the environment, and to a lesser extent, safety.


       The system involves the identification of each individual vehicle by an electronic coded device an electronic number plate (ENP) - installed underneath the vehicle. When a vehicle passes over electronic loops in the roads, the ENP responds to the loop and transmits a signal which is relayed to a central computer. This signal records the unique electronic code of the vehicle and the time, date and location of passage. Tariffs will vary



according to time of day and location. The vehicle owner is billed periodically by computer, and will have controlled access to the full record for his vehicle. Preparations for the pilot stage are proceeding well and the practical demonstration stage will begin in the second half of 1984. After exhaustive testing, the government will be in a position to take the decision in 1985 on whether or not to proceed to a full system.

Goods Vehicles

     Goods vehicles increased from 67 606 in December 1982 to 69 000 at the end of 1983. Over the past decade, the number of registered goods vehicles has grown by 8.9 per cent per year. They contribute to congestion when they are on the move as part of the traffic stream and, when loading and unloading, obstruct traffic flow. A study of the Economic and Transport Aspects of the Trucking Industry began in September to establish the role of the industry in the economy, assess its efficiency, consider how it is likely to develop in future and examine policy changes to improve its efficiency.

Port Development and Shipping Services

Hong Kong, one of the world's major ports, has earned a world-wide reputation for efficiency in continuing to meet the increasing demands of modern shipping requirements. The tonnage of shipping visiting the port, the volume of cargo handled and the passenger throughput reflect the optimum utilisation of all port facilities. Victoria Harbour, lying between Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, is regarded as one of the most perfect natural harbours in the world. It has an area of some 5 200 hectares, and varies in width from 1.6 to 9.6 kilometres.

The administration of the port is a responsibility of the Director of Marine. He is advised on this by the Port Committee and the Port Executive Committee through which the closest liaison with shipping and commercial interests is maintained to ensure that facilities and services are developed to meet the changing needs of Hong Kong and of ships using the port. The Container Port Executive Committee was set up in 1982 to advise the Director of Marine on matters relating to the container port at Kwai Chung and its future development. The port of Hong Kong, whick ranks among the top three container ports in the world, handled 1.83 million TEU's (20-foot equivalent units) in 1983. The Kwai Chung Container Port has six berths with more than 2 300 metres of quay backed by about 88 hectares of cargo handling area which includes container yards and container freight stations, all of which are operated by private companies or consortia. Up to six 'third generation' container ships can berth simultaneously at the container port. A mobile floating roll-on- roll-off ramp is provided by a container terminal operator at Kwai Chung who, in addition, has a 12-storey multi-purpose godown in operation. This godown has a usable floor area of 52 400 square metres and the first two floors serve as a container freight station. Nearby, at Tsuen Wan, there is a 16-storey godown with a usable floor area of 52 600 square metres, equipped with container lifts serving all floors. A six-storey cargo distribution and handling centre, one of the largest of its kind in the world, is being constructed in Kwai Chung which will more than double the operator's present container capacity.

Further expansion of the Kwai Chung Container Port is constantly under review and the government has recently completed negotiations with the terminal operators to enable two of them to reclaim Kwai Chung Creek. On completion of this reclamation, efficient working capacity of the container terminal will be increased by more than 57 per cent to 2.2 million TEU's a year. The reclamation will be the first in a series of projects to increase the capacity of the container terminals.



In 1983, some 11 400 ocean-going vessels called at Hong Kong and loaded and discharged more than 37 million tonnes of cargo. This included 32 million tonnes of general goods, 34 per cent of which was containerised cargo.

Although containerisation is a major cargo transport method, a considerable amount of dry cargo handled in Hong Kong is transported at some stage by lighters and junks of which there were about 2 100 at the end of 1983, some 27 per cent of which were mechanised. Break-bulk cargo is normally handled using ships' gear, but floating heavy-lift cranes are available when required.

On average, conventional ships working cargo at buoys are in port for about two-and- a-half to three days and container ships are here for about 13 hours - excluding passage through Hong Kong waters, berthing and unberthing time. These are probably the fastest turn-round times for ships in the Far East.

Other wharves and terminals provided and operated by private enterprise are capable of accommodating vessels up to 305 metres in length with draughts up to 14.6 metres. Cargo handling facilities in the public sector include public cargo working areas at Wan Chai, Yau Ma Tei, Tsuen Wan, Kwun Tong, Western District and Rambler Channel. These areas are administered by the Marine Department. Government policy calls for the provision of public cargo working areas throughout Hong Kong to keep internal cargo movement swift and efficient.

       There is considerable tourist and other sea passenger traffic between Hong Kong and Macau. In 1983, 8.2 million passengers were carried by jetfoils, hydrofoils, jetcats and conventional ferries plying this route.

       At the site of the old Hong Kong-Macau Ferry Terminal, construction has started on the new permanent terminal which the developer is expected to hand over to the government before mid-1985. The new terminal is designed to handle up to 15 million passengers annually and to be able to accommodate 10 high-speed ferries and three conventional ferries. A second terminal on Kowloon peninsula has long been considered desirable. Consequently, the Sham Shui Po Ferry Pier was modified during the year with a Kowloon to Macau service commencing operation from the pier in September.

At present all passenger traffic by sea to China is channelled through Tai Kok Tsui Pier. In 1983, 133 000 passengers were carried on the hoverferry service between Hong Kong and Guangzhou. Further facilities are planned on the site of the Kowloon Public Pier Number 54 at Tsim Sha Tsui to cope with the increasing traffic to China. It is anticipated that this terminal will be able to accept larger ocean-going passenger vessels, together with smaller high-speed vessels, all of which will be able to berth alongside.

Within the port there are 72 mooring buoys provided and maintained by the Marine Department for ocean-going vessels. Of these, 43 are suitable for vessels of up to 183 metres in length while the remainder are suitable for ships up to 135 metres. The moorings include 57 special typhoon buoys which are located so that ships can remain secured to them during tropical storms. This obviates unnecessary ship movements and helps to maintain efficiency and reduce operational costs. Dangerous goods anchorages are available if required, and safe anchorages are available for deep-draught vessels.

For ships calling at Hong Kong, quarantine and immigration facilities are available on a 24-hour basis at the Western Quarantine Anchorage, and from 6.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. at the Eastern Quarantine Anchorage. Ships are normally cleared inward on arrival and large passenger vessels are processed on the way to their allocated berths. Vessels may, on application, obtain advance immigration clearance and health pratique by radio.



     While continuing to provide the infrastructure for ship-owners and management activities expected of a major shipping centre, Hong Kong also experienced unprecedented growth of its registered fleet during the year. The registered tonnage during 1983 increased from four million to five million tonnes 25 per cent at a time when the world is facing a severe shipping recession.


The Marine Safety Division of the Marine Department is responsible for the survey and certification of these vessels and provides a plan approval service. Surveyors of the division travel world-wide to undertake statutory surveys of vessels intended for British registry in Hong Kong. Locally, surveyors are made available to any British or foreign ships for the issue of certificates under the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1974 and other international maritime conventions. With some exceptions, vessels plying within the waters of Hong Kong need to be licensed under the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance. These, too, are inspected and issued with appropriate certificates. A convention of particular significance, which came into force internationally on October 1, 1983, is the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) 1973 as modified by its 1978 protocol. The convention has been extended to Hong Kong, enabling the Marine Department to issue International Oil Pollution Prevention (IOPP) certificates to Hong Kong-registered ships. As a result, the territory's ships are able to produce authoritative evidence of complying with the MARPOL Convention, thereby avoiding any delays or difficulties in foreign ports. Moreover, with visiting ships now being required to comply with MARPOL standards, the risk of pollution to Hong Kong waters should be minimised.

     Pilotage in Hong Kong is not compulsory, but is considered advisable because of the density of traffic and the scale of harbour work continually undertaken. Compulsory pilotage is being considered for introduction in future. The Director of Marine is the Pilotage Authority. All licensed pilots in Hong Kong are members of the Hong Kong Pilots' Association, which organises the provision of pilotage services as a commercial venture, the fees for which are governed by statute.

     All the navigation buoys in Hong Kong waters are in uniformity with the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) Maritime Buoyage System 'A' and all fairway buoys are lit and fitted with radar reflectors. Other aids to navigation in the harbour and its approaches are constantly being improved to ensure greater safety and the programmed conversion to solar power of a number of light beacons is providing very successful. Marine Department signal stations at Waglan Island, Green Island and the Port Communications Centre are all connected by telephone and radio-telephone and, with the exception of Waglan Island, by teleprinter. The Marine Department operates a continuous VHF radio-telephone port operations service based on international maritime frequencies which gives comprehensive marine communications throughout the harbour and its approaches. Marine Department teleprinter and telex facilities are linked directly to users on a world-wide basis. There is also a continuously monitored disaster network which links the Marine Department's Search and Rescue Co-ordination Centre with aircraft of the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force and military helicopters, Marine Police and Fire Services Department launches and other similar facilities. In the event of a vessel experiencing difficulties in the South China Sea within about 1 300 kilometres of Hong Kong, the Marine Department is able to act as a rescue co-ordinating centre.

     A joint study with the Canadian Government commenced in June 1982 and continued during 1983 to analyse traffic flow patterns in the waters of Hong Kong and to define a vessel traffic management system. The system, if installed, would be used to maintain the



      excellent safety record of the port and facilitate the efficient flow of shipping through the waters of Hong Kong.

A watch on shipping, fairways, typhoon shelters and cargo working areas is kept by Marine Department launch patrols. The launches are in continuous radio contact with the Port Communications Centre, enabling the centre to initiate and co-ordinate any action required in unusual circumstances. A fleet of fire-fighting vessels operated by the Fire Services Department is kept in a state of readiness with units stationed on both sides of the harbour.

Good bunkering facilities are provided in the port, and vessels may be supplied with fuel oil either from wharves at oil terminals or from a fleet of floating oilers. Fresh water is obtainable at commercial wharves or from private water boats which service vessels at anchor or on government mooring buoys. A harbour telephone service is available at buoys and wharves.

There are extensive facilities for repairing, maintaining and dry-docking or slipping all types of vessels up to about 228 metres in length and 26.8 metres beam. Five floating dry-docks are located off Tsing Yi Island, the largest of which is capable of lifting vessels of up to 100 000 tonnes deadweight. Hong Kong has a large number of minor shipyards equipped to undertake repairs to small vessels. These yards also build specialised craft including sophisticated pleasure craft and yachts.

      Hong Kong is a prominent centre for the recruiting of seamen. The Seamen's Recruiting Office and the Mercantile Marine Office register and supervise the employment of approximately 12 000 seamen on board 1 000 vessels of all flags. Considerable attention has also been given to meeting the training requirements of local seamen, particularly through the establishment of a temporary seamen's training school at Little Sai Wan, having regard for the International Conference on Training and Certification of Seafarers 1978 under the auspices of the International Maritime Organisation. The training school will be commissioned in early 1984. The Mariners' Clubs in Kowloon and Kwai Chung provide recreation and welfare facilities to a high standard for visiting seamen of all nationalities.

Examinations for certificates of competency as deck and marine engineer officers are held regularly at the Examination Centre of the Crews Division. These certificates are recog- nised by the United Kingdom Department of Trade and receive Commonwealth validity.

Civil Aviation

      There was an increase of about two per cent in passenger traffic and a healthy growth of 20 per cent in air cargo movements at Hong Kong International Airport during 1983. Passenger traffic growth slowed down because of the world-wide unfavourable economic climate. Air freight, on the other hand, increased significantly over the previous year indicating the usual resilience and competitiveness of Hong Kong's industries.

A total of 8.8 million passengers passed through the airport, an increase of about 190 000 over the preceding year. Goods shipped by air to and from Hong Kong totalled 368 000 tonnes, an increase of 20.4 per cent over 1982.

The value of goods amounted to $78,000 million, 25.7 per cent above the preceding year. Compared with Hong Kong's total trade in terms of value, imports by air accounted for about 21 per cent, exports for 29 per cent and re-exports for about 25 per cent. The United States continued to be the major market for Hong Kong's exported and re-exported items by air and accounted for about 48 per cent and 17 per cent of such products respectively. Japan accounted for about 24 per cent of Hong Kong's imports by air.



At the end of the year, there were 30 airlines operating about 1 000 scheduled services a week to and from Hong Kong linking it directly to 65 major world cities, with non-stop services to 42 of these. The air services network covered the United Kingdom, Europe, the United States, Canada, China, South Africa, India, the Middle East, Australasia and Asia. Seven other airlines operated about 16 non-scheduled services in and out of Hong Kong each week.

There were fewer international aircraft movements during the year. Some 54 300 incoming and outgoing flights were recorded, representing a drop of 0.6 per cent compared with the preceding year. Over 80 per cent of the aircraft calling at Hong Kong International Airport were wide-bodied types, indicating the continued trend by airlines towards the larger aircraft.

     During the year, Air Nauru ceased to operate to Hong Kong from Nauru. Gulf Air suspended its scheduled services and in lieu Cathay Pacific Airways operated weekly joint services with Gulf Air between Hong Kong and Bombay using Gulf Air Lockheed-1011 aircraft. Cathay Pacific Airways also commenced twice-weekly services direct to Vancouver, added one more service each week to London via Bahrain and introduced a non-stop service from London to Hong Kong. United Airlines commenced daily services to Hong Kong from Seattle and New York. Direct services to Hong Kong from Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Detroit were introduced by Northwest Orient Airlines during the year. The first Boeing-767 service to Hong Kong was operated by China Airlines.

     The process of improving and upgrading facilities at Hong Kong International Airport continued throughout the year following the completion of the four-stage development programme for the passenger terminal. The western half of the airport multi-storey car park was completed and opened in March and work was in hand late in the year to extend the cargo apron to tie in with the expansion of the air cargo terminal by Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited. The air traffic control system was enhanced by the installation of new radio navigation equipment on Tung Lung Island which became operational at the end of the year.

     The replacement airport studies related to Chek Lap Kok were completed early in the year. The project was, however, shelved for financial reasons and further consideration of a replacement airport for Hong Kong will be in the context of long-term development strategy.

     As a result, increased emphasis and urgency has been placed on the long-term development of Hong Kong International Airport to realise its ultimate capacity. The planning of further development is now well advanced. This will consist of an extension of the passenger terminal to the east providing additional space and facilities for both departing and arriving passengers. The extended building will have a capacity for about 18 million passengers each year and so meet the projected demand for processing facilities until the early 1990s. Construction is scheduled to start late in 1984 with completion in mid-1987. In addition to this phase of development, other facilities, including landside surface access roads, aircraft parking aprons and taxiways, will also be significantly expanded or improved.


Public Order

THE role of the Fight Crime Committee was upgraded when it was reconstituted in May with the Chief Secretary as its new chairman. The revised terms of reference of the committee reflect the importance that the government attaches to the fight against crime and may be summarised as planning, co-ordinating, implementing and monitoring the efforts of all departments and agencies involved in combatting crime; stimulating the public to contribute to the reduction of crime; receiving and processing suggestions from any source on how crime might be reduced; and recommending legislative and administrative measures necessary to achieve this objective. The committee will report to the Governor twice yearly. The membership includes four unofficials, two of whom are members of the Legislative Council. All government departments involved in crime prevention and detection are now represented on the committee.

Most of the work involved in maintaining law and order on the ground falls to the Royal Hong Kong Police Force. The Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Customs and Excise Service also play important roles in the fight against corruption and in the continuing battle against drug smuggling. The Correctional Services Department administers Hong Kong's penal system and programmes, while the Fire Services Department makes a major contribution to the general safety of the community in the protection of life and property in case of fire and other disasters.

Police Force

Traditional policing problems again made heavy demands on the resources of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force during the year. There was an increase in reported crime. Particularly worrying was the continuing upward trend in violent crime and an increase in crimes involving the use of firearms.

On the anti-crime front, the police continued to enlist general public support, with emphasis being given to combatting crimes committed by the young. The campaign was spearheaded by Junior Police Call, now firmly established as the largest youth organisation of its kind in the world.

       Concerning traffic, the year saw the introduction of significant new legislation relating to the wearing of seat belts and the use of reflective number plates. The Traffic Police continued to work closely with other government departments on long-term traffic planning and on more immediate measures to improve the management of traffic, such as priority for public transport and segregating pedestrians so as to make the best and safest use of roads.

The force continued to be fully committed in stemming illegal immigration from China. The flow of refugees from Vietnam remained a problem which also required a substantial commitment. In addition to the constant presence of the Marine Police at the sea boundary



to intercept new arrivals, the police were called upon to provide escort duties and to deal with incidents which occurred in refugee camps.

     Within the police force, a major three-phase restructuring and reorganisation exercise, aimed at providing commanders at district level with greater autonomy in making decisions on operational and management matters, was completed in April with the upgrading of the remaining five former police divisions in the New Territories Region to district status. The force was re-visited by the former Chief Inspector of Constabulary at the Home Office in the United Kingdom who examined the steps taken in terms of reorganisation.

In a continuing effort to keep abreast of the changing needs of the community, the police completed the review of the deployment of the Uniform Branch, which was started in 1981. Following field studies conducted in three divisions, recommendations resulting from the review are to be implemented on a force-wide basis in 1984. This will result in improved supervision of administration and patrols; will allow commanders greater flexibility in deploying resources; and will strengthen links with local committees.

     On the managerial side, the year saw the first anniversary of the Police Force Council, the consultative forum which brings together representatives from various bodies - the four police staff associations, the Commissioner of Police and the Secretary for the Civil Service - to discuss conditions of service. The new arrangements have proved successful and have advanced the consultative process so that the council now enjoys equal standing with the two other major civil service consultative bodies. During the year, six police civilian staff consultative committees in major police formations were set up. These committees have been working well and have contributed towards further improving working conditions and relations for civilian staff in the force.

     The Inspection Services Wing (formerly the Force Inspection Wing) completed 21 inspections during 1983 and identified numerous areas for improvement within the force.

The police continued to give priority to developing high information technology which is proving a valuable aid in the fight against crime. The computerisation of criminal records was completed in August and ways of extending these facilities to other operational units are being examined. Planning for a second-generation computer-assisted command and control system went ahead with the appointment in August of consultants to conduct detailed specification studies.


During 1983, 86 000 crimes were reported to the police, compared with 84 237 in 1982. There were 8 308 robberies, a decrease of 2.8 per cent compared with 8 548 the previous year. Burglaries decreased from 11 526 in 1982 to 11 308 in 1983. The overall detection rate was 42.9 per cent compared with 44.6 per cent the previous year.

A total of 34 773 people were arrested and prosecuted compared with 32 015 in 1982. Adults prosecuted totalled 31 785 and juveniles (under 16 years) numbered 2 988, in- creases of nine per cent and five per cent respectively compared with the previous year.

Organised and Serious Crime

On January 1, 1983, the Homicide Bureau, the Special Crimes Division and the Triad Society Division were amalgamated to form a new Organised and Serious Crimes Bureau, incorporating the collective knowledge of the former units while enabling the formation and its procedures to be streamlined. The bureau is charged with investigating only the most serious crimes that require a high degree of expertise which may involve protracted investigations.



       The bureau has been particularly successful in the detection and arrest of persons involved in violent armed robbery and the seizure of illegal firearms. During 1983, the bureau investigated 31 cases of an extremely serious and complex nature, resulting in the arrest of 72 persons who were charged with 96 offences; 16 firearms were seized and cash and property to the value of $33 million was recovered as a result of these investigations.

Commercial Crime

       Reports of commercial crime continued at a high level with an increase in the number of sophisticated and complex frauds, often with international ramifications. There was also a sharp increase in the value of the property and money involved. The activities of a number of deposit-taking companies, prior to closing their doors at short notice in 1982 owing substantial debts to financial institutes and members of the public, became the subject of special and intensive investigation.

       Reports of illicit commodity trading decreased, possibly indicating that the increased penalties now contained in the Commodities Trading Ordinance are having a satisfactory deterrent effect. However, an unacceptable malpractice by a number of companies in Hong Kong, which is not a contravention of the ordinance, has emerged. This takes the form of offering investment in gold on paper only, without the purchase of a futures contract, and is an additional way of speculating in price movements.

       Counterfeit currency continued to pose problems. Offensive enforcement action resulted in four syndicates engaged in production of counterfeit currency being successfully neu- tralised and 55 persons prosecuted for their involvement in distribution. Close liaison continued to be maintained with foreign law enforcement agencies in suppression of international syndicates involved in this practice.


Another substantial crop of opium in the Golden Triangle resulted in an increase in drug trafficking in Southeast Asia. During the year, some 730 kilograms of opiates, i.e. heroin base, No. 3 heroin and opium, were seized in Hong Kong. The retail price of No. 3 heroin continued to drop, falling by 18.47 per cent to $75 per gramme by year's end.


Hong Kong continued to play an active part in the activities of the International Criminal Police Organisation (ICPO-Interpol) which has its General Secretariat at St Cloud, near Paris. The Hong Kong Interpol Bureau operates within the Crime Wing of Police Headquarters and works closely with police forces in 134 countries. The bureau has its own small investigation unit and also deals with extradition matters.

Crime Prevention

The Crime Prevention Bureau continued to hold courses for newly appointed crime prevention officers. Crime trends were monitored by the bureau and preventive measures were publicised through the press and through visits to commercial and private premises. Large numbers of visitors, representing a cross-section of society in commerce, industry and the private sector, continued to visit the crime prevention display room. The advice of the bureau is now increasingly sought at the design stage on security of buildings and site development.



Illegal Immigration During 1983, 4 671 immigrants from China were arrested while attempting to enter Hong Kong and a further 2 972 evaders were arrested after arriving in the territory. 7 698 were repatriated to China representing a 31 per cent decrease compared with 11 146 repatriated the previous year.

     Although the upward trend in arrivals in 1982 continued during the first quarter of the year, the seasonal increase normally associated with the advent of the summer months did not materialise. The reduced level of illegal immigration during the last nine months of 1983 can be attributed largely to external influences. Despite the dramatic fall in arrivals following the abolition of the 'reached-base' immigration policy, there are still many persons in China who wish to come to Hong Kong and this problem continues to make considerable demands on police resources to the extent of over 1 000 officers per day.

The detection of evaders who remain in Hong Kong is primarily a responsibility of the police. Of the 2 972 evaders arrested during the year, 410 surrendered and 610 were found in possession of false identity cards. There is a demand for forged identity cards, and in this respect the effectiveness of the more secure new type of card has yet to be fully assessed. The Illegal Immigration Intelligence Bureau continued its action against organised syndicates bringing illegal immigrants into Hong Kong with the result that 67 people were prosecuted for aiding and abetting the passage of illegal immigrants.

The smuggling of minors into the territory remains a cause for concern. Most arrived with the assistance of syndicates, sometimes without the knowledge of their relatives. The number of minor illegal immigrants surfacing each month increased during the year and is still unacceptably high.

Syndicates continued to make use of speedboats to ferry their human cargoes into Hong Kong. Although mainly confined to the smuggling of minors, a two-way trade has developed in which speedboat operators smuggle merchandise to and from China. Counter measures taken by the Security Forces have contained this method of entry, but the profits involved are such that it is unlikely to be completely eradicated.

With the progressive introduction of the new Hong Kong identity card, the police have adopted a computerised checking system whereby officers on the beat can check new cards. This, together with the completion of the border fence and protection system, is enabling the force to take more effective action against evaders as well as against illegal immigrants attempting to enter Hong Kong.

Public Order

In March, violent resistance was staged to an organised clearance of illegal structures built in a rear lane of Hang On Street, Ngau Tau Kok. Demolition workers and Police Tactical Unit personnel were attacked with poles, metal pipes and flaming, paraffin-soaked rags. The resistance was overcome and demolition was carried out as scheduled. Twenty men were arrested and charged with riot and unlawful assembly. At the conclusion of the trial held at the District Court, 12 of those prosecuted were convicted; of these, six were sentenced to terms of imprisonment ranging from six to nine months, while the remainder were each fined $1,000 and sentenced to three months' imprisonment suspended for one year.

Police were extensively deployed over the 1982-3 Christmas and New Year holiday period; and again during the Lunar New Year holiday, with a heavy commitment of manpower during a fireworks display in the harbour on the evening of Lunar New Year's Day. A second fireworks display was held in October to celebrate the Urban Council's



centenary. For this event an even more extensive police coverage was required. Despite the crowd control and traffic management involved, these events passed off without incident.


After the introduction in May 1982 of fiscal measures to restrain the growth in ownership of private cars and motorcycles, the number of registered vehicles had decreased to 327 803 at the end of 1983, a reduction of 3.5 per cent compared with the end of 1982.

Partly as a result of this and partly due to increased use of off-road public transport systems, in particular the Mass Transit Railway and the electrified Kowloon-Canton Railway, the number of traffic accidents decreased by 1 524, although the toll still remained high with 336 persons killed and 21 638 injured. The police prosecuted 1990 871 for offences under the Road Traffic Ordinance during the year.

The Road Safety Division of the police force, under the aegis of the newly formed Road Safety Council, continued to give emphasis to education and publicity, working closely with schools and school crossing patrols in a co-ordinated programme of lectures and demonstrations.

Assistance to the Public

The number of requests from the public for assistance from the police continued to in- crease during 1983, with 640 927 requests received, representing an increase of 19 062 over the 1982 figure of 621 865. Of these requests, 558 728 or 87.17 per cent were for help in matters not related to crime, mainly for such general assistance as settling domestic disputes, accidents, tenancy matters, nuisance complaints, and requests for information and advice.

The Marine Police continued to play its traditional role in providing assistance to residents of small islands by means of shore patrols. The number of people living in the area covered by the Islands Division continued to increase as more high and middle-grade residential developments, light industrial buildings and recreational facilities were com- pleted. In addition, the large number of people flocking to the islands at weekends and holidays required the Marine Police to keep a constant presence to assist people and craft in difficulties. Casualty evacuations from the islands and other remote areas increased.

Community and Media Relations

      Following the successful campaigns in 1981 and 1982 to reduce crime among juveniles (young persons under the age of 16), the force continued its efforts to involve the community in combatting crime. The 1983 Fight Youth Crime Campaign, launched in July, was targetted at males aged between 14 and 20, a group with a relatively high record of crime, particularly serious and violent crime.

The campaign was led by Junior Police Call (JPC), the largest youth organisation in Hong Kong, which was established in 1974 to foster better relations between youth and the police and to provide a means for young people to actively participate in the fight against crime. The campaign featured a four-day Fight Youth Crime Seminar Camp for 300 JPC members and representatives from eight other youth organisations, and a JPC recruitment drive which attracted 32 400 new members and 3 175 JPC leaders, bringing the total membership to 353 900.

Other features of the campaign included the formation of 233 JPC clubs in secondary schools and 90 in primary schools; the organisation of 10 180 activities for JPC members; the introduction of the first Police Mobile Exhibition Centre which, between June and



December, was visited by 52 620 pupils at 69 secondary schools; the opening of another five JPC district clubhouses; production of a 30-minute film drama entitled There's No Glamour in Crime; and the staging of Fight Youth Crime promotions in all police districts.

     By the end of the year the effort and imagination put into the campaign had already started to pay off, with a reduction in the number of young men involved in crime. During the second half of the year prosecutions of males aged between 14 and 20 dropped by 269, or 0.93 per cent, compared with the same period the previous year.

     Preparatory work started on the Help the Police Fight Youth Crime competition which will be launched early in 1984. The six winners will visit Holland and the United Kingdom in July 1984.

Another 124 members of the public who actively assisted the police in bringing criminals to justice - helping to keep citizen arrest figures at the commendable level of 12.9 per cent of all arrests received cash awards totalling $190,500 through the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce Good Citizen Award Scheme.

By the end of the year, the number of criminals arrested as a direct result of calls made to the Police Hotline, associated with the weekly Police 15 and Police Report television programmes, rose to 592. In addition, callers provided 2 632 items of useful information to the police. The fourth in the drama-documentary series On the Beat, produced by Radio Television Hong Kong and the police, was shown on both Chinese television channels and attracted audiences in excess of two million.

     During the year, the Police Public Relations Branch newsroom was strengthened to increase its capability to cover major incidents involving the police and in promoting a better working relationship with the press. It provides a 24-hour information and enquiry service. Its staff dealt with a monthly average of 8 296 press enquiries and 966 public enquiries; and issued a monthly average of 316 traffic bulletins and 177 press releases covering all aspects of police work. The branch also prepared articles for overseas use and arranged press conferences, background briefings and interviews.

     The special tourist hotline, set up in 1981 to help tourists with language difficulties, continued to be well used. The hotline is manned round-the-clock by police officers fluent in English, Chinese and Japanese.

Recruitment and Personnel

By the end of 1983, the establishment of the force was 24 211, an increase of 734 over 1982. In addition, 5 224 civilians were employed, representing 21.6 per cent of the overall establishment.

The number of applications to join the force rose to 12 049, compared with 9 868 in 1982. Of these, 1 515 applicants, including 61 women, were recruited as constables. On average, about 25 per cent of the recruit constables under training are academically qualified for the inspectorate at the time of joining the Police Training School. The 202 officers appointed to the inspectorate came from three major sources: 58 local applicants appointed directly, 67 officers promoted from the junior ranks, and 77 recruited from overseas, principally from the United Kingdom.


    Facilities at the Police Training School in Wong Chuk Hang, Aberdeen, which provides basic training for the inspectorate, junor officers and traffic wardens, are being expanded to meet increasing needs. Recruit inspectors undergo a 36-week course and recruit constables a 22-week course which covers criminal law, social studies, police and court procedures,



drill and musketry, first aid and an eight-week course in colloquial Cantonese for overseas inspectors. Recruit traffic wardens attend a six-week course covering legislation and procedures related to traffic matters.

The school provides training for junior police officers, newly promoted NCOs and specialist traffic personnel to bring them up-to-date on new legislation and to prepare them for a higher rank.

The Regional Continuation Training Scheme operates from centres in each of the four police regions. It provides supplementary training for some 3 300 constables each year during their first two years of service. In addition, a scheme of continuation training is now in effect for inspectors with less than one year's operational service.

       The Detective Training Wing of the Police Training School continued to hold 12-week standard CID training courses throughout 1983 at its premises at Kai Tak. An average of 25 inspectors, 20 NCOs and 90 constables attended each of the four courses. Officers from the Customs and Excise Service and the Immigration Department also attended the standard course full time, while personnel from other departments attended selected parts of the course.

The Marine Police Training School's enhanced programme trains personnel to handle the more sophisticated vessels being acquired for the fleet. Constables, sergeants and officers receive training in seamanship, navigation, engineering and wireless telegraphy, while officers also receive advanced radar training at the Hong Kong Polytechnic, first aid training with the St John Ambulance Association, and attend ship fire fighting courses run by the Fire Services Department.

       At the Police Tactical Unit in the New Territories, 1 380 officers from the rank of constable to superintendent underwent training in all aspects of internal security tactics and methods of crowd control. In addition, the unit runs refresher courses and training days for uniformed personnel from all regions.

During the year, 557 junior police officers attended full-time English language courses locally; eight local inspectorate officers attended higher education and English language courses at Lancaster University, England; 31 officers of various ranks attended professional and technical training courses overseas; and a total of 13 officers were taking diploma courses in Japanese and business studies.

Police Cadet School

The Police Cadet School celebrated its 10th anniversary during the year. Since its formation, the establishment of the school has increased from 150 to 750 cadets. Of the 2 131 cadets who have graduated from the school, 1 930 joined the police force, 35 entered the Fire Services, 64 the Customs and Excise Department and 29 the Correctional Services Department.

Organisation and Structure

      Following recent reviews of the way the Uniform Branch deploys its resources and of the command structure for police districts and divisions, the Research Branch of the Management Services Wing is co-ordinating the recommendations being put into effect, and is monitoring the results.

In the third phase of the reorganisation programme which was put into effect in April 1983, all former divisions in the New Territories Region were upgraded to districts and former sub-divisions renamed divisions. Certain posts were regraded and additional supporting staff provided to enable district commanders to deal more effectively with local policing problems.



In addition, the Research Branch carried out a study of the organisation and manage- ment structure of the Communications and Transport Branch, derived from the need to provide an organisation capable of meeting the force's heavy and rising demands for technical resources. As a result, two separate branches covering communications and transport were set up in June.

     Other research projects concluded during the year were studies concerning the handling and storage of property which comes into the possession of the police, and the enhance- ment of the Neighbourhood Policing Scheme.


The Communications Branch is responsible for maintaining a great deal of highly sophisticated telecommunications equipment. It is tasked with improving the existing service and with providing additional facilities. An integrated data computer system for joint use by the Marine Police, the Royal Navy and other organisations concerned with maritime security was partially completed during the year. A full communications system for the Mass Transit Railway came into operation in Kowloon Region, with work well advanced for an extension to the Hong Kong Island line currently under construction. Design work for the extension into the New Territories of the beat radio system, in use in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island Regions, continued to progress.

A professionally qualified transport specialist will be appointed to head the Transport Branch, established as an independent command in June, and provision has been made for improved staff support. The transport fleet continued to expand and now exceeds 1 700 vehicles, including 610 motorcycles. To assist commanders control major incidents and other large scale operations, the force took delivery of a new purpose-built mobile command vehicle, equipped with full conference and communications facilities.

Buildings and Development

To ensure the timely provision of resources which the force needs to meet its commitments, the Planning and Development Branch is responsible for collating and co-ordinating all forward planning. Continuing from last year, further revisions have been made to the five-year timetable, approved in 1981, for the construction of more than 40 new police buildings. Included in the programme are several district and divisional police stations, mostly associated with the development of new towns, as well as proposals to upgrade to district status the existing Chai Wan and Aberdeen Divisional Police Stations.

Three police stations, currently under construction at Tsim Sha Tsui, Sau Mau Ping and Hong Kong International Airport, are scheduled for completion towards the end of 1984. The programme to modernise older police stations continues, and plans involving the modernisation and improvement of a further 16 stations are in hand.

In line with force policy to provide adequate housing for all married junior officers, a further 400 quarters were purchased during the year. In addition, 500 married quarters are under construction by the government.

Work started to redevelop two recreational areas in Kowloon and on Hong Kong Island to provide enhanced facilities for police officers, civilian staff and their families.

Complaints Against Police Office

The Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) monitors investigations into complaints made by members of the public against police officers. It investigates all complaints of serious misconduct and alleged criminal offences, except those involving corruption which



      are dealt with by the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Complaints made directly to the police, and in particular to CAPO, continued to rise in number indicating the increasing trust members of the public have in the investigation process. A new branch office to handle complaints originating in the New Territories opened in Tsuen Wan. Three offices now serve Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories, providing improved reporting facilities for the public.

The UMELCO Police Group monitors and reviews investigations into complaints made against members of the force and into police procedures. The group, which comprises members of the Executive and Legislative Councils including the Attorney General, meets monthly with senior police officers.

       During 1983, 4 259 complaints were received by CAPO, an increase of 22.6 per cent over 1982. During the year, 155 officers were disciplined or prosecuted criminally as a result of enquiries into complaints made by members of the public.

Auxiliary Police

The Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force, consisting of volunteers from all walks of life, complements the regular police force in day-to-day constabulary duties and provides internal security support during times of emergency. Its strength at the end of 1983 was 5 417 in all ranks, approximately 10 per cent of whom were women officers.

       In 1983, approximately 1 000 auxiliaries turned out for constabulary duties each day. Such duties are voluntary and are additional to the statutory training requirements which are met by scheduled in-service training at the Auxiliary Police Headquarters on Hong Kong Island and at various police stations throughout the territory. The content of the training syllabus was further refined and improved during the year. Recruitment continued to be satisfactory, with a total of 635 recruits, including 24 direct entry inspectors.

Customs and Excise Service

The Customs and Excise Service enforces Hong Kong's laws on dutiable commodities, dan- gerous drugs, import and export controls and copyright protection. Other responsibilities include the prevention and detection of illegally imported goods which are prohibited or restricted for public health or safety reasons, or to meet international obligations.

       The service, a disciplined force of 2 485 officers, is the major component of the Customs and Excise Department. It has three regions - Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New Territories, and three specialist/support branches the command headquarters, the Customs Investigation Bureau and the Customs Technical Bureau.

Revenue Protection

There are four dutiable commodities in Hong Kong - alcoholic liquor, tobacco, methyl alcohol and hydrocarbon oil used as fuel for motor vehicles and aircraft. The Customs and Excise Service is responsible for collecting and protecting revenue from dutiable commodities. The Dutiable Commodities Ordinance imposes controls on the import, export, manufacture, sale and storage of these commodities throughout Hong Kong. In 1982-3, $1,245.69 million was collected on dutiable commodities, compared with $937.03 million in 1981-2.

Anti-Narcotics Operations

The service is responsible for the prevention and suppression of illicit trafficking in narcotics and other dangerous drugs. It intercepts illegal imports, and takes action against drug



manufacturing, trafficking and abuse in Hong Kong. The service co-operates closely with the Royal Hong Kong Police Force, overseas customs authorities and other law enforce- ment agencies.

     During the year, 320 kilograms of dangerous drugs were seized, including 55 kilograms of heroin, 194 kilograms of heroin base, 64 kilograms of opium and seven kilograms of cannabis. Altogether 1 140 people were charged with narcotics offences.

Copyright Protection

    The service is responsible for protecting the copyright of literary, dramatic and musical works. While the problem of pirated sound recordings has largely been contained, illicit copying of motion pictures and television programmes remains a major concern. In 1983, the Copyright Division made 43 copyright investigations, which resulted in 48 people being charged and the seizure of 3 302 pirated video tapes and 54 video recorders. In addition, as an offshoot of the division's activities in this field, 1 805 pornographic video tapes were seized, and 38 people charged with offences under the Objectionable Publications Ordinance.

Independent Commission Against Corruption

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) was set up in 1974 to combat corruption through investigation, prevention and education. Today, the large scale syndicated corruption that prevailed in the 1960s and early 1970s has been eradicated through the concerted effort of the public, the government and the ICAC. However, corruption complaints directed at individual civil servants and the private sector continue. In 1983, there were 873 complaints alleging corruption in the private sector, an increase of four per cent over the previous year. Complaints against the public sector numbered 1 546, compared with 1 421 in 1982.

The ICAC is independent of the Civil Service, and the commissioner is directly responsible to the Governor. It has an establishment of 1 171 posts: 703 in operations, 65 in corruption prevention, 287 in community relations and 116 in administration.

     An Advisory Committee on Corruption, consisting of leading citizens and senior government officials, provides guidance for the commission on policy matters affecting staffing, financial estimates, administration and other aspects of its work. Each of the functional departments is also guided by an advisory body with members drawn from various sectors of the community and public service. All complaints against the commission and its staff are handled by an ICAC Complaints Committee, which comprises six unofficial members of the Executive and Legislative Councils and a law officer. In 1983, 21 complaints were received. They were thoroughly investigated and advice was given by the committee on the action considered necessary.


The investigation of reports of alleged or suspected offences under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, the ICAC Ordinance and the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Ordinance- is the responsibility of the Operations Department.

     In 1983, the department received 2 526 corruption complaints, compared with 2 349 in 1982. Of these, 680 were made by members of the public in person, 946 by telephone and 537 by letter; 229 reports were received from other government departments. Some 63 per cent of the complaints were made by people who were prepared to identify themselves, compared with 35 per cent in 1974. This is an indication of increasing public confidence in the ICAC.

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Waterfront Glitter

Rivalling the glitter of Nathan Road Hong Kong's traditional 'golden mile* and attracting visitors and local people alike, is Tsim Sha Tsui East, the newest development on the Kowloon peninsula. Spearheading the new look is a number of deluxe hotels, fine restaurants, mirror- glazed office towers, luxury residential flats. and distinctive shopping plazas. In just three years, this self-contained commercial and business nucleus has taken shape on a 25-hectare triangle of land reclaimed from Victoria Harbour, again reflecting Hong Kong's vigour and talent for continuous progress. Reclamation was completed by the early 1960s, yet it was not until the start of this decade that developers, · challenged by declining new opportunities? in the traditional commercial districts and a shortage of hotel rooms on Hong Kong Island, looked across the harbour to Kowloon. Since then, ambitious con- struction projects have meant almost weekly changes to the skyline with glass and concrete high-rises, the appearance of roads, pedestrian bridges and walkways, and a waterfront promenade. Compact in design, the mix of hotel, office, residential and shopping space is often under one roof. Planners have given top priority to access as well, with the development closely allied to public transport in the area. Today, construction sustains the building momentum while the Urban Council and landscape consultants work to ensure that the area will become a mini 'garden city` of world standard.

Previous page: Shiny mirrored facades of brand new buildings reflect the changing images of Tsim Sha Tsui East. Left: Hotel restaurants offer sumptuous food; novel marketing ideas draw shoppers of all ages; youngsters find energetic ways to pass the time.

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Providing a romantic setting for sitting or strolling, a landscaped promenade with excellent views across Victoria Harbour to Hong Kong Island extends for more than 3 800 metres along the waterfront - from the furthest point of Tsim Sha Tsui East to the Star Ferry.



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  A network of elevated walkways and bridges links the hotel complexes and commercial centres with the waterfront promenade, passing above the streets built on land reclaimed from the harbour.


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Shopping accounts for nearly 60 per cent of visitor expenditure in Hong Kong and Tsim Sha Tsui East's commercial complexes - like this beehive of shops with a restaurant on the central atrium below - satisfy the keenest shopper.

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Living up to gourmet expectations, the territory's latest gastronomic centre caters to every taste. Here office workers and shoppers take a lunch break amid imaginative decor.

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Within the past three years, five major international hotels have been built within the boundary of Tsim Sha Tsui East providing an extra 4 000 rooms for visitors and turning the area into a haven for tourists.

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Developers and the government are working hard to beautify Tsim Sha Tsui East; for 1984, the Urban Council has allocated $22 million for the construction and landscaping of nine additional open spaces like the wooded area shown here.



       During the year, 466 people were taken to court for corruption and related offences and 360 prosecutions were completed with 273 convictions. The conviction rate on completed cases stood at 76 per cent. At the end of the year, 113 cases were pending trial and 436 investigations were in progress.

       On the advice of the Operations Review Committee, reports concerning 238 serving or former government officers were referred to the Civil Service Branch and their heads of departments for consideration of disciplinary or administrative action.

Corruption Prevention

The Corruption Prevention Department reviews and recommends changes to procedures in government departments and public bodies that may give rise to corruption. Its advisory service is also extended to any private organisation or individuals on request.

During the year, 83 assignment studies were completed, bringing the total since 1974 to 804. These studies are detailed examinations of specific areas of a department's activities, covering policy, law, instructions, work methods and management. Reviewing previous studies and monitoring corruption prevention measures already put into effect also remained an important feature of the department's work.

       Training programmes organised for supervisors in the government and in the private sector continued during the year. In addition to training in the concept of supervisory accountability and management's role in corruption prevention, a new course on the delegation of responsibility and authority was developed and used. Training for senior and junior supervisors in the government helps to build corruption prevention measures into government policies and procedures as they evolve. In 1983, 220 seminars were held for 3 238 government officers in 13 departments, while 28 seminars were attended by 375 people in the private sector and from public bodies.

       The year saw a closer working relationship with an increasing number of government departments. The department offered advice on draft legislation, new procedures and instructions and played an active part in departmental and inter-departmental working groups, being represented on 33 working groups or committees.

       Reports to the ICAC which indicated deviation from established policy or procedures were followed up by the department. These provided useful information for the evaluation of policy and the effectiveness of corruption prevention measures and helped to pinpoint areas requiring study.

Community Relations

The responsibility for educating the public about the evils of corruption, and fostering community support for the commission's efforts falls on the Community Relations Department. In carrying out these functions, an attempt is also made to promote sound civic awareness and higher ethical standards. The department works on two fronts reaching the public through the mass media and through direct contact with individual members of the community. During 1983, the department reached 374 000 people through 21 033 liaison activities.

       During the year, much effort was directed at explaining aspects of the anti-corruption laws to the private sector and at encouraging higher standards of business ethics. The department also took part in 607 training courses reaching 21 810 civil servants. In September, the commission opened its eleventh local office, providing a base at Sha Tin to deal with reports and enquiries from the public. The office also serves as a focal point for conducting liaison activities in the new town.



      Young people continued to be an important target. A three-year programme entitled Towards A Fuller Life, which aimed at encouraging young people to lead a balanced and meaningful life, was concluded in December. To promote moral education among students, two sets of teaching aids for senior secondary students and Form 4 students were introduced in 1983, while a programme format for junior secondary students was at the planning stage. Regular contact was maintained with teachers through the major professional organisations and colleges of education to involve them in the fight against corruption.

      On the media side, the second phase of a three-year advertising campaign to emphasise the evils of corruption and to depict the consequences for the corrupt was launched. A weekly television series of 13 episodes was also produced to promote personal integrity and social morality. At the end of the year, an hour-long drama series featuring cases investigated by the Operations Department was being produced for screening in 1984. During the year, the media continued to take an active interest in the work of the ICAC.

Government Laboratory

The Government Laboratory provides a comprehensive forensic science service to law enforcement authorities, including the Royal Hong Kong Police Force, the Customs and Excise Service and the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

      During the year, the laboratory was again heavily involved in the scientific investigation of a wide variety of crimes. The general forensic science unit of the laboratory was concerned with the laboratory examination of exhibits from many scenes of crimes, coupled with visits by scientists to the scenes of crimes. Forensic bloodgrouping, questioned documents examinations and arson investigations featured prominently in this work. Other units were involved in the examination of narcotics, scheduled poisons, and organs and body fluids in cases where the cause of death was unknown. Research continued into the identification of gun discharge residues.

       The laboratory traditionally provides analytical and advisory services to protect the revenue. Tobacco products, liquors, denatured spirits, and treated diesel oils are regularly examined by its Dutiable Commodities Section whose staff work in close liaison with the Customs and Excise Service.

Correctional Services

The Commissioner of Correctional Services is responsible for the overall administration of 23 institutions, two half-way houses, and a staff training institute, with an establishment of 5 787 uniformed and 502 non-uniformed staff.

During 1983, the average daily penal population was 7 894, compared with 7 328 in 1982 and 6912 in 1981. In addition, the department is responsible for running three closed centres housing Vietnamese refugees. The number of refugees detained in these centres was 5 410 by the end of 1983.

Among the development projects completed by the department during the year was the extension of the Staff Training Institute, officially opened in June. A new half-way house, Phoenix House, with accommodation for 100 males and 20 females, began operation in July. In November, Lai Sun Correctional Institution, a medium security prison for 240 young offenders on Hei Ling Chau, was also put into operation. Construction of a new maximum security prison at Shek Pik on Lantau Island was nearing completion towards the end of the year. In addition, Chi Ma Wan upper camp, which had been used



temporarily as a closed centre, reverted to its original function as a prison in October, thereby relieving overcrowding in other penal institutions.

       Several significant legislative amendments concerning the work of the Correctional Services Department were enacted during the year. The commissioner is now empowered to grant leave of absence to any prisoner for a period not exceeding 24 hours, subject to such conditions and restrictions regarding custody and escort as he considers necessary. The number of visits a prisoner may receive was increased from one to two a month. With the amendment of the Drug Addiction Treatment Centres Ordinance, a supervisee who fails to comply with any requirement specified in a supervision order made against him commits an offence and may be liable to a fine of $5,000 and to imprisonment for 12 months. Provision was made under the amended Criminal Procedure Ordinance for time spent in custody prior to being sentenced to a term of imprisonment to be taken into account in computing the length of time a prisoner has to serve. The ordinance was also amended to allow a sentence passed by the court to be partly cumulative with any other sentence that an offender is required to serve.

Adult Male Offenders

The department operates 10 prisons and a psychiatric centre for male adults with accommodation for 6 042. The number of adult male inmates increased during the year to a daily average of 5 331, 9.8 per cent above the 1982 average.

Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre is one of the few multi-storey prisons in the world. It accommodates adult males including remands, appellants, civil debtors, persons detained under the Immigration Ordinance, and newly-convicted prisoners pending classification and allocation to other institutions.

       The largest maximum security institution, at Stanley, has accommodation for 1 605 and houses all prisoners under sentence of death and those serving life and other long-term sentences. Shek Pik Prison, another maximum security prison under construction on Lantau Island, will come into operation in early 1984.

       Ma Po Ping Prison on Lantau Island and Victoria Prison in Central District are medium security prisons for adult male prisoners. Victoria Prison also houses illegal immigrants.

       There are six minimum security prisons: Ma Hang Prison, Pik Uk Prison, Tai Lam Correctional Institution, Tong Fuk Centre, Chi Ma Wan Prison and Tung Tau Correc- tional Institution. A section at Tai Lam houses civil debtors. Prisoners at Pik Uk are mainly employed in the institution's laundry, while the others are employed on such outside projects as afforestation, road building and local community development.

Geriatric prisoners, certified as clinically old and generally aged over 60, are housed at Ma Hang and Ma Po Ping and employed on light tasks such as envelope-making, light gardening, basket-weaving and tailoring.

Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre, a maximum security prison with accommodation for 136, provides psychiatric treatment for the criminally insane and for dangerous and violent male prisoners. Psychiatrists employed there also provide psychiatric assessments for the courts.

Young Male Offenders

      Prisons, training centres and a detention centre, all running comprehensive and different programmes, operate for young male offenders. The daily average number of young people in custody was 1 251 in 1983, compared with 1 197 in 1982. In addition, drug addiction treatment is provided at Hei Ling Chau Addiction Treatment Centre. The opening of Lai Sun Correctional Institution during the year saw the start of a full programme specifically



designed for young offenders to include remedial educational classes, vocational training and counselling.

       Pik Uk Correctional Institution, housing 385, is a maximum security institution which operates as a reception centre, training centre and prison for young offenders. It also caters for young people under 25 convicted by the courts but remanded for reports on their suitability for a training or detention centre.

Cape Collinson Correctional Institution, with facilities for 200, is a training centre catering for those aged between 18 and 21 of lower security rating. It also accommodates refugees in a separate section.

Lai King Training Centre, which can house 260, is a medium security institution catering for the 14 to 18 age group.

       The detention centre programme is carried out at Sha Tsui Detention Centre. With accommodation for 220, this medium security institution is divided into two sections: one for detainees aged between 14 and 20 and the other for those between 21 and 24.

      The Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Ordinance 1980 provides for a year's statutory supervision on release for any prisoner who is sentenced to a term of imprisonment of three months or more before he is 21 years old and is released before he is 25.

Female Offenders

The department operates two institutions for females. Tai Lam Centre for Women functions as a prison for adult women with a section set aside as a drug addiction treatment centre. Most prisoners work in the large laundry, while inmates in the drug addiction treatment section are employed mainly in tailoring, gardening or domestic chores.

       Tai Tam Gap Correctional Institution accommodates young female offenders under the age of 21. It has separate sections for training centre inmates, young prisoners and girls on remand and includes educational and vocational training classes. The centre has a girls' marching display team and a pipe band which have received wide acclaim for their high standards of performance.

Drug Addiction Treatment

The Correctional Services Department administers a compulsory placement programme for the treatment of convicted drug addicts. This provides the courts with an alternative to imprisonment for such persons. Hei Ling Chau Addiction Treatment Centre, which incorporates the young inmates centre, is for men while a section of Tai Lam Centre for Women is set aside for females. An inmate of a drug addiction treatment centre undergoes treatment for a period of four to 12 months, followed by one year's compulsory supervision after release. The programme is based on discipline and open-air physical activity - including work programmes and therapy - supported by a comprehensive aftercare service.

After-care Service

To ensure continued care and guidance, statutory after-care service is provided for persons released from training centres, detention centres and drug addiction treatment centres and for young prisoners. Continuous contact is maintained with every inmate in the centres during the training or treatment period. The after-care staff, with the assistance of the inmate's family, establish sound relationships with the inmates and prepare them to face the challenges and demands to be expected on their return to the community. Close supervision is maintained after discharge through frequent visits made to the supervisee's home or place of work.



       Phoenix House, a new purpose-built half-way house, provides facilities for the gradual transition from institutional to community life. In the near future, the facilities provided will be further extended with the implementation of the pre-release employment scheme for selected prisoners during the last six months' of sentence.

Success rates for the after-care service are measured by the percentage of inmates who complete statutory supervision without subsequent reconviction; in the case of drug addiction treatment centres they must also remain drug free. The supervision period for former inmates from training centres is three years, while for detention centres, drug addiction treatment centres and prisons the period is 12 months. At the end of 1983, the success rate was: detention centres, 94 per cent; training centres, 63 per cent (males), 91 per cent (females); drug addiction treatment centres, 67 per cent (males), 72 per cent (females); young prisoners, 83 per cent (males), 83 per cent (females). Altogether, 3 006 males and 142 females were under active supervision.

Psychological Services

      Psychological services are provided by qualified psychologists in the department under the guidance of a psychologist of international repute. A wide range of counselling services is provided for inmates of the institutions and assessments are provided for the guidance of the courts and for departmental use on the suitability of offenders for participation in the various corrective treatment programmes. This approach has proved to be successful and has contributed to the continued reduction in recidivism.

Correctional Services Industries

The year saw the development of several industrial complexes in the department's institutions designed to modern standards and comparable with those in the private sector. New workshops at Stanley Prison for 350 workers to produce garments will become operational in early 1984, and plans for a similar building at Pik Uk Prison are in hand.

       Improvements in marketing as well as the work content are expanding the existing scope of the industries. Expansion programmes to upgrade plant and equipment for printing, laundry services and shoe making progressed while the possibility of introducing new products is under regular review. A joint working group with the Technical Education and Industrial Training Department has been formed to monitor a pilot vocational training course for young offenders in plumbing and pipe-fitting. The object is for young offenders to become qualified to a point where, on production of appropriate evidence of their ability, they will be able to find jobs on their release.

The total commercial value of goods and services for the year was estimated to be $67 million, representing a saving of $49 million to the government - an increase of 17 per cent over the previous year.

Visiting Justices

      Visiting Justices are appointed by the Governor and each penal institution is visited by two Justices of the Peace fortnightly or monthly depending on the type of institution. Justices of the Peace are required to carry out certain statutory duties such as investigating complaints made to them by prisoners, inspecting diets and examining buildings and accommodation. They are required to assist the Commissioner of Correctional Services with advice and suggestions on how the prisoners should be employed, and particularly on the opportunities for the prisoners to find employment on discharge. Visits are undertaken at times and on days of their own choosing within a prescribed period, and take place without prior notice.



Justices also inspect closed centres for Vietnamese refugees, paying special attention to standards of accommodation, diet, medical facilities and complaints. In 1983, 396 visits were made to the various institutions.

Medical Services in Penal Institutions and Closed Centres

All institutions are equipped with sick bays to provide treatment and health care, including vaccinations, inoculations and chest X-ray services. All persons are thoroughly examined by a medical officer on admission. Offenders suffering from drug withdrawal symptoms on admission are detoxified in an institutional sick bay or as out-patients. Persons requiring intensive medical care or surgery are referred to visiting consultants or transferred to government hospitals.

Ante-natal and post-natal care is provided in closed centres and institutions for women, and arrangements are made for babies to be born in civilian hospitals. Two psychiatrists from Castle Peak Hospital visit Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre and the psychiatric observation unit at Lai Chi Kok Reception Centre daily to provide psychiatric consultation and assessment of prisoners referred from other institutions. Visiting specialist medical consul- tation is also available.

Staff Training

Newly-recruited officers and assistant officers undergo a one-year training course at the Staff Training Institute which includes two periods of field training. The institute also provides regular refresher courses and specialised continuation courses to supplement in-service training.

      An extension wing, consisting of a six-storey building with accommodation and lecture rooms and an indoor firing range, was opened in June. These facilities mark a new phase of development in training for correctional staff, with increased opportunities for simulated and situational training in such practical fields as court procedure and cell searching.

Discharged Prisoners' Aid Society

The Discharged Prisoners' Aid Society is a voluntary agency providing material help and support for discharged prisoners. Its staff visit institutions regularly to establish relation- ships and make preparations for assistance after discharge. The society provides a variety of services, including finding jobs, the provision of employment rehabilitation centres, hostel accommodation, recreation and participation in community projects, as well as services for discharged prisoners with a history of mental illness.

Closed Centres for Vietnamese Refugees

The department continued to detain Vietnamese refugees in closed centres, mainly at Chi Ma Wan, Hei Ling Chau and Cape Collinson. Their numbers rose to 5 410 at the end of 1983 from 3 258 the previous year.

       Chi Ma Wan Closed Centre, on Lantau Island, serves as the reception centre where arriving refugees undergo examination by medical and immigration staff. Its capacity was reduced during the year after part of it reverted to use as a prison. A new closed centre on Hei Ling Chau was opened in September and planning went ahead for conversion of Bowring Army Camp near Tuen Mun. A section of Cape Collinson Correctional Institu- tion was also converted to house refugees.

Voluntary agencies continued to play a large part in the management of social services in closed centres, with the Salvation Army and World Relief making outstanding



contributions. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees again contributed substantially to running expenses by meeting the cost of food, medical supplies, utilities and certain relief items.

Fire Services

The Fire Services Department responded to and dealt with 333 718 emergencies in 1983, of which 14 505 were fire calls, 9 426 special service calls and 303 523 ambulance calls. Fires caused 42 deaths, and left a further 692 people injured. Of the injured, 54 were firemen. Altogether, 19 432 people were rescued and hundreds of others were led to safety by firemen. Of the 7 659 false alarms, the great majority were raised with good intent, either by the public or by over-sensitive or defective automatic alarm systems, particularly smoke detectors.

Buildings and Quarters

      Under the government policy to provide an emergency response to all areas within minimum set times according to the category of risk, four new fire stations were commissioned during the year. These were at Chai Wan on Hong Kong Island, Wong Tai Sin in Kowloon, Mai Po in the northern New Territories and Discovery Bay on Lantau Island. There are now 44 fire stations, 15 ambulance depots and five fireboat stations in the territory. Others are included in the Public Works Programme and in private developers' projects for construction over the next few years.

       At the end of the year, more than 1960 staff quarters were occupied or available for occupation. Planning was in hand for 1 066 additional married quarters for firemen and ambulancemen at five selected sites.

Fire Prevention

The department is responsible for enforcing fire safety regulations. It also advises and assists all sections of the community with regard to fire protection measures generally and in the abatement and elimination of fire hazards.

       The Fire Protection Bureau plays an important role in educating the public on fire prevention. Publicity campaigns launched during the year increased the community's awareness of fire safety, resulting in requests for more fire prevention lectures, exhibitions and demonstrations from kaifong associations, rural committees, schools and community groups. The increasing number of complaints (7 795) received from members of the public was seen as an indication of the level of public concern over potential fire hazards and growing awareness of the services provided by the department.

       Fire Services personnel made 163 276 inspections of all types of premises and, where fire hazards were found, abatement notices were issued. In 1983, there were 2 948 prosecutions for non-compliance with abatement notices resulting in fines amounting to $1.3 million.

       All new building plans are vetted by the department, which specifies the requirements for built-in fire protection and advises on related matters. More than 6 800 new building plans were processed during the year. The department is also responsible for carrying out research into matters associated with fire safety.

Ambulance Service

The Fire Services Department operates the government's ambulance service with a strength of 1 677 in all ranks of uniformed staff, and 119 civilian employees. The service operates 198 ambulances from 15 ambulance depots or stations throughout the territory and from many fire stations. During the year, a total of 303 523 calls, involving 409 054 people, were



handled - representing an average of 832 calls every 24 hours. This was an increase of 9.8 per cent in the number of calls compared with the total for 1982.

Appliances and Workshops

To enable fire fighting and rescue operations to be conducted in the most efficient manner, the Fire Services Department is equipped with nearly 700 operational fire appliances, ambulances and vehicles fitted with modern fire-fighting and rescue equipment.

      In 1983, 62 new or replacement appliances and units of various kinds were brought into service. Among the major appliances commissioned were 16 16-metre hydraulic platforms, three 37-metre turntable ladders, one major pump, one light pump, 21 light rescue units and two breathing apparatus. To maintain its fleet of fire appliances and rescue equipment, the department operates three workshops located on Hong Kong Island, in Kowloon and in the New Territories.

Staff Training

All recruits except those in the specialist communications ranks of senior firemen (control) and firewomen (control) are trained at the Fire Services Training School at Pat Heung in the New Territories. The courses vary in content and last from eight to 26 weeks. The training of senior firemen (control) and firewomen (control) is conducted at the Fire Services Communication Centre in Kowloon by instructors from the training school. During the year, 238 officers successfully completed standard training: 61 station officers, 165 firemen and 219 ambulancemen.

      The school also conducted fire protection courses for senior station officers and station officers; refresher courses for ambulance personnel; and basic courses on fire fighting, fighting fires on ships and on the use breathing apparatus for government departments and private organisations in Hong Kong and for the Macau Fire Brigade. Some 3 500 people attended these courses during the year. The Driving Training School conducted courses for 1 062 officers and other ranks.

Establishment and Recruitment

The uniformed establishment of the Fire Services Department at the end of 1983 totalled 5 702. The number of civilian staff employed by the department increased to 561. Recruitment exercises resulted in the appointment of 37 officers and 270 firemen and ambulancemen. A continuous year-round recruitment campaign attracted more than 820 applications for officer posts and some 290 for firemen posts. Standards required for both grades are high and on average only about five per cent of all applicants are accepted for appointment.


事入 旅務境


Immigration and Tourism

THE main aim of immigration control in Hong Kong is to contain increases in population from immigration at acceptable levels. During 1983, about 27 000 legal immigrants from China settled in Hong Kong. In past years, the pressure of illegal immigration has been the greatest menace to limiting growth to a reasonable level. In September 1980, the rate of illegal immigration had reached 450 each day. Measures taken since then have greatly improved the situation. These include the abolition of the 'reached-base' policy (which allowed illegal immigrants from China who had successfully entered Hong Kong to remain), the legislation making the carrying of a legal form of identity compulsory for all residents over 15 years of age, the gradual introduction of a more forgery-resistant identity card, backed up by an efficient computer-based record system, and the continued efforts of the security forces at the border and in Hong Kong waters to detect illegal entry. Illegal immigration still takes place, but on a much reduced scale. During 1983, an average of 13 illegal immigrants a day were arrested while entering. A further eight illegal immigrants who evaded detection on entry were arrested each day during the year.

       The illegal immigration of children, often under conditions of great danger and hardship, has continued. This poses special problems because children under 11 years are not required to hold identity cards and may remain undetected in Hong Kong for long periods. Legisla- tion to help stem this flow of very young illegal immigrants was introduced in December 1981 and, in spite of the difficulties, a number of the racketeers involved have been arrested and sentenced. Pressure is being maintained to stamp out this despicable and dangerous trade.

New arrangements agreed with the Chinese authorities to facilitate the admission of visitors from China, for limited periods, were introduced in December 1982. These arrangements have worked well, with the great majority of the visitors returning to China at the end of their visits.

The work of the Immigration Department falls into two main streams - controlling people moving into and out of Hong Kong, and providing travel documents and registration facilities for local residents. The work embraces such diverse fields as the issue of travel documents, visas and identity cards, the processing of applications for naturalisation, and the registration of births, deaths and marriages. Much effort also goes into the detection and prosecution of those who breach the immigration laws, and on the repatriation of those who are in Hong Kong illegally. Immigration policies are framed to limit permanent population growth, while immigration procedures for Hong Kong residents, tourists and businessmen are streamlined to the maximum extent possible.

Immigration Control

As the effects of the world-wide recession moderated, the number of passengers moving into and out of Hong Kong continued to increase, reaching record levels. Passenger



traffic in 1983 totalled some 27.6 million, an increase of 10.4 per cent compared with 25 million in 1982.

All immigration control points were extremely busy during the year. The bulk of the China traffic (9.9 million) was carried by rail via Lo Wu which remained under the heaviest pressure. Conditions for both travellers and staff at Lo Wu were uncomfortable because of severe overcrowding at the present temporary terminal building. The old terminal building has been demolished and work has started on a permanent modern terminal in keeping with Lo Wu's status as a busy gateway to China.

A new immigration control point was opened at Sham Shui Po on September 1, 1983, for hoverferries and jetfoils travelling between Kowloon and Macau. Other major projects to improve and enlarge immigration control points and to open new facilities are planned and a preliminary study has begun into the possibility of speeding up immigration clearance by the use of computer facilities.

Personal Documentation

The demand for travel documents during 1983 was just under one million, slightly less than the figures for 1982 and 1981. Re-entry permits for travel to China and Macau accounted for some 66 per cent of all issues.

In May a scheme began for replacing all existing Hong Kong identity cards with a new type of card. The new card is more difficult to forge and is backed by a computerised record system to facilitate quick authentication. Good progress was made and by the end of 1983 most men under 29 years of age had exchanged their cards. Over a million new cards have now been issued and the exercise will be completed in 1987.

Vietnamese Refugees

The Vietnamese refugee problem continued to place a heavy burden upon Hong Kong during 1983. At the start of the year, the territory accommodated 12 631 refugees; by the end of the year, although 4 200 had been resettled, a further 3 651 had arrived, 727 had been born and 28 had died in Hong Kong, and the refugee population stood at 12 770.

      In July 1982, faced with the prospect of a continuing need to provide accommodation for refugees, the government had introduced a policy to discourage future arrivals by detaining them in closed refugee centres in the remoter parts of the territory. Under this policy of humane deterrence, which followed measures already adopted elsewhere in the region to cope with this enduring problem, refugees are confined in government- administered closed centres until such time as they are resettled overseas. Refugees in these centres are not allowed to find outside work; visits are strictly regulated and generally limited to relatives and close friends; and, for their own protection, refugees are subject to a certain amount of discipline and control.

This policy has been maintained in 1983. Three main centres have already been opened - at Chi Ma Wan, Hei Ling Chau and Cape Collinson, and a fourth centre outside Tuen Mun will be opened in January 1984. At the year's end, 5 723 refugees were accommodated in closed centres. The centres are administered by the Correctional Services Department, medical services are provided by the Medical and Health Department, and social and educational services are provided by various voluntary agencies working in the camps.

Accommodating Vietnamese refugees in these centres places its own financial burden on Hong Kong, and cost the government $143 million in 1983. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) contributed $19 million to the cost of maintaining refugees in these centres during the year. There were signs in 1983 that the policy of humane



deterrence was achieving its aim of making Hong Kong less attractive as a destination than had previously been the case. During the year, 3 651 refugees arrived in Hong Kong, 53.4 per cent less than the 7 840 who had arrived in 1982. This fall cannot be put down to any single factor. The closed centre policy, adverse weather conditions during the peak arrival season, a lack of boats in Vietnam, the growth of the Orderly Departure Programme, and a crackdown on illegal departures by the Vietnam Government, have all played a part. It is gratifying to see that for the first time in four years Hong Kong has shared in the regional trend for the number of new arrivals to decline year by year.

Unfortunately, the number of Vietnamese refugees being resettled from Hong Kong has continued to decline even faster. The only countries which continued to provide on-going resettlement quotas for Vietnamese boat people in Hong Kong in 1983 were the United States, Canada and Australia. Besides these, small but very welcome quotas were given to Hong Kong by Denmark, Sweden and Finland. Other countries continued to accept refugees only for family reunion, or when they had been rescued at sea by a ship bearing that country's flag. As a consequence only 4 200 refugees were resettled from Hong Kong in 1983, compared with 9 247 resettled in 1982. With little reason for optimism over the prospects for 1984, the Hong Kong Government continued to press for the resettlement of all new arrivals, and of the 12 770 left from previous years, by any country with room to take them. For those 7047 who arrived before the change in policy in July 1982 and were increasingly referred to by refugee agencies as the 'hardcore' of the refugee problem, life continued in the two older open centres much as before. Refugees in these centres are not confined and adults are allowed to take up temporary employment with which to support themselves and their families, with few restrictions on their movements within or without the centres. At the end of the year, there were 4 358 refugees remaining in the Kai Tak Transit Centre run by the Hong Kong Red Cross, and 2 636 in the Jubilee Transit Centre run by Caritas - Hong Kong. At the present rate of departure it will take six years to resettle the remainder. Hong Kong was conspicuous in the region in having some 4 295 Vietnamese refugees who had already spent more than two years in open centres in the territory, and as the year closed many of these refugees were having to come to terms with the prospect of remaining in refugee centres for some time to come.


During the year Hong Kong earned an estimated $11.026 billion (up 25.7 per cent over the 1982 figure) from the 2775 014 visitors staying in the territory (also up by 6.4 per cent over 1982).

Hong Kong Tourist Association

The Hong Kong Tourist Association (HKTA) is responsible for handling tourism and for proposing plans for its development. A statutory body set up by the government, the HKTA co-ordinates the activities of the industry and advises the government on measures for ensuring its growth. The chairman and members of its board of management are appointed by the Governor. The HKTA is financed by a subvention from general revenue to which visitors contribute directly by way of a five per cent tax on hotel room charges. Members of the association also contribute through membership dues and a variety of co-operative activities.

The HKTA has its headquarters in the Connaught Centre, on the waterfront of Hong Kong Island. Information offices for visitors are maintained at three other locations: Hong Kong International Airport, the Star Ferry Concourse in Kowloon, and the Government



Publications Centre near the Hong Kong terminal of the Star Ferry. These offices play an important role in ensuring that visitors obtain up-to-date information about Hong Kong. Analysis of the information requested and a continuous visitor survey programme provide valuable insights into visitors' expenditure patterns, as well as their needs and interests.

The HKTA has its own representative offices in London, Paris, Rome, Frankfurt, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Sydney, Auckland, Tokyo, Osaka and Singapore (details are given at Appendix 2). Additionally, the association is represented by Cathay Pacific Airways in Southeast Asia, Japan, Western Australia, the United States, Bahrain, Dubai and Bombay.

At the beginning of the year, the categories of HKTA members were renamed 'travel industry' and 'ordinary' members (the latter category representing retail and other service organisations). In addition, a representative from the Committee of Retailers now joins travel industry members on the HKTA board of management.

The marketing policy of the HKTA continues to be that of concentrating on high yield market segments and increasing length of stay, and thereby visitor expenditure. New markets are developing: the opening of Disneyland in Japan has generated an increase in intra-regional travel, developments in flight patterns are providing new markets in Canada and the United States, while deregulation has opened up the Korean market. The increased value of foreign currencies against the Hong Kong dollar also produced a significant increase, in Hong Kong dollar terms, in per capita expenditure by visitors. Quantitative research projects were conducted in Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Findings from this research provide useful information on the potential of the travel business from these countries to Hong Kong, as well as travel motivations and perceptions of Hong Kong as a travel destination. During the year, trade and consumer promotions were organised in major markets. They emphasised the variety of Hong Kong's attractions such as food, shopping, nightlife and resort facilities. Altogether 970 travel trade members from around the world were briefed and brought up-to-date with the territory's tourism product. In addition, Hong Kong has become the venue for a growing number of international meetings and incentive movements by business groups and professional organisations. In 1983, more than 450 international conferences and incentive programmes brought 80 000 delegates and visitors to Hong Kong.

The HKTA, through its Product Development and Tour Development Departments, aims to preserve and improve existing visitor facilities and to encourage the development of new projects and tours. These serve both to increase Hong Kong's attractions as a destination and to encourage the visitor to stay longer. The association also encourages investment and development in hotels, resorts, restaurants and similar facilities, and promotes festivals, special interest tours and the revival of Chinese culture and heritage. Among the tours offered, the association's 'Land Between' tour of the more scenic and peaceful side of the New Territories has received good support from local agents and hotel members, attracting some 7 000 visitors since its introduction at the end of 1982.

The International Dragon Boat Races, held off the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront for the sixth year, were again extremely successful with a record number of nine overseas and 78 local teams participating. Broadcast live on television, the event attracted much local and international publicity. The Row for Charity Race - an integral part of the races - in which crews from local hotels and banks took part, raised $503,000 for the Community Chest.

During 1983, the HKTA and the Society for the Advancement of Chinese Folklore organised a Lantern Festival with celebrations in Central District. The HKTA also



initiated a third weekly cultural show at the main concourse of the Ocean Terminal. The shows in the Ocean Terminal lobby and the Landmark continued to be popular with residents and visitors alike.

Extensive consumer and travel-trade advertising campaigns were mounted world-wide and more than five million printed items were produced in 13 languages during 1983 for distribution in Hong Kong and overseas. They included a wide range of information leaflets, guidebooks, specialist travel publications and display material.

The association continued to be involved in the travel industry's training schemes. During the year, an experimental retail sales workshop and six courses for tour co-ordinators - three in English and three in Chinese - were organised. It is intended to inaugurate the Hong Kong Association of Registered Tour Co-ordinators, and the 200 fully trained tour co-ordinators who graduated in November will become members of the association.

Efforts continued to improve standards of service and courtesy and included the new phase of the HKTA's Courtesy Programme and the introduction of a telephone hot-line, the Visitor Open Courtesy Answering Line (VOCAL), through which visitors are able to nominate candidates for awards for courteous or professional service experienced in Hong Kong. In addition to courtesy presentations to the industry itself, the campaign included training courses, on-the-spot presentations, and distribution of courtesy kits and a card in English, Japanese and Chinese for use by taxi drivers to overcome language problems with visitors from overseas.


The Armed Services

and Auxiliary Services



THE Armed Services operate in Hong Kong under the overall command of the Commander British Forces, who advises the Governor on matters affecting the security of Hong Kong and who is also responsible to the Chief of Defence Staff in London. The Armed Services are stationed in the territory primarily to assist the government in maintaining security and stability and to sustain confidence in the United Kingdom's stated commitment to Hong Kong.

      The Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Air Force are all represented. During the year, the permanent garrison comprised five Royal Navy patrol craft, a naval tug, a Royal Marines raiding squadron, one United Kingdom and four Gurkha infantry battalions, a Gurkha engineer regiment, a Gurkha signals regiment, a Gurkha transport regiment, one Army Air Corps helicopter squadron equipped with 10 Scout helicopters and one Royal Air Force squadron with eight Wessex helicopters.

      The size and composition of the garrison, and Hong Kong's contribution towards its cost, are determined by a Defence Costs Agreement between the Hong Kong and United Kingdom governments. The increase in local population, together with its redistribution within Hong Kong, were such that the resident garrison was considered too small to ensure security and stability in the 1980s. A new agreement was therefore negotiated - replacing a 1976 agreement to run for seven years from April 1, 1981, and to allow for the present-sized garrison. Additionally, reinforcements will be available when appropriate and necessary.

With the ending of the 'touch-base' policy in October 1980, and the introduction of a requirement to carry identity cards, the flow of illegal immigrants has been reduced, although it continues to be necessary for all three services to concentrate a significant part of their effort on the task of preventing illegal immigration by land and sea.

Hong Kong also has a number of voluntary organisations making up a strong force of auxiliary services to assist the government and the Armed Services.

      Throughout the year, there has been increasing emphasis on training for internal security operations and combined exercises - involving the Royal Air Force, the Army, the Royal Navy, the Royal Hong Kong Police Force and the Royal Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers) - have helped to improve the proficiency of such operations.

Royal Navy

The Royal Navy, based at HMS Tamar, has continued to maintain patrols of Hong Kong waters. Its force of five patrol craft and the Third Raiding Squadron Royal Marines also acted in close support of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force in deterring and apprehend- ing illegal immigrants from China, intercepting refugees from Vietnam and conducting operations against smugglers and others who illegally infringe the territorial waters.



       The Captain-in-Charge Hong Kong has responsibility for the operational control of the Hong Kong Sea Defence Area which extends to 80 kilometres and, with the Director of Marine and the Director of Civil Aviation, for search and rescue operations in the South China Sea. The naval base in HMS Tamar maintains a submarine rescue facility and a recompression chamber for use in diving emergencies. A small clearance diving team assists the police in the recovery of drugs and smuggled goods and is trained in the techniques of searching for and neutralising underwater explosives. The naval staff in Hong Kong administers the Royal Navy berths in Singapore and gives training advice to the First Flotilla of the Royal Brunei Malay Regiment.

       Although United Kingdom-based ships did not visit Hong Kong in 1983 due to a continuing presence in the South Atlantic, ships from the United States, Australia, Canada, India and Malaysia visited the base and the ships of the Hong Kong squadron called at ports in Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines during ocean training exercises.

       Under the direction of the Captain-in-Charge, a team is trained to co-ordinate a scheme of control for the protection of commercial shipping using Hong Kong's port in times of tension or war. Personnel include officers of the reserve forces of the Royal Navy and the Canadian Armed Forces who are resident in Hong Kong and can be ready at very short notice. The team enjoys a close liaison with the Marine Department and shipping companies.

The strength of the naval establishment, including reinforcements, is about 650 and is supported by some 70 locally-employed civilians. The patrol craft are manned partly by Chinese ratings and partly by United Kingdom-based ratings. Altogether, about 380 Chinese personnel are employed ashore and afloat in the seamen, engineering, supply and medical branches. A further 300 locally-recruited merchant seamen and storehousemen serve world-wide on board the ships of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary. Manning laundries on Royal Navy ships is another task traditionally undertaken by Hong Kong men. The Royal Navy plays an active part in the community and during the year personnel provided sea training for the Sea Cadet Corps and the Hong Kong Sea School, and gave assistance to the Home of Loving Faithfulness and the Cheshire Home at Chung Hom Kok.

The Army

The army represents the bulk of the forces in Hong Kong, under the direct command of the Commander British Forces. Command of operational units is delegated to the Comman- der, Gurkha Field Force, while logistic units, grouped as support troops, come under the Deputy Commander British Forces.

During 1983, the 1st Battalion 7th Duke of Edinburgh's Gurkha Rifles replaced the 10th Princess Margaret's Own Gurkha Rifles. Resident throughout the year were the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, the 1st and 2nd Battalions 2nd King Edward's Own Gurkha Rifles (The Siramoor Rifles), and the 2nd Battalion 7th Duke of Edinburgh's Gurkha Rifles.

       Support is provided by a number of units permanently based in Hong Kong which include the Queen's Gurkha Engineers, the Queen's Gurkha Signals, the Gurkha Transport Regiment, 660 Squadron Army Air Corps, the Composite Ordnance Depot, 50 Command Workshops Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and the British Military Hospital. Hong Kong people play an important role through their support of the Royal Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers) - a locally-enlisted regiment of part-time soldiers, and the Hong Kong Military Service Corps, which is also locally-enlisted but forms part of the British Army. The latter corps is staffed by full-time regular soldiers and numbers some



      1 268 Chinese officers and men who serve throughout Hong Kong as guards, military policemen, interpreters, dog-handlers, drivers, cooks, clerks, seamen and storemen. The Hong Kong Military Service Corps provides a valuable contribution to the garrison and has played an important role in operations against illegal immigrants.

      The primary role of the army is to support the Royal Hong Kong Police Force in maintaining internal security; it is also responsible for preserving the integrity of the border. In recent years the major task has been to help with the control of illegal immigration, with individual battalions spending an average of three months a year on border duties. Despite the significant reduction in the number of illegal immigrants attempting to gain entry to Hong Kong, a high level of border vigilance was maintained throughout the year. Improvements to border security are constantly being made and anti-illegal immigration operations continue to play a major part in the daily life of the army.

      With space and training resources limited in Hong Kong, overseas exercises for units are essential in maintaining high standards, and 1983 saw exercises take place in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore. In addition, a command and control exercise in Hong Kong involved the government and the police, as well as the British Forces. The high standard of individual training in Hong Kong-based units was again demonstrated in competition with the rest of the British Army at the 1983 shooting meeting at Bisley in England: of the first three places in the competition, two were taken by Gurkha units in service in Hong Kong. Some distinguished guests visited Hong Kong units during the year, including Her Royal Highness the Princess Anne, who visited the Queen's Gurkha Signal Regiment in April.

Royal Air Force

The headquarters of the Royal Air Force Hong Kong is at Sek Kong in the New Territories. The No. 28 (Army Co-operation) Squadron operates eight Wessex helicopters from Sek Kong airfield with support by engineering and administrative squadrons. Included in the supporting element is an air traffic control unit, which also provides an advisory control service outside Hong Kong International Airport airspace. Movement of military personnel and cargo by air from Hong Kong International Airport is controlled by the RAF Airport Unit based at Kai Tak, whilst the RAF Provost and Security Services Unit is located at Blackdown Barracks, San Po Kong. Additionally, RAF personnel serve on the staff of Headquarters British Forces.

      The Wessex helicopters are employed in direct support of the army and can carry up to 14 troops or 1 400 kilograms of freight anywhere within Hong Kong. The helicopter is the only practicable way of moving troops, rations and equipment to outlying areas, and its speed and flexibility have been significant factors in the success of the security forces' operations.

      Although illegal immigration has been substantially reduced across the land border, significant numbers still attempt to enter Hong Kong in speedboats. These clandestine operations, which are normally carried out at night, are countered by combined operations involving surface vessels and Wessex helicopters. The Wessex uses its 65 million candle- power nightsun to illuminate the area and disorientate the speedboat driver, enabling capture by surface vessels. The flying is demanding and involves considerable time on standby at night waiting for call out.

      During the year, one helicopter was available for search and rescue duties throughout the normal working day and, on a monthly rotational basis with the Royal Hong Kong



Auxiliary Air Force, one helicopter was on permanent standby for territory-wide aeromed- ical evacuation. During the dry season, they provided assistance in fighting fires in areas inaccessible to normal fire appliances: the Wessex can carry a suspended bucket containing 1 000 kilograms of water for release over the fire. In addition to the varied operational tasks performed by No. 28 Squadron, the Wessex has assisted in several construction projects within Hong Kong, including airlifting all the construction material for two new hilltop radio stations on Lantau Island and in the New Territories.

Royal Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers)

The Royal Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers) - a light reconnaissance regiment - is essentially a part-time volunteer force which operates in support of the British Armed Forces in Hong Kong. Its role is primarily one of internal security but also includes anti-illegal immigrant operations, assistance to other government departments in the event of natural disasters, and reconnaissance in limited war.

The regiment has 870 volunteers, from all walks of life and of many nationalities, who form four reconnaissance squadrons, a home guard squadron and a headquarters squad- ron. In addition, a women's troop was established in 1983 to provide supporting services in internal security and anti-illegal immigrant operations as searchers and interpreters. There is also a junior leaders' squadron of 300 boys aged from 14 to 17 trained in youth activities and leadership. Recruitment for the regiment has flourished allowing a highly selective intake: 115 recruits completed the six-month training and passed out in May as a result of a successful campaign the previous year with 1 300 applications for 150 vacancies.

The training commitment is two evenings and one weekend each month, as well as regimental camps and exercises, and centrally organised regimental training. The regimen- tal camp, the highlight of the year's training, takes place for eight days in April and October. For the October camp, the regiment is deployed on the border to relieve a regular battalion of its anti-illegal immigration duties. In 1983, five officer cadets attended a two-week training course at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, while 15 non- commissioned officers were attached to military establishments in the United Kingdom for training.

Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force

The Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force, based at Hong Kong International Airport, provides a variety of civil flying services for the government. It has a fleet of seven aircraft: a twin-engined Cessna Titan, a twin-engined Britten-Norman Islander, two Scottish Aviation Bulldog trainers and three Aerospatiale Dauphin twin-engined helicopters. The combina- tion of 83 permanent staff and 140 part-time volunteers, including a self-sufficient engineering squadron, enables the force to operate round-the-clock for seven days a week during an emergency.

Helicopter crews, which are on standby day and night (relieved of the overnight standby by the Royal Air Force for two months of the year), responded to over 280 requests for emergency medical evacuations and rescues during 1983. For two particularly difficult operations, a Queen's commendation and three Governor's commendations were awarded to the aircrews involved. A joint maritime communications project was completed with helicopters helping to carry heavy material to hilltop locations. During the dry season, helicopters dropped over 1 000 tonnes of water on bush and forest fires in areas inaccessible to conventional appliances. Government officers were transported to remote areas and official visitors from overseas were shown the territory from the air.



The Royal Hong Kong Police Force made frequent use of helicopters for training and operations in isolated areas of the New Territories. As part of the Clean Hong Kong Campaign, regular helicopters patrols supported the Marine Department and the Environ- mental Protection Agency in identifying badly polluted areas.

       The Cessna Titan and Britten-Norman Islander maintained off-shore patrols to spot illegal immigrants. They continued to assist the Lands Department in aerial survey, photography and map-making; also providing specialised training for air traffic control- lers. Hong Kong's long-range search and rescue commitment is also fulfilled by these aircraft, with a number of searches successfully undertaken during the year. The two Bulldogs provided pilot training for the squadron's own volunteers and student air traffic controllers.

Civil Aid Services

The Civil Aid Services is a uniformed and disciplined volunteer organisation made up of 3 600 adults and 2 525 cadets. The aim of the cadet corp is to train youths aged between 12 and 18 to act in a responsible and disciplined manner and become good citizens in the future.

       The duties of the service are numerous and diverse, helping to relieve the pressure on Hong Kong's full-time emergency services. They range from coping with disasters and emergencies, to crowd control at public events and refugee camp management. In 1983, volunteers performed 350 such tasks involving 17 000 man-days. The structure of the service is kept under review to ensure that it is able to tackle the wide variety of tasks. Following a review in 1983, a new tactical force - a rapid mobilisation team of volunteers trained in heavy rescue was set up. Volunteers are ready for deployment at one hour's notice anywhere in the territory, helping to overcome one of the problems of a part-time service whose members are dispersed throughout Hong Kong.

       The service has attracted increasing international interest. Following a 1982 congress jointly sponsored by the United Nations, the International Civil Defence Organisation and the International Red Cross, Third World countries have expressed keen interest in Hong Kong's training of members of the public for civil aid roles. A United Nations' commission observed that many aspects of Hong Kong's Civil Aid Services - such as the techniques for involving people, their training, and the system of functioning in support of the government and other voluntary organisations - should be shared with other countries. For the future, the service is looking towards an alert, fully-prepared force of men and women ready to meet any disaster, and one which can disseminate an understanding of disaster prepared- ness to the public.

Auxiliary Medical Service

The Auxiliary Medical Service is a volunteer medical organisation with members trained and equipped to provide an essential service to the public, especially in times of emergency. It has a strength of nearly 5 800 volunteers of whom more than 1 000 are professionally qualified in medical, nursing, pharmaceutical or hospital administration services. The remainder, who are from all walks of life, are fully trained to a high level of proficiency in first aid, nursing and casualty handling.

Founded in 1950, the main role of the service is to augment the official medical and health services and the ambulance service of the Fire Services Department in any emer- gency. When necessary, members are called out to assist in treating victims on the spot, evacuating casualties, and manning dressing stations, casualty wards and convalescent



units which may be needed to cope with the emergency. They can also assist in mass inoculation against epidemics.

Other than in emergencies, the Auxiliary Medical Service provides various regular services such as manning medical posts at government-run Vietnamese refugee camps, staffing methadone treatment centres, assisting the full-time ambulance service on Sundays and public holidays, providing first aid posts at country parks, and reinforcing lifeguard services at public beaches and swimming pools during the summer. Permanent staff of the service give first aid training to government officers, especially those in the disciplined services.

The Auxiliary Medical Service Canoe Training Centre at Tsam Chuk Wan in Sai Kung provides useful training for water activities. During 1983, volunteers reinforced the New Territories Services Department's lifeguards at Cheung Sha Beach on Lantau Island, where several fatal incidents had occurred.




Communications and The Media


As visitors to Hong Kong can readily observe, the processes of communications and public information play a more important role here than in almost any other territory in the world.

Much of this activity undoubtedly arises from Hong Kong's geographical situation. Traditionally the territory has been a trading post in the Far East and over the years has expanded into a manufacturing and financial centre as well. For all these roles sophisticated international communications have been developed.

       Satellite and the latest telecommunications equipment is geared to the community's international needs. As well as serving Hong Kong's own commercial interests, these facilities have attracted news media representatives from many parts of the world. Indeed, no other place of similar size can rival the range and intensity of media activity. News agencies, newspapers with international readerships and overseas television companies and corporations have found it convenient to establish their bureaux and offices here. Regional publications produced in Hong Kong have prospered, reflecting the territory's enhanced position as a centre of industrial and trading expertise.

       Within Hong Kong itself there is a lively and extensive news media made up of many daily newspapers, a range of weekly magazines, two private television companies and three radio stations. There is a free, critical and outspoken press without legislative controls other than those intended to provide safeguards against libel and pornography. The news media provides an efficient and speedy supply of information to a literate, industrious and healthily inquisitive society.

The news media plays a vital part in the territory's precautionary measures against sudden climatic threats. When typhoons approach or rainstorms spell danger the news media reacts to alert, inform and advise the population.

Against this background it is not surprising that remarkable advances and innovations have taken place in the information field in recent years. The government has matched this progress by producing and participating in an increasing number of public affairs programmes on television and radio, and by expanding its information services.

The Press

Hong Kong's flourishing free press consists of 69 newspapers and 436 periodicals, which have a high readership. More than 300 copies of newspapers are printed for every 1000 people in Hong Kong. The world average is some 100 to every 1 000 people. The news- papers include 54 Chinese-language dailies, eight English dailies, five other English papers, one bilingual paper and one Japanese-language paper.

       Of the Chinese-language dailies, 39 cover mainly general news, both local and overseas, while others solely cover entertainment, especially television and cinema news. The larger



papers also include Chinese communities overseas in their distribution networks, and some even have editions printed outside Hong Kong, in particular in Britain and the United States. Included in the English press are international papers with locally-printed editions - the Asian Wall Street Journal and the International Herald Tribune.

Hong Kong is the Southeast Asian base for many newspapers, magazines, news agencies and the electronic media. Among the international news agencies with offices in Hong Kong are Associated Press, Reuters, United Press International and Agence France Presse. Newsweek and Time magazines have editions printed in Hong Kong which is also the base for the regional magazines Asiaweek and the Far Eastern Economic Review.

Several organisations represent and cater for people working in the news media in Hong Kong. The Newspaper Society of Hong Kong represents Chinese and English newspapers. It is empowered to act in matters affecting the interests of its members. The Hong Kong Journalists' Association (HKJA) seeks to raise professional standards by recommending better training, pay and conditions in journalism, and advises its members in the event of disputes with employers. The Foreign Correspondents' Club offers its members social facilities and a range of professional activities, including news conferences, briefings and films. The Hong Kong Press Club provides an opportunity for journalists to meet socially. Major steps are being taken to expand and improve training in journalism, with the Journalism Training Board of the Vocational Training Council playing an important role. In April, the council allocated $100,000 to the Journalism Training Board towards in-service training courses, and as a result tertiary institutions were able to conduct five heavily subsidised upgrading courses for working journalists during the year. Also in 1983, a job specification guideline for the media was published.

Sound Broadcasting

There are 10 radio channels in Hong Kong. Five are operated by Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), three by the Hong Kong Commercial Broadcasting Company, more popularly known as Commercial Radio (CR), and two by the British Forces Broadcasting Services (BFBS).

Policy guidelines for RTHK, which were reviewed and affirmed in June, require the publicly-financed station to provide balanced and objective broadcasting services to inform, educate and entertain the people of Hong Kong. Its aim is to serve the best interests of the community by providing impartial and balanced news and public affairs programmes reflecting accurately the views of both the government and the public. The Director of Broadcasting is its editor-in-chief.

RTHK now broadcasts a total of 700 hours per week and has a 24-hour service in both Chinese and English. The most recent independent survey showed that the total number of radio listeners was 72 per cent of the population aged nine and above. The station has developed the individual identity of each of its five channels.

Radio 1 of the Chinese service now provides news bulletins and summaries on a half-hourly basis between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m., and hourly throughout the night. It has strengthened its coverage on financial matters with reports broadcast every hour during the day. It has also expanded the production of programmes designed to encourage audience participation as well as community involvement, for instance promoting public awareness of district boards, industrial safety, and the dangers of smoking. Education programmes which incorporate language teaching, literature, history and health guidance are also major features. Towards the end of the year, two language courses leading to diplomas were introduced for the first time.



      Radio 2 has acquired popularity as a channel mainly for young people. Although popular music is the salient feature, more magazine programmes have been introduced. Its disc jockeys adopt a lively approach to community service and the channel has helped promote major publicity campaigns including Fight Crime, Anti-Narcotics, Road Safety, and Anti-Smoking.

       Radio 3 continues to broadcast news and current affairs, talk shows and popular music for the English-speaking population. During 1983, topical programming was strengthened to give the channel a substantial current affairs outlet seven days a week.

Radio 4 continues to develop as a channel for fine music and arts. During 1983, the number of programmes introduced bilingually was increased to include live broadcasts, concerts and recitals by local and international orchestras and artistes. In support of music and musicians in Hong Kong, the channel announced in June the Hong Kong Young Pianist of the Year Competition, an event sponsored by the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

Radio 5, a bilingual channel, relays the BBC World Service from 5 p.m. to 2.30 a.m. daily. Outside these hours it provides an additional FM service of Chinese programmes such as Cantonese opera, provincial and classical music, as well as programmes in Putonghua (Mandarin) and the Chiu Chow dialect. During the year it strengthened its educational and cultural programme content.

      Advanced technology will lead to broadcasting services using a wider spectrum of the VHF/FM band. Approval in principle has been given for the introduction of a VHF/FM transmission plan to duplicate in FM existing AM services and to enlarge the service area of FM broadcasts; the best ways to carry forward the scheme are being studied.

Commercial Radio operates two 24-hour services in Cantonese, and one in English for 19 hours each day. All stations primarily provide AM services; the two Chinese stations simulcast in FM to Sha Tin and to the north of Hong Kong Island, while additional FM transmissions to Sheung Shui, Tai Po and Fanling commenced in June.

      One of the highlights of the year was the station's coverage in both languages of the talks in China on the future of Hong Kong. Three reports a day were broadcast direct from Peking. There was increasing involvement by the station in public service programmes and events, notably those in support of the Anti-Narcotics, Fight Crime and Clean Hong Kong campaigns, the Community Chest and the Red Cross. Various fund-raising events were organised including three concerts entitled Songs To Remember consisting of a variety show, a music show and a Cantonese opera performance to raise money for the Cheshire Home and two homes for the aged; the annual Spare A New Toy Appeal for orphans; the station's regular Helping Hand programme to raise money for shelters for the elderly; and an annual basketball match in aid of the mentally handicapped in which disc jockeys and celebrities took part. As in previous years, there was considerable coverage given to local and international sports events. A suspense drama produced by Commercial Radio One reached the finals in the Drama Series Category of the 1983 International Radio Festival in New York.

      The British Forces Broadcasting Services (BFBS) is the radio division of the Services Sound and Vision Corporation, a world-wide organisation providing entertainment, infor- mation and training films, video, television and radio services for the British Forces, under contract to the Ministry of Defence.

      BFBS provides two radio services which are designed for the particular needs of the Gurkha and British Forces serving in Hong Kong. Nepali programmes, broadcast for more than 76 hours each week, are mainly self-originated and cater for the interests of the



Brigade of Gurkhas, providing music and features reflecting daily life in Nepal, Nepalese and world news, news reviews, quiz shows and audience participation phone-in pro- grammes. A few programmes are received from Radio Nepal, other Nepalese government agencies and from the BBC Nepali service.

The English language service broadcasts for some 100 hours each week, providing news from the United Kingdom and a music format familiar to British Forces. About 30 hours each week is provided by the BFBS London Production Centre, which keeps listeners in touch with home events and provides specialist programmes from premier British broad- casting personalities. The BBC Transcription Services provides high quality drama, comedy and documentary material. Some live outside broadcasts are mounted covering major social and formal military events.


Television viewing continues to be Hong Kong's prime leisure activity with more than 93 per cent of households owning one or more television sets. Two enfranchised commercial wireless broadcasting stations, Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) and Asia Television Limited (ATV), transmit an average of 470 hours of programming each week and together provide two English and two Chinese-language services for the community. The UHF 625-line PAL colour system is standard and virtually all transmission is in colour. Both TVB and ATV maintain large well-equipped studios and office complexes using the latest production and transmission techniques.

The television stations are licensed to operate under the provisions of the Television Ordinance which is administered by the Television Authority. The Commissioner for Television and Films is responsible for the regulation of the stations' licences and the issue and enforcement of the programme, advertising and technical standards required of the licensees. He is advised in these responsibilities by the Television Advisory Board. One of the main roles of the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA) is to monitor regularly the performance of the television stations to ensure that the terms and conditions of their licence requirements are being met.

       On the programme side, locally-produced drama series remain the most popular among the programmes - talk shows, sports, popular music, current affairs, variety, women's and children's programmes - available. Of the drama series, both contemporary and period kung-fu categories continue to be favourite viewing. The trend in contemporary drama storylines is towards light-hearted entertainment while costume dramas have become more sophisticated technically, with laser beams and other advanced visual gimmicks being used to portray combat feats.

Sports programmes are gaining increasing popularity and occupy many weekend peak viewing hours. Major international sports events are broadcast live via satellite. Both stations continue to feature two comprehensive news bulletins daily on their Chinese and English channels, scheduled between 6 p.m. and midnight. Selected news bulletins are sub-titled for the benefit of the deaf. Locally-produced public affairs programmes are broadcast on each channel, some having won international awards for their high standards. With the assistance of the government's district offices, the Television Authority has appointed public television viewing groups in each of Hong Kong's 18 districts to provide a flow of public opinion on television programming from a broad spectrum of the popula- tion, and to help the Television Advisory Board keep in touch with public attitudes towards programme and advertising standards. These groups, consisting of between 20 and 25 volunteers, are appointed for a one-year period in the first instance. Group members follow



their normal television viewing habits at home and are required to complete questionnaires reflecting their opinions on television programmes and advertisements over a two-week period once every three months.

      The publicly-financed Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), which uses the transmis- sion services of the two commercial stations, produced over 10 hours of public affairs programmes each week including the highly acclaimed dramas On the Beat and Places and Faces, while Commonsense and Police Call, in their seventh and eighth years respectively, were still among the top 20 fixtures.

Policy guidelines for RTHK require its programmes to provide a communicating channel between the government and the public, which promotes civic responsibility and identity, serves minority interests, and educates and informs. This is achieved while offering entertainment which upholds high programme standards. Material produced falls basically into five areas of interest: current affairs, drama, information and servicing, variety and games shows, and programmes for children and young people.

      The station now plays a leading role in producing non-commercial programmes which are of service to the community, for example current affairs programmes, children's programmes and campaign-oriented games shows. During the year, it introduced the first series of an adult education programme Look and Learn which comprised three teaching elements: Chinese poetry appreciation, English language and an introduction to computers. A half-hour current affairs magazine programme of happenings in Hong Kong started in February and is broadcast weekly from Monday to Friday at peak viewing time.

      Due to the popularity of RTHK's service and the increasing demand for programmes, the organisation aims to achieve an eventual weekly output of 12 hours of public affairs television programmes. An extension to its premises in Broadcast Drive, Kowloon, is planned to provide further facilities.

      In addition to its major function as a source of entertainment, television plays an important role in Hong Kong in the field of education. The government Educational Television Service (ETV), which utilises the transmission facilities of the commercial stations for eight hours each school day, is watched by 610 000 children in both primary and secondary schools. The programmes are devised and written by specialist Education Department staff, who provide schools with associated programme literature and follow-up work. The programmes are produced by RTHK and are made in colour using film animation, drama and documentary techniques.

Government Information Services

The Government Information Services (GIS) provide the link between the government and the information media and, through the latter, with the people of Hong Kong. At the beginning of 1983, GIS was restructured to provide an improved press and public relations service and to enable it to assess and report on public opinion as expressed in the information media. Later in the year, a further change was made to increase efficiency by placing under the one division the department's public relations work in Hong Kong and its public relations efforts overseas. The department now has three divisions covering news, public relations and publicity, plus a division handling administration services.

      The News Division disseminates a multiplicity of goverment information through teleprinter and facsimile networks which are directly linked with leading newspapers, radio and television stations, and news agencies. The facsimile system enables GIS to transmit to the media both photographs and typed or printed messages, which is especially important for communicating in the Chinese language. Telex and international facsimile



      services enable government offices overseas to receive messages without delay and to communicate directly to the department and, through it, to the rest of the government. The News Division also operates a 24-hour media enquiry service which handles nearly 20 000 questions every month.

During an emergency such as a typhoon, the newsroom becomes a co-ordination centre to distribute up-to-date information to the media, particularly the radio and television stations, to keep the public informed of developments. Apart from this mobilisation of both manpower and equipment in the newsroom, other staff man various key positions within the government's organisation for managing emergencies, contributing to the minute by minute flow of information.

The Public Relations Division has three sub-divisions: media research, departmental units and overseas. The media research sub-division keeps the government fully informed of public opinion as expressed in the information media. It produces the Gist, a daily news sheet in English which summarises news and editorial comment in the major Chinese- language papers, and the TV Gist, its counterpart for radio and television. It also produces Opinion, a weekly review of Chinese editorial comment, a new weekly publication titled What the Magazines Say, and a special weekly summary on coverage in the media about the future of Hong Kong.

The departmental units sub-division co-ordinates the operation of the 23 information and public relations units in government departments, plus another in the Secretariat. These units issue press releases, arrange press conferences and site visits and answer many media inquiries concerning the activities and aims of their respective departments. Through these efforts they play a major role in maintaining the flow of information and helping to improve relations with the public. The sub-division is also responsible for producing the Hong Kong News Digest, a fortnightly newspaper in Chinese which helps Hong Kong Chinese overseas to maintain contact with Hong Kong.

The overseas public relations sub-division co-ordinates the government's publicity efforts overseas, produces feature articles, prepares radio tapes and short films for television and assists visiting journalists with their requests for information and interviews with govern- ment officers. Its staff also work closely with news agencies and overseas journalists based in Hong Kong. In 1983, the sub-division assisted 545 overseas journalists, 50 other visitors and distributed 120 feature articles.

The Publicity Division embraces the creative, publishing and promotional resources of the department. Its ambit includes photography and film-making, an extensive photo- graphic library, the staging of exhibitions, the design of books, leaflets and posters, publishing activities, the design and placement of all government advertising and in-service training for GIS staff.


GIS produces a wide variety of publications ranging from leaflets and fact sheets to the Hong Kong Annual Report - which is the best-selling hardback book in the territory -- and other full-colour books. Sales of government publications rose by 20 per cent to more than $17.4 million in 1983, compared with $14.5 million in 1982. The division plans and carries out all government publicity campaigns. In addition to major campaigns such as Anti- Narcotics, Crime Prevention, Industrial Safety, Road Safety and Fire Prevention being continued, two new ones were launched in 1983, one on the hazards of smoking and the other to publicise the issue of the new identity card. About 30 minor campaigns. were conducted, such as those concerned with Gas Safety, Country Parks, Police Recruit- ment and Safety in Outdoor Pursuits. In addition to arranging media publicity, many



promotional events are organised (both at territory-wide and district levels) through live shows, a mobile street theatre and film shows.

       The news and public affairs division of the Hong Kong Government Office in London works closely with GIS to provide a press service on Hong Kong matters for the British media, and enquiry and information services for the public about events and developments in Hong Kong. There was heightened interest in Hong Kong affairs during the year resulting in an increased number of enquiries from the media and the public.

      The news section monitors British Parliamentary proceedings and media coverage of Hong Kong affairs, and keeps the Hong Kong Government informed on a daily basis by telex and facsimile transmission. It also publishes a fortnightly newsletter, Dateline Hong Kong, which is distributed among organisations and individuals with a close interest in Hong Kong. The public affairs section helped to organise a visit to Britain by the Hong Kong Jing Ying group, who performed commendably in the Welsh National Eisteddfod at Llangollen, and the Young Singer of the World competition in Cardiff.

       A GIS officer was posted to the Hong Kong Government Office which opened in New York in 1983, while the Hong Kong Office in Brussels now includes a post for an information officer.

Information Policy

The Secretary for Home Affairs has overall policy responsibility for the government's relations with the media, the main aim being to keep the media informed of its policies and thinking, as well as forthcoming events and proposed legislation. On this front, the Home Affairs Branch is responsible for co-ordinating the work of the Government Information Services, Radio Television Hong Kong and much of the work of the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority. Apart from formulating policy on a full range of information matters and broadcasting, it advises the government on the presentation of its policies and on public relations matters generally.

Film Industry

      By the end of 1983, the number of cinemas in Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories stood at 90 compared with 89 the previous year. With the demolition of a large complex near Hong Kong International Airport to make room for a park, five small cinemas were pulled down during the year while six new cinemas opened.

       The annual cinema attendance, totalling about 61 million, was lower than in 1982 (64 million). Related to the population, the high attendance figures demonstrate that cinema-going remains a very popular leisure activity, second only to television. The price of admission to the majority of the cinemas was increased by about 18 per cent at the beginning of July, a rise caused by higher operating costs and the decline of the Hong Kong dollar.

The number of locally-produced films was 118 in comparison with 129 for 1982. While imported films continue to be popular, good-quality local films remain the favourites with the majority of audiences. The biggest box-office successes for the year were Aces Go Places which grossed $23.3 million, Winners and Sinners ($22.0 million), E.T. The Extra- Terrestial ($16.7 million) and Zu, Warriors from the Magic Fountain ($15.9 million). The trend of making locally-produced films in Cantonese rather than in Mandarin continued in 1983. Although action films and comedies dominated the cinema scene, some films concerned with local social problems and the problems of youth also proved to be popular.



All films intended for public exhibition in Hong Kong must be submitted to the Panel of Film Censors, which is part of the TELA. Censorship standards are drawn from ascertained community views and a panel comprising 90 members of the public assists the film censors in reflecting the community views. During the year, 674 films were submitted for censorship (including films intended for cine-clubs and cultural organisations). Of the total number submitted, 490 were approved without excisions; 166 were approved after excisions and 18 were banned. These figures do not include films intended for television use.

Printing and Publishing

The international status of Hong Kong's printing industry has grown steadily in recent years, and expansion of the industry continued during 1983. There are now over 3 000 printing companies employing more than 30 000 people, and over 200 publishing houses with a staff of more than 6 000.

The territory's electronics industry is contributing to the plant and equipment of not only the more sophisticated printing companies, but also to the publishers who are becoming increasingly involved in data and word processing systems for both their editorial production and stock control. The sales and marketing of data and word processors is now handled by more than 100 companies in Hong Kong, which offer over 200 systems, a considerable increase from previous years.

The use of computer-assisted photo composition is now widespread among Hong Kong printing companies and equipment has been developed to either convert or interface word processors with typesetters at realistic costs, further assuring publishers of speedy and efficient printing.

Several large Japanese companies have established colour separation and printing plants in Hong Kong. Many overseas publishers have set up offices or regional headquarters and produce numerous Chinese, English and bilingual magazines which are sold locally and overseas. The majority of exported publications - mainly books and pamphlets - go to Britain, Australia and the United States. Hong Kong does not manufacture paper and has to import all of its requirements.

Postal Services

Hong Kong has a reliable and efficient postal service. Two mail deliveries are generally provided each weekday in the urban and industrial areas and one delivery elsewhere in the territory. Despite the large volume of letters handled, the Post Office continued to achieve its target of delivering most local letter mail within 24 hours of posting.


During 1983, a total of 490 million letters and parcels - a daily average of 1.3 million were handled, representing a decrease of one per cent compared with 1982. Approximately 2 342 tonnes of letter mail and 3 277 tonnes of parcels were despatched abroad by air during the year, representing an overall increase of 7.1 per cent over the previous year.

The Speedpost service, a premium service introduced in 1973, continued to grow. It now extends to 23 postal administrations: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Ireland, Japan, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, the Netherlands, South Africa, South Korea, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, the United States and West Germany. During the year, 555 332 items were handled representing an increase of 43.3 per cent over the preceding year. The number of Speedpost acceptance points has been increased to 15 post offices to provide customers with a better service.

       The Intelpost service introduced in 1982 to the United Kingdom is now available to the United States, France and West Germany. It offers high speed facsimile transmission of



high quality black and white reproductions of documents, drawings and personal messages up to A4 size (210 mm × 297 mm). These items are available within hours at the overseas destination. Since August, the Intelpost service between Hong Kong and the United King- dom has been expanded to provide a special greeting facility.

Postage rates for letters and printed papers posted for local delivery and to China, Taiwan and Macau were revised on October 1. The basic rate for a local letter was increased from 30 cents to 40 cents and that for China, Taiwan and Macau from 40 cents to 50 cents. An air parcel service to the People's Republic of China was introduced in April. During the year, an A4 size official aerogramme was introduced to provide more writing space but maintaining the same rate of postage.

A major new post office was opened in March in Tsim Sha Tsui, replacing a temporary office in use since March 1979. The new office, which in terms of business turnover ranks second after the General Post Office, is equipped with 9 000 post office boxes. To cope with the expansion in delivery services in the Yuen Long and Aberdeen areas, the counter sections of the Yuen Long Post Office and Aberdeen Post Office were housed in leased premises. In addition, four post offices were opened during the year, bringing the total number to 94.

There were four special stamp issues in 1983. In January, three stamps were issued with Hong Kong's performing arts as the theme and featuring the Chinese characters for dance, drama and music. To commemorate Commonwealth Day, four stamps were issued on March 14 showing an aerial view of Victoria Harbour and its surrounding areas, a container ship entering the harbour, the Hong Kong flag and HM Queen Elizabeth during her visit to Hong Kong in 1975. Hong Kong by night was chosen as the theme for four stamps issued in August, and a set of four stamps was issued in November to commemo- rate the centenary of the Royal Observatory. In response to keen philatelic interest and to provide an additional sales outlet, a fifth philatelic sales point was established at the new Granville Road Post Office.

Telecommunications Services

As a leading financial, commercial and industrial centre in Asia, Hong Kong depends on efficient and reliable telecommunications both within the territory and internationally. Telecommunications services are provided by two local companies, Hong Kong Telephone Company Limited and Cable and Wireless (Hong Kong) Limited.

The Postmaster General is the Telecommunications Authority and he administers the Telecommunication Ordinance which governs the establishment and operation of all telecommunications services. He also acts as adviser to the government on matters concerning the provision and operation of public telecommunications services and the technical aspects of radio and television broadcasting.

The Post Office manages the radio frequency spectrum to ensure that it is utilised efficiently, and grants licences, under the Telecommunication Ordinance, for all forms of radio communication within Hong Kong. It maintains surveillance of the radio frequency bands to detect illegal transmissions and interference emanating from sources within and around the territory. It conducts examinations leading to the issue of the Certificate of Competence in Radiotelephony or Radiotelegraphy to radio operating personnel in compliance with the International Radio Regulations. It also conducts inspections of ships' radio stations to ensure compliance with the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea.

In addition, the Post Office provides advisory and planning services for the communica- tions requirements of government departments, and co-ordinates and regulates the use of



all radio communications sites. Radio networks planned in 1983 include a microwave network in the New Territories for the Water Supplies Department to carry telemetry and speech signals, and a mobile radio network for the general duties teams of the Urban Services Department. Line communication networks planned during 1983 include integ- rated services systems for the Royal Hong Kong Police Force and the Medical and Health Department, and a high-quality facsimile system for the Immigration Department.

The Hong Kong Telephone Company Limited, operating under a statutory franchise from the government, provides telephone and other telecommunications facilities in Hong Kong. With over two million telephones connected to the network, Hong Kong has a density of nearly 38 telephones for every 100 people. Service can normally be provided on demand anywhere in the territory. The network is fully automatic, with 65 exchanges using equipment ranging from electro-mechanical switching to advanced electronic technology. With effect from January 1, 1983, certain attachments and services previously provided exclusively by the company were supplied competitively. The changes were brought about progressively and included such attachments and services as telephone instruments, PABXs, radio paging, mobile radio telephone, Datex message and Viewdata. However, the public telephone network continues to be operated by the company as a monopoly service subject to the Scheme of Control.

Hong Kong's international telephone service is provided jointly by the Hong Kong Telephone Company Limited and Cable and Wireless (Hong Kong) Limited. A world-wide operator-connected service is available and International Direct Dialling calls can be made to more than 100 countries. There has been a tenfold increase in outgoing international telephone calls from Hong Kong during the last 10 years.

Cable and Wireless (Hong Kong) Limited, which is owned jointly by Cable and Wireless PLC and the Hong Kong Government, provides the international telecommunication services as well as local telegram and telex services. These include public telegram, telex, telephone, television programmes transmission and reception, leased circuits, fac- simile, switched data, ship-shore and air-ground communications. International facilities are provided through submarine cables, microwave, tropospheric scatter and satellite radio systems.

Since March, subscribers to the International Public Switched Data Service (IPSD) and International Facsimile Service (IFAX) have been able to make data or facsimile calls to one another in Hong Kong provided the terminal equipment is compatible.

During the year, a second international telephone exchange centre was brought into service in Hermes House, Kowloon. The new exchange has a capacity for 60 000 channels and 2920 international circuits. This exchange is linked to the existing centre in New Mercury House on Hong Kong Island by a cross-harbour optical fibre cable system.


Religion and Custom


DESPITE a fast-paced commercial lifestyle, a wide range of spiritual beliefs and religious customs are interwoven with the fabric of daily existence in Hong Kong. Of the 17 statutory holidays in the territory, 11 involve religious worship.

The majority of believers are followers of Buddhism and Taoism. Although five of the statutory holidays are renowned Chinese festivals, they continue their worship throughout the year, especially during the numerous other festivals and on the first and 15th days of the lunar month.

While many devotees profess Buddhism and Taoism, a diversity of religious life co-exists in absolute harmony, with the world's major religions and many smaller religious groups represented by active communities. During Hong Kong's early history, a large number of Christian churches, as well as mosques, Hindu and Sikh temples, and a synagogue, were established where believers can profess their own faith.

Buddhism and Taoism

Hong Kong possesses more than 360 Buddhist and Taoist temples, some being centuries old and containing priceless antiques, while others are of more recent construction but built according to traditional design. Under the Chinese Temples Ordinance all temples have to be registered. The Chinese Temples Committee is responsible for the management and maintenance of public Chinese temples and, through the ordinance, has helped to ensure the survival of even small neighbourhood temples amid intense redevelopment in many areas. Most of Hong Kong's temples and monasteries are open to the public.

Although each temple is generally dedicated to one or two deities, it is usual to find the images of a number of gods or goddesses inside. Furthermore, there is a tendency for Buddhist deities to be located in Taoist temples, and vice versa, since Buddhism and Taoism, although basically two different faiths, are often regarded by devotees as similar in that they both involve the practice of sacred rites of traditional origin.

A large number of households have ancestral shrines while countless shops have a God Shelf, supporting images of one or more of the hundreds of divinities. With religious observances being carried out at home, many people reserve temple-going for festivals and special occasions - for example, when observing the traditional rites associated with birth, marriage and death - and at the time of a new or full moon.

Since Hong Kong people have always been dependent on the sea, first for fishing and later for trade, the most popular deities are those connected with the sea and the weather. Tin Hau, the Queen of Heaven and Protector of Seafarers, is said to be worshipped by 250 000 people. There are at least 24 Tin Hau temples in Hong Kong, the first and most famous being the one in Joss House Bay near Fat Tong Mun. Many of the Tin Hau temples, which were originally built near the sea, are now some distance inland as a result of reclamation.



Other leading deities include Kwun Yum, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy; Kwan Tai, the God of War and Righteousness; Pak Tai, Lord of the North and the local patron god of Cheung Chau Island; Hung Shing, God of the South Seas and a weather prophet; and Wong Tai Sin, after whom an area of Kowloon is named. The temple in honour of Wong Tai Sin, around which public housing estates have been constructed, is built in traditional Chinese architectural style and is extremely popular with worshippers. Dedicated to the Gods of Literary Attainment and Martial Valour, the Man Mo Temple in Hollywood Road, Western District, run by the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals' charitable organisation, is equally popular and well-known.

Besides providing for spiritual needs, Buddhist and Taoist organisations help to meet welfare, educational and medical needs in Hong Kong, either directly or by contributing to charitable organisations. At present, about 40 primary and secondary schools, one hospital and nine homes for the aged are under the direct management of the Buddhist and Taoist associations.

Religious studies are conducted at monasteries, nunneries and hermitages. Being easily accessible, the monasteries at Sha Tin and Tsuen Wan are particularly popular with residents of urban areas. However, the best-known monasteries are situated in the more remote parts of the New Territories. One of the most renowned is the Buddhist Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island which attracts large numbers of visitors at weekends and on holidays. At Tao Fung Shan near Sha Tin, there is a Christian study centre on Chinese religion and culture, where the work of the Christian Mission to Buddhists has been carried out for many years.

In the urban areas, Buddhist Ching She (places for spiritual cultivation), Fat Tong (Buddha Halls) and To Yuen (places for Taoist worship), which have been established to cater for the spiritual needs of city dwellers, are used for expounding the sutras and for gatherings held by various Buddhist and Taoist organisations.

In the New Territories, traditional clan organisations have been preserved and continue to play an important part in the lives of the villagers. Many villages have an ancestral hall as the centre of religious and secular activities, where ancestral tablets of the clan are kept and venerated. Animism exists in the form of shrines or joss sticks placed at the foot of certain rocks and trees within which spirits are believed to dwell. This practice is especially common among Hakka and Chiu Chow villagers.

      There are five major festivals in the Chinese calendar, all of which are statutory public holidays. First and foremost is the Lunar New Year, when gifts and visits are exchanged between friends and relatives, and children receive 'lucky' money. The Ching Ming Festival in the springtime provides an opportunity to visit ancestral graves. The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth moon in early summer with dragon boat races and by eating cooked rice wrapped in lotus leaves. The Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth moon. Gifts of mooncakes, fruit and wine are exchanged, and adults and children go to the parks and countryside at night carrying colourful lanterns. The Chung Yeung Festival is on the ninth day of the ninth moon, and is celebrated by large crowds climbing various hills in remembrance of an ancient Chinese family's escape from plague and death by fleeing to the top of a high mountain. Family graves are also visited on this day.

Christian Community

The Christian community - Roman Catholic and Protestant is estimated to number about half a million people, comprising more than 50 Christian denominations and independent groups in Hong Kong.



       The Protestant and Roman Catholic churches have a Joint Committee on Development, which plans joint action in areas of mutual concern, with official representation serving on each other's committees. Church leaders issue joint pastoral letters and various bodies of both groups co-operate on a number of mission and service projects.

Roman Catholic Community

     In addition to its pastoral and apostolic work, the Roman Catholic Church in Hong Kong is engaged in a wide variety of activities in the fields of education, health care and social welfare. There are 309 Catholic schools, with about 302 700 pupils. Catholic social and health services include 14 social centres, six hospitals, 14 hostels (with 1 393 residents), 16 clinics, eight homes for the aged, two homes for the blind, and many self-help clubs and associations.

       Roman Catholics in Hong Kong number about 266 500. They are served by 337 priests (133 Chinese and 204 of other nationalities); 82 Brothers (37 Chinese and 45 of other nationalities); and 766 Sisters (457 Chinese and 309 of other nationalities) belonging to 23 different religious congregations. There are 57 parishes and 48 mass centres. Services are normally in Chinese with a few churches providing services in English.

       Since the early 1960s, there has been greater involvement of the laity in all areas of church activities. The Hong Kong Central Council of Catholic Laity is the central organisation for Catholic laity who engage in the work of evangelisation. A parallel organisation, the Hong Kong Catholic Youth Council, is the diocesan federation for all Catholic youth organisations.

      A few years ago, the diocese set up a Commission for Non-Christian Religions and an Ecumenical Commission as a means of involving people of goodwill in supporting worthwhile causes. In addition, to develop improved ways of communicating its message, the church established the Hong Kong Catholic Social Communications Office to take over responsibility for public relations and information involving church and socio-religious activities from the Catholic Centre. The centre continues to publish two Catholic news- papers, Kung Kao Po and The Sunday Examiner, and provides various religious publica- tions in both Chinese and English.

      Caritas, the official social welfare arm of the church in Hong Kong, is engaged in many community welfare projects: social services for the elderly, including centres and home care; family services and community centres; and medical and educational services. Many voluntary groups are also engaged in medical, welfare and educational services.

       The Catholic Church was officially established in Hong Kong in April 1841 as a mission prefecture. The first Prefect, Monsignor Theodore Joset, built a matshed church at what is now the intersection of Wellington and Pottinger Streets in Central District. A seminary for training Chinese priests was established and, at about the same time, religious missionaries came to Hong Kong to enter into educational, medical, social and pastoral works.

       In 1874, the Catholic Church in Hong Kong became a Vicariate Apostolic, and was entrusted to the Pontifical Institute of the Foreign Missions of Milan, with Monsignor T. Raimondi as the first Vicar Apostolic.

       In 1946, the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong was established, with the Rt Rev Henry Valtorta the first Bishop of Hong Kong. In 1969, Bishop Francis Chen-peng Hsu became the first Chinese Bishop of Hong Kong Catholic Diocese. The present Bishop of Hong Kong, John B. Chen-chung Wu, was ordained in July 1975.




Previous page: The Governor, Sir Edward Youde, dots the eye of the dragon at the opening of the 1983 Hong Kong Arts Festival. Above: The accomplished Hong Kong Chinese Örchestra, featuring here the delicate chords of the pi pa, played to full houses at the City Hall and to school and student groups during the year.

Two lithe performers from the Urban Council's Hong Kong Dance Company display agility and artistry in the Chinese dance drama 'Hua Pi'. The company's repertoire includes classical and folk dances as well as original Chinese works.


Below: Flamboyance and colour at the Eighth Festival of Asian Arts: this classical Thai dance with its fascinating movements delighted festival audiences.



Above: Polynesian dancers and Maori musicians joined together to give some exciting displays, including a performance at the newly-opened Ko Shan Theatre.

Below: Visiting troupes, such as these traditional Javanese Ramayana dancers and musicians, gave free open-air concerts in addition to those at regular indoor venues.




Above: More colourful highlights from the festivala Sri Lankan troupe performed a selection of dances from the island's three regions.




# Nearly 500 young musicians received expert tuition in both Western and Chinese music during the summer holidays at the Youth Music Camp run annually by the Recreation and Culture Department's Music Office.




Under the exacting eye of their teacher, these youngsters learn that even elementary ballet steps involve much practice and patience.


Puppetry has made a big comeback as an art form in recent years, thanks to the encouragement of the Urban Council. Traditional Cantonese rod puppet performances were among the many free cultural displays in parks and playgrounds during the year.



Protestant Community


The Protestant Community in Hong Kong, made up of over 200 000 members, meets in some 650 congregations representing the major traditions such as Anglican, Church of Christ in China, Lutheran, Methodist, Baptist, Adventist, Alliance, Salvation Army and Pentecostal, as well as many smaller independent congregations.

In addition to offering spiritual counselling and operating religious and social welfare organisations, including the Hong Kong Christian Service, special centres and pro- grammes, Protestant groups are active in other fields. In the areas of education and health services, Protestants run 200 kindergartens, 175 primary schools, 120 secondary schools, three post-secondary colleges, three schools for the deaf, several for training the mentally handicapped, and 15 theological seminaries and Bible institutes. They operate five major hospitals, many clinics, and other health services.

       Co-operative work is facilitated by two ecumenical organisations, the Chinese Christian Churches Union and the Hong Kong Christian Council. The former brings together over 200 congregations for its membership and carries out its work through departments of evangelism, Christian education, charities, cemeteries and information. The latter bases its membership on major denominations and ecumenical service bodies such as the Young Women's Christian Association, the Young Men's Christian Association. The Bible Society In Hong Kong and the Chinese Christian Literature Council.

The Christian Council is committed to building a closer relationship between all churches in Hong Kong as well as with churches overseas, and to stimulate local Christians to minister to the needs of the people in Hong Kong. It carries out its programmes through the Division of Mission, the Hong Kong Christian Service, the Communications Centre, the Christian Industrial Committee, and related service agencies including the United Christian Medical Service, Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital and the Tao Fung Shan Ecumenical Centre. In June, the council began a new service entitled Alternative Tours giving visitors and residents an opportunity to see and experience grass roots care facilities and ways of life in Hong Kong.

The Protestant community continued to enjoy a good relationship with the churches in China through the Three Self Movement and the China Christian Council. On two occasions, representatives of the church in China visited Hong Kong on official good will and sharing tours. The exchange of publications and informal meetings also increased, with the Hong Kong Christian Council, for example, continuing to help organise visits by young Christians to Guangdong Province.

       In the area of social concern, the Protestant community, through various committees, played an active role in arousing public interest in matters relating to labour legislation, industrial safety, price increases and other similar subjects. In ecumenical relations, the community sent participants to the Sixth Assembly of the World Council of Churches held in Vancouver, Canada, to indicate solidarity with churches or church councils particularly about hardship situations; it was also represented at the National Christian Council in Japan to express members' views on the textbooks issue.

       More than HK$700,000 was raised through the Hong Kong Christian Council's ninth annual fund raising campaign, entitled Five Loaves and Two Fish, to provide world-wide emergency aid for the hungry in Asia and Africa.

Muslim Community

      There are about 30 000 followers of Islam in Hong Kong. The majority are Chinese, with the rest from Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Middle East. During 1983, they gathered for prayers at the Shelley Street Mosque and at the Masjid Ammar on Hong Kong



Island, and at the Kowloon temporary mosque adjacent to the site of the former Kowloon Mosque which was demolished in 1980.

      Built in 1896 for use by Muslim soldiers of the former Indian Army, and subsequently handed over to the Muslim community, the Kowloon Mosque had badly deteriorated with age. Rebuilding is going ahead on the site and it is envisaged a beautiful new mosque will be completed by early 1984.


A mosque situated at Wong Nai Chung Road also was demolished in December 1978 - to make way for the Aberdeen Tunnel project. However, the government made available a site in Oi Kwan Road, Morrison Hill, on which the Masjid Ammar and Osman Ramju Sadick Islamic Centre opened in September 1981. The Shelley Street Mosque, the first to be built in Hong Kong, dates back to the introduction of the Islamic faith in the 1880s. It was rebuilt in 1915.

Two places have been set aside by the government as burial grounds for Muslims. One is at Happy Valley and the other at Cape Collinson, Chai Wan.

The co-ordinating body for all Islamic religious affairs is the Incorporated Trustees of the Islamic Community Fund of Hong Kong. A board of trustees, comprising representatives of sections of the Muslim community, is responsible for the management and maintenance of mosques and cemeteries. The trustees are also responsible for organising the celebration of Muslim festivals and other religious events. Charitable work among the Muslim community, including financial aid for the needy, hospitalisation and assisted education, is conducted through various Muslim organisations in Hong Kong.

Hindu Community

The religious and social activities of the 10 000 members of Hong Kong's Hindu community are centred around the Hindu Temple at Happy Valley. The Hindu Associa- tion of Hong Kong is responsible for the upkeep of the temple, which also is used for meditation periods, yoga classes and teaching Hindi to the Indian community. Namings, engagements of marriage and marriages are performed at the temple according to Hindu customs. Religious music, lectures and recitals are conducted every Sunday morning and Monday evening.

      The Hindu Temple is frequently visited by swamis and learned men from overseas who give spiritual lectures to the community. A number of festivals are observed, the more important being the Holi Festival, the Birth of Lord Krishna, Shivaratri, Dussahara and Diwali.

Various linguistic groups amongst the Hindus organise additional festivals for the deities Hanuman, Devi and Ganesh, and conduct monthly bhajans for Skanda on Shashtis, the sixth day of the waxing fortnight. The Hindu community can trace its ties with Hong Kong back to early settlement.

Sikh Community

The Sikhs distinguished by their stylised turbans and unshorn hair - first came to Hong Kong from the Punjab in North India as part of the British Armed Forces in the 19th century. Because of their generally strong physique, they also comprised a large segment of the Royal Hong Kong Police Force before World War II.

      Today, members of the community are engaged in a variety of occupations. The centre of their religious and cultural activities is the Sikh Temple in Wan Chai. A special feature of the temple, which was established in 1901, is the provision of free meals and short-term accommodation for overseas visitors of any faith. Religious services, which include



hymn-singing, readings from the Guru Granth (the Sikh Holy Book) and sermons by the priest, are held every Sunday morning. The temple also houses a library which contains a good selection of books on the Sikh religion and culture, and runs a 'starters' school for Indian children aged between four and six to prepare them for English primary schools in Hong Kong.

The main holy days and festivals observed are the birthdays of Guru Nanak (founder of the faith), Guru Gobind Singh (the 10th and last Guru) and Baisakhi (birthday of all Sikhs). To meet the demands of a growing congregation, work began in 1982 on enlarging the temple prayer hall.

Jewish Community

Hong Kong's Jewish community - comprising families from various parts of the world - worships on Friday evenings, Saturday mornings and Jewish holidays at the Synagogue 'Ohel Leah' in Robinson Road, Hong Kong Island. Built in 1901 on land given by Sir Jacob Sassoon and his family, the site includes a rabbi's residence as well as a recreation club for the 500 people in the congregation.


Recreation and The Arts

HONG KONG people today are able to take part in a richer and more diverse range of recreational activities in their leisure time than ever before. Practically every sporting activity has its share of devotees with better opportunities for participation, while the exodus to the countryside and beaches at weekends and holiday times has been given greater impetus through shorter working hours and improved standards of living. As a cultural leader in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong holds thousands of events throughout the year, ranging from traditional Cantonese opera and puppet shows to performances of ballet, theatre and orchestral music - often featuring internationally-renowned performers. Funds and facilities for these pursuits, as well as further training and coaching opportunities for young sportsmen and women and students of the arts, have been made available largely by the government, the Urban Council, governing sports bodies, volun- tary associations and many public and private organisations.

1983 was again a year of expansion. A highlight of the year was the completion in April of the Hong Kong Coliseum on the harbourfront at Hung Hom. With seating for 12 500 and a 41-square-metre arena - large enough to stage a five-a-side soccer tournament - the Coliseum is one of the finest stadia in Asia.

In May, the Governor, Sir Edward Youde, opened the Recreation and Culture Department's Chong Hing Water Sports Centre at the west dam of High Island Reservoir in Sai Kung which can provide facilities for up to 12 000 day visitors and 3 000 residentia campers a year. Also officially opened during the year was the $40-million swimming poo. at Yuen Long, the fourth multi-million dollar swimming complex under the management of the New Territories Services Department.

After two years of construction and at a cost of $50 million, the curtain was raised in March on one of the Urban Council's newest and biggest projects, the Ko Shan Road park and theatre complex. Work on the $370-million Academy for Performing Arts, under construction on the Wan Chai waterfront, continued. The construction of the academy is being financed by the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club which, in line with its tradition of encouraging the development of the arts, also donated $5 million to the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra's endowment fund during the year.

In October, Hong Kong played host to 28 leaders in the arts and education from 14 Commonwealth countries for the Third Conference of Commonwealth Arts Administra- tors. With a theme entitled Arts and Education, the conference considered ways to link the development of the arts with national educational systems and the role of a Commonwealth forum to encourage co-operation in the arts.

      While the Urban Council concentrates on the provision and management of facilities and the presentation of culture and entertainment programmes, the government's Recreation and Culture Department organises group activities and training at the district level. There



are three separate divisions within the department: the Recreation and Sport Service, the Performing Arts Division and the Music Office.

Following its success the previous year, a spectacular fireworks display was mounted in celebration of the Lunar New Year Festival in February. Sponsored by Jardine Matheson and Company and organised by the Hong Kong Tourist Association, the display provided enjoyment for local people and visitors from overseas. In October, to mark its centenary year, the Urban Council mounted a magnificent fireworks display in the harbour sponsored by Seiko Time (HK) Ltd.

The Countryside

Countryside recreation is now an accepted part of the way of life for many people in Hong Kong. Country parks and woodlands on the urban fringes are used extensively by city dwellers for morning walking, shadow boxing and jogging, and by students for nature study, while more remote parks are used for hiking, picnicking, barbecuing, cycling, kite flying and camping for those seeking a relaxing change of pace. In 1983, some 7.9 million visits were made to the country parks. Although the parks are used more in the drier and cooler months with October to April accounting for 65 per cent of the total visitors, increas- ing numbers of people have been visiting the countryside during the summer in recent years. The country parks system, which covers 40 per cent of Hong Kong's total land area, is now well established with a wide range of facilities to cater for the needs of all visitors. The Director of Agriculture and Fisheries is the Country Parks Authority and, advised by the Country Parks Board, is responsible for these facilities and for the provision of manage- ment and protection services for all lands designated as country parks and special areas. Greater attention is being paid to providing advisory and educational services for this valuable recreational resource through setting up more visitor centres and information posts, and arranging guided visits and talks.

Urban Council

The Urban Council plays a major role in community life, providing a wide range of recreational and cultural facilities in the urban areas. The council's executive arm for the management and planning of the majority of its recreational facilities, including parks, playgrounds, indoor games halls, beaches and swimming pools, is the Urban Services Department's City Services Department, while its Cultural Services Department provides libraries, museums, the performing arts, films, outdoor entertainment and exhibitions of general interest. In the urban areas, this work is done under the guidance of the Urban Council, while in the New Territories, the Cultural Services Department works closely with district boards, other government departments and community associations.

Among the many Urban Council projects completed in 1983 were the second stage of Chater Garden, Causeway Bay Sports Ground, Ko Shan Road Park, Sau Nga Road Playground, the first stage of Sham Shui Po Park, and Junction Road Park. The facilities provided by some of these projects serve the community in general as well as residents in the respective districts.

To provide more indoor facilities, particularly in built-up areas where space is limited, new or reprovisioned Urban Council market buildings are built as multi-storey complexes with one or more floors constructed especially for recreational and cultural use. Some of these complexes will include small cultural facilities for the performing and visual arts, for example, an auditorium, a lecture and recital hall, visual arts studios and exhibition space. An indoor games hall is also included.



The first of these multi-purpose Urban Council buildings, at Aberdeen, is in full operation; two at Sai Wan Ho and To Kwa Wan were completed in 1983 and construction of three more began at Lockhart Road, Ngau Chi Wan, and on the site of the former Western Market; 13 further similar projects in various districts are under planning. In addition, 14 new indoor games halls were at various stages of planning during the year to supplement the six existing ones at Aberdeen, Kai Tak East, Cheung Sha Wan, Morse Park, Boundary Street and Lai Chi Kok, the latter being completed in 1983.

The Urban Council works closely with various sports organisations and government departments in carrying out its annual sports and recreation programme. With a provision of $8.1 million in 1983, the council organised and sponsored over 13 000 sports and recreational events in which about 1.2 million people participated. It also organised 1 000 free outdoor entertainment programmes in the urban areas, including variety shows, Cantonese, Peking and Chiu Chow operas, puppet and film shows, ballet and modern dance, pop concerts, Cantonese operatic songs, orchestral concerts, carnivals, folk songs and dances. For the first time, cultural entertainment by prominent overseas groups was also presented. About 1.3 million people were entertained at these outdoor events performed in parks, playgrounds, gardens, and recreational and community halls including the Ko Shan Theatre.

An intensive 43-day 1983 Summer Fun Festival was launched during the summer holidays. More than 70 000 young people and children participated in various outdoor events including launch picnics, family harbour cruises, disco parties, carnivals, camping, music and film shows.

      In celebration of the annual Dragon Boat Festival, the Urban Council and the Hong Kong Tourist Association organised the 1983 International Dragon Boat Races, with nine. overseas teams and 78 local teams participating. For the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, the council organised lantern carnivals at Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island and at Morse Park in Kowloon which attracted more than 235 000 people. Other large-scale programmes - the Spring Lantern Festival, Lunar New Year Programme, Christmas Special, New Year Fiesta and April Fiesta were organised to mark festive seasons and special occasions. throughout the year. In the New Territories, the Cultural Services Department organised some 362 similar entertainment programmes, attended by 190 000 people.

Recreation and Sport Service

The Recreation and Sport Service (RSS) was set up in 1974 to provide and promote recreational and sporting activities throughout the community, with particular emphasis on meeting the needs of young people. The RSS provides a wide range of programmes, from sailing lessons for children to tai chi classes for the elderly. In 1983, some 645 000 people took part in RSS activities, including projects organised jointly with the Urban Council, the district boards and the governing bodies of sport.

      With a growing demand for recreational services in the community, the RSS launched a scheme of recreation leadership training in 1983 to provide more trained instructors and leaders capable of organising recreation and sports activities. During the year, some 5 000 volunteers participated in a variety of training and coaching courses to provide Hong Kong with a greater range and number of qualified organisers. The Chinese University of Hong Kong took part in the scheme by offering, jointly with the RSS, recreation management courses for administrators and recreation leaders.

Also during the year, a special unit was set up within the RSS to cater for the recreational needs of the handicapped and underprivileged. The unit plans and designs programmes and specialist training to meet the requirements of this sector of the community.



      Hong Kong is becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of physical fitness. In 1983, more than 50 000 people took part in physical fitness courses organised at the RSS sports training centres. Additional centres are being planned to expand this popular activity.

       1983 saw the completion of the second phase of the Lady MacLehose Holiday Village in Sai Kung, increasing the capacity for campers from 120 to 260. Together with the newly-opened Chong Hing Water Sports Centre at High Island Reservoir, these new facilities will provide the people of Hong Kong with more opportunities to take part in outdoor activities.

Beaches and Swimming Pools

Swimming is Hong Kong's most popular form of summer recreation. There are 38 gazetted beaches, comprising 12 on Hong Kong Island, managed by the Urban Council, and 26 in the New Territories, under the control of the New Territories Services Department. The beaches are supervised by lifeguards and have changing rooms, toilets, first aid posts, lookout posts and other facilities. The Urban Council also manages 10 swimming pool complexes in the urban areas - five on Hong Kong Island and five in Kowloon - while the New Territories Services Department manages four in the New Territories. A complex usually comprises a main pool, a secondary pool, a diving pool, a training pool and at least one paddling pool. All competition swimming pools are built to international standards.

      An estimated 18 million people visited the beaches and 3.5 million used the public swimming pools during the year. A new training pool in Wan Chai which will assist competitive swimmers, and a swimming pool complex in Lai Chi Kok, were under construction during the year. Twenty-three additional swimming pool projects are being planned - two on Hong Kong Island, eight in Kowloon and 13 in the New Territories. The Urban Council's swimming classes to promote water safety proved popular during the year with 276 classes held, attracting 7 300 participants.

Summer Youth Programme

More than 1000 guests and young people attended the opening ceremony of the 1983 Summer Youth Programme at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, an event which was filmed for the first programme of the television series entitled Swinging Summer.

The Central Co-ordinating Committee for Youth Recreation co-ordinated some 8 000 summer youth activities including youth development projects, recreational and sports activities, entertainment programmes and community service projects. Popular activities included forestry work camps, recreational camps, training courses and camps for water sports, the Youth Music Camp and sports competitions. At a cost of more than $10 million, the programme was financed by a $6 million donation from the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club - its main supporter since 1969. Of this, $1.5 million went towards setting up permanent recreational facilities for young people. The balance of the funds came from the government, Urban Council, participants' fees and private donations.

Youth Hostels

The Hong Kong Youth Hostels Association is a charitable organisation providing outdoor leisure opportunities for young people in Hong Kong. Membership numbers more than 25 000 individual members and 110 organisation members, mainly in the 17-to-24 age group. The association's hostel at Deep Bay, previously borrowed by the Security Forces, was reopened to members in May. The fully refurbished hostel can now accommodate 28



people. A new hostel at Mong Tung Wan on Lantau Island was opened by the Governor in October. The project - consisting of four separate buildings surrounding a central courtyard, a camp site and sitting out area - was funded by a $4 million donation from the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club.

      The association covers its running costs from membership fees and overnight charges for the use of hostels. Capital expenditure is met by the association's own fund raising activities and by grants from charitable institutions. Plans are being prepared for the enlargement of the popular hostel at Pak Sha O in Sai Kung Country Park, for which approximately $3.5 million will be needed.

Outward Bound

The Outward Bound School continued to play an important part in the development of Hong Kong's community by providing intensive, high-level training courses for children, students, business executives and the handicapped in a variety of outdoor pursuits.

The training ship, the brigantine Ji Fung, now sails to China, including Hainan Island, and to the Philippines and in October represented Hong Kong at the Osaka Tall Ships' Festival. The ship sailed to Osaka with an all-girl crew and took part in a week's festivities. The school, on the Sai Kung peninsula, widened its range of land-based courses to include special skills such as rock climbing and orienteering.

      To bring the benefits of Outward Bound training within the reach of a wider section of Hong Kong's community, the year saw the introduction of a $670,000 government subvention scheme to help deserving young people who are unable to afford the full course fees. During the year, more than 1000 young persons, many handicapped or socially underprivileged, benefitted from subsidised places on selected courses.

Ocean Park

Ocean Park, one of the world's largest oceanaria, will complete its major redevelopment programme, which continued throughout the year, early in 1984. Developed by the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club on land granted free by the government, the park spans a high rocky peninsula between Aberdeen and Deep Water Bay on Hong Kong Island, with 88-hectare headland and lowland sites linked by cable car.

Existing attractions include performances at the Ocean Theatre by trained dolphins, a killer whale and sealions; an atoll reef; and a simulated coastline of rocks and waves which allows visitors to watch and feed seals, sealions and penguins. To this will be added a second entrance in Tai Shue Wan Bay with a spectacular escalator up the side of the headland, and five major thrill rides including the longest and fastest roller-coaster in Asia. In spring, 1984, a major water playpark in the park's lowland area will open to the public.

Hong Kong Coliseum

The 12 500-seat Hong Kong Coliseum, one of the largest and best equipped multi-purpose indoor stadia in Asia, was opened in April. It is the national stadium of Hong Kong and the major venue for international professional sports events, entertainment, exhibitions and conventions.

      The Coliseum, managed by the Urban Council, is built on the podium of the Kowloon- Canton Railway terminus at Hung Hom. It is fully air-conditioned and fitted with the latest electronic sound and lighting systems. The arena can be overlaid with wooden flooring or rubberised surfaces to cater for different sporting activities, or can be converted into an ice-skating rink. A projection system above the arena enables the audience to watch colour



      telecasts of events taking place. An adjoining annexe block, completed in November, accommodates administrative offices, a restaurant and storerooms.

Presentations during the year included ballet and circus performances, pop concerts and top sports events, while the opening of the Commonwealth Law Conference was held at the Coliseum in September. Some 645 000 people attended events staged in the arena.

Queen Elizabeth Stadium

Since its opening in 1980, the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, managed by the Urban Council, has been an important venue for international sports events and musical, cultural and entertainment programmes.

Facilities at the stadium complex include an air-conditioned arena with seating for 3 500, a multi-purpose hall, squash courts, table-tennis areas and gymnasia. The stadium also houses the Amateur Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong and 23 of its affiliated controlling sports bodies, facilitating the co-ordination and promotion of sports activities in Hong Kong. Towards the end of the year, a computerised central ticketing system for booking performances staged at Urban Council venues was installed at the stadium to provide an improved box-office service to the public.

Jubilee Sports Centre

The Jubilee Sports Centre, a 16-hectare modern sports complex at Sha Tin, has established itself as a centre of sports development in Asia since its official opening in October 1982. The centre provides first-class training facilities and top coaches in a wide range of sports. It has had more than 300 000 visits by local sportsmen and women participating in different youth development schemes, intensive training courses, residential camps and seminars, and competitions; it has played host to more than 10 international workshops and courses; and has accommodated a number of teams during the year. Major events and courses are organised in conjunction with sports' governing bodies and the government.

Innovative facilities at the centre include Hong Kong's first covered track for all-weather sprint and hurdle training, the first cycle velodrome and an ozone treated swimming pool. Additionally, outdoors there are three grass soccer pitches, an eight-lane Olympic track, a tennis range, a jogging trail, an artificial-turf training area, a hockey pitch, an area for baseball and softball, and courts for basketball, volley ball and mini-tennis. Indoors there are squash courts, a gymnasium, a dance studio, a weight and strength training room, and halls for a variety of sports. The centre, which provides residential accommodation for about 100 people, is managed by an independent board; its annual operating expenses are subvented by the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club.

City Hall

      Opened in 1962, the City Hall occupies about 11 000 square metres in Central District and consists of two separate blocks with a connecting garden. The low block houses a 1 488-seat concert hall, a 468-seat theatre, an exhibition hall and a restaurant. The high block contains an exhibition gallery, a 116-seat recital hall, committee rooms, the Hong Kong Museum of Art and a public library. Managed by the Urban Council, the City Hall's facilities can be hired by the public as well as being used by the council for various functions and performances. Improvements were made to the building, its equipment and facilities during the year, and sophisticated lighting, sound and stage equipment was also installed.

       With increasing public interest in cultural activities, the City Hall continues to be the centre of cultural life in Hong Kong. During the year, about 550 000 people attended 1 050



performances in the concert hall, the theatre and the recital hall, and 130 exhibitions were held at the exhibition hall and gallery. A year-long fiesta of cultural events was launched to celebrate the Urban Council Centenary, with performances by 124 overseas artistes and groups, some of whom appeared with the assistance of various cultural organisations such as the British Council, the Goethe Institute, the Alliance Francaise and various consulates, including the Japanese Consulate General and the Austrian Consulate General.

The Urban Council also promotes local artistic talent, presenting 213 vocal and instru- mental recitals, 29 operatic performances and 50 Chinese and Western dance performances at City Hall. In addition to a weekly series of French and German films, the council presented a number of film festivals and organised many exhibitions.

Tsim Sha Tsui Cultural Centre

Overlooking the harbour on the site of the former Kowloon-Canton Railway terminus and newly-reclaimed land at the tip of the Kowloon peninsula, the Urban Council and the government are building a cultural complex that will become the centre of Hong Kong's cultural life. Piling work has been completed and construction work will soon begin; the project is scheduled for completion in 1986.

      Facilities will include a crescent-shaped auditoria block housing a 2 280-seat concert hall for presenting unamplified music, a 1 890-seat lyric theatre for opera, ballet and stage shows, and a 450-seat studio theatre for drama. A nine-storey tower block will accommodate the Cultural Services Department offices and an arts library. A restaurant block will house restaurants, and conference and lecture rooms.

Town Halls

Providing cultural facilities in the New Territories is of major importance and since 1980 three multi-purpose cultural complexes have been handed over to the Cultural Services Department for management. These are the Tsuen Wan Town Hall, the Lut Sau Hall at Yuen Long, and the North District Town Hall located south of Sheung Shui. Each complex has an auditorium for musical, dance and theatrical performances, as well as other facilities such as rehearsal rooms. Tsuen Wan Town Hall, the first multi-purpose cultural complex to be built in the New Territories also features on its 5 900-square-metre site an exhibition gallery, a cultural activities hall, lecture and conference rooms, a music and book shop, and a coffee lounge.

Aberdeen Cultural Centre

Opened in July, the Aberdeen Cultural Centre in the Urban Council Aberdeen Complex is the first district cultural facility established by the Urban Council. The centre comprises a 200-seat cultural activities hall, a hall for exhibitions or rehearsals, a conference room, two music practice rooms and ancillary facilities suitable for small-scale cultural performances and community activities. During the year, 43 cultural performances and community activities were held at the centre.

Hong Kong Arts Centre

Since its opening in October 1977, the Arts Centre has become well established as a major arts venue in Hong Kong, enjoying great public support and participation. The three auditoria at the centre were used for 7 048 hours and its art galleries hosted about 100 exhibitions during the year. The two rehearsal rooms, art and crafts studios, music practice rooms and other areas were used for more than 4 640 separate sessions.



The main event of the year was the hosting of two important exhibitions in April and July, attracting more than 600 people daily. Another highlight was the appearance of the internationally-acclaimed Cloud Gate Dance Theatre which gave five full-house perform- ances in June. A programme of masterpieces from the Chinese cinema during 1930 to 1950 also attracted a large audience.

Ko Shan Theatre

The Ko Shan Theatre, the first purpose-built open air theatre in Hong Kong, was opened in March. Located in Ko Shan Road Park in Kowloon, the theatre occupies 2 500 square metres and 1 000 of the 3 000 seats are under cover. Under the overall administration of the Urban Council, the theatre is fitted with sophisticated lighting and sound systems and projection equipment, and is suitable for Chinese opera, drama, variety shows, orchestral concerts, film shows and community gatherings. During the year, about 140 000 people attended 172 performances at the theatre.

Council for the Performing Arts

The Council for the Performing Arts was established in June 1981, to advise the government on the development and needs of the performing arts in Hong Kong. The 13 unofficial and five official members of the council were appointed by the Governor in February 1982 to serve for a two-year term.

Six committees service the main council in music; dance; drama and technical services; festivals and district activities; public relations and sponsorship; and finance vetting. Each committee is chaired by an unofficial member of the council and to ensure that the council is advised by those actively involved in the performing arts in Hong Kong includes, as co-opted members, specialists and professionals in the particular fields.

Performing Arts Division

The Performing Arts Division of the Recreation and Culture Department administers the government's financial support to the Hong Kong Arts Festival Society, Hong Kong Philharmonic Society, Hong Kong Conservatory of Music, Hong Kong Academy of Ballet, Chung Ying Theatre Company and the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. The division provides support for music and dance activities through the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music Fund and provides administrative support to the Council for the Performing Arts. It also co-ordinates international events and overseas tours - the most significant in 1983 being the Third Conference of Commonwealth Arts Administrators which was hosted by Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

     In preparation for the admission of students to the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 1985, key staff have been appointed to develop the curriculum and recruit teachers and administrative staff.

The academy will maximise the cultural diversity of Hong Kong, with emphasis on both Oriental and Western forms and styles in the four different disciplines - dance, drama, music and technical arts. As well as full-time three or four year courses leading to diplomas or degrees, an out-reach programme will include part-time and refresher courses and performing arts events in schools and community centres. A programme is being developed for children especially gifted in the performing arts. In addition to consultation with Hong Kong-based performing arts organisations, the academy has established direct links with



major institutions overseas to provide local experience and to develop working relationships internationally.

Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra

In April, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra went on its first major overseas tour - to Singapore, Bangkok, and to the Osaka International Music Festival - and received the highest critical acclaim for its performances. In addition to regular concerts at the City Hall Concert Hall, the Academic Community Hall, the Tsuen Wan Town Hall and the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, the orchestra gave its first series of popular music concerts at the Hong Kong Coliseum. It also accompanied the Royal Ballet from the United Kingdom in performances of Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet presented by the Urban Council. The orchestra continued to attract an increasing number of major international guest artistes for its subscription concerts.

Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra

Since its formation by the Urban Council in 1977, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra has contributed extensively to promoting Chinese music in Hong Kong. It combines Western orchestrations with the music and the instruments of the East and, to encourage various styles of musical interpretations, local and overseas guest conductors are invited to appear with the orchestra. During the year, the orchestra gave 40 concerts - mainly at the City Hall attended by 38 500 people. It also performed to 15 840 young people at school and student concerts. Another highlight was its performance in February at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's fashion presentation in Tokyo.

Hong Kong Repertory Theatre

The Hong Kong Repertory Theatre, a professional Urban Council company, continued to gain popularity with its Cantonese productions and played to capacity audiences at the City Hall Theatre. While its 94 performances attracted 47 900 people during the year, the company also toured schools and community centres and took part in district festivals. The theatre employs 22 full-time actors and six technical staff, plus freelance artistes and staff.

Chung Ying Theatre Company

During 1983, the government-subsidised Chung Ying Theatre Company continued to develop an audience throughout the territory, especially by bringing theatre to school children. As part of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, Chung Ying produced the winning play from a competition for original theatre scripts for children. Tours to schools were mounted during the spring and autumn terms, and in May and June the company toured the New Territories. The year ended with a repeat of the company's 1982 success The Miracle Plays which included a series of performances at St John's Cathedral.

Hong Kong Dance Company

Formed by the Urban Council in 1981, the Hong Kong Dance Company aims to promote traditional Chinese dance and to present newly choreographed works on historical Chinese themes and contemporary Hong Kong subjects. The company, which combines full and part-time dancers and staff, gave 39 performances attended by 33 100 people during the year; participated in the Festival of Asian Arts; and toured Japan in October in a cultural exchange.

Hong Kong Academy of Ballet

Now in its fifth year, the Hong Kong Academy of Ballet is made up of a vocational ballet school and a professional classical ballet company. Following the school's first graduation



performance in September, two of the five graduates were accepted as dancers by the company and one was employed as a teacher at the school. Students at the school which is expected to become part of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts by 1985 - continued to benefit from the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music Fund and Zonta Club scholarships.

The ballet company grew in strength with the new intake from the school, and 1983 saw the expansion of its repertoire as well as guest appearances. The company continued to perform throughout Hong Kong and in March launched the Hong Kong Ballet, the name under which it now performs.

Music Office

The Music Office of the Recreation and Culture Department was set up in 1977 to provide instrumental music training for young people, to promote and stimulate an interest in music - particularly among the young - and to encourage and assist in organising music activities in all districts. During 1983, the office was regularly conducting 619 weekly instrumental classes in both Western and Chinese instruments for nearly 2 700 students at its eight music centres.

       Aural and theory training continued to supplement instrumental instruction, special training was provided for 33 talented young musicians, and master classes and seminars were conducted by visiting musicians. The office consolidated and expanded the training of youth orchestras, bands and choirs, and it now operates two youth symphony orchestras, three youth string orchestras, six youth Chinese orchestras, five youth symphonic bands, two choirs and a children's marching band. Members attended weekly rehearsals and gave many public performances during the year.

'Music for the Millions' concerts given by the Music Office instructors' orchestras, youth orchestras, bands and ensembles were held at various schools, playgrounds and community halls to introduce music to new audiences. During the year, 338 concerts were held for a combined audience of 300 800 people.

The office continued to organise international exchange programmes and local young musicians took part in music camps and festivals in the United States and the United Kingdom. The Fourth Hong Kong Youth Music Camp, held in the summer at St Stephen's College, Stanley, attracted nearly 500 young musicians, including a number of overseas delegates. Nine renowned overseas musicians joined the camp's faculty staff as guest conductors and instructors. A Chinese Music Festival was staged for a week in November. The Sixth Hong Kong Youth Band Festival was held in December at the Lady MacLehose Holiday Village and was, for the first time, residential. More than 200 young musicians took part.

Hong Kong Conservatory of Music

Founded in 1978 with private funds to train performers and orchestral musicians, the Hong Kong Conservatory of Music has been receiving financial support from the government since 1980. The number of students has grown from seven to 38 and now covers nearly the full range of orchestral instruments.

Some of the conservatory's graduates are already playing with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, while students have won several important awards and scholar- ships and have been chosen to represent Hong Kong in the Hong Kong Jing Ying 1983 Overseas Tour. It is expected that conservatory students will be absorbed into the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts by 1985.


Hong Kong Jockey Club Music Fund


Established in December 1979 with a donation of $10 million from the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Music Fund is a non-statutory trust fund to promote and develop music, dance and other related activities. A board of trustees of eight members, chaired by the Commissioner for Recreation and Culture, administer and monitor the fund.

      Up to the end of 1983, grants and scholarships totalling $5.5 million had been paid from the fund: 69 scholarships have enabled young Hong Kong people to study music and dance at home or abroad, and 63 grants have been given for related purposes such as the purchase of musical instruments and the staging of special events.

Hong Kong Chorus

Formed by the Urban Council in 1982, the Hong Kong Chorus is a semi-professional choral group with a repertoire of Oriental and Western compositions. The 100-strong chorus gave 23 concerts during the year, attended by 24 500 people. The group also gave choral support to the opera production Carmen which featured principal singers from the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and made its operatic debut at the 1983 Festival of Asian Arts.

Festival of Asian Arts

The Eighth Festival of Asian Arts was held for 17 days in October and November. Local groups, and visiting artistes from Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Hawaii gave more than 50 indoor performances. These were staged at the City Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Stadium and the Hong Kong Coliseum, while 82 free performances were given at outdoor


Lectures, demonstrations, and exhibitions - including Chinese jade, Hong Kong con- temporary art and Hong Kong currency - were held as part of the festival.

Hong Kong Arts Festival

The 1983 Hong Kong Arts Festival was the biggest yet in its history with more than 120 performances staged during the four-week period. Some 89 500 tickets were sold, represent- ing 85 per cent attendance for the event which is sponsored largely by the government, the Urban Council and the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club.

The National Theatre of Great Britain and the Sydney Theatre Company played to near-capacity audiences. Silent theatre featured Jacques Lecoq, Dimitri and Teatre de la Claca, while Cantonese drama was provided by the Hong Kong Repertory Theatre and the Chung Ying Theatre Company.

The musical content of the programme included performances by a variety of international artistes, the Sydney String Quartet, the Canadian Brass, the Song- makers Almanac, and Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen, and leading Hong Kong artistes. Orchestral concerts were given by the Philharmonia Hungarica and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. A production of The Secret Marriage was the festival's operatic highlight with music by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra which, in its own right, opened and closed the festival. As in previous years, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra attracted large audiences.

Contrasting dance styles were represented by the Song and Dance Ensemble from Chengdu, the Shumka Dancers from Canada and the Australian Dance Theatre. Other



events during the festival included the recording of two music programmes by the BBC and an exhibition of ancient Chinese bronzes.

New Territories Arts Festivals

The Fifth Tsuen Wan Arts Festival, organised by the Cultural Services Department, the Tsuen Wan District Board, the Tsuen Wan Culture and Recreation Co-ordinating Association and the Music Office, was held from February to March. Fifty performances and four exhibitions were held at the Tsuen Wan Town Hall, while 15 shows were staged outdoors. Some 100 000 people enjoyed a variety of programmes performed by overseas, local professional and amateur artistes.

       The Third Yuen Long Arts Festival was held for 17 days from February to March. Some 30 000 people attended 20 programmes and three exhibitions. The festival was jointly presented by the Yuen Long District Board, the Cultural Services Department and the Yuen Long District Arts Committee.

      The Second Sha Tin Arts Fortnight, jointly presented by the Sha Tin District Board, the Cultural Services Department, the Sha Tin Arts Association and the Music Office, was held from late December 1982 to early January 1983. Nineteen performances were given at various venues in Sha Tin, while six outdoor shows and three exhibitions were also organised. Over 30 000 people attended the various programmes.

European Puppet Festival

The Urban Council's summer arts festival in 1983 took the form of a European Puppet Festival. Six of Europe's leading puppet troupes, from Belgium, England, France, Holland and West Germany took part. Some 7 000 people attended the 25 performances staged at three indoor locations, while 4 800 people were entertained at three outdoor performances.

International Film Festival

Within seven years, the Hong Kong International Film Festival, presented annually by the Urban Council, has become an important event in the calendar of international film festivals recognised by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations in Paris. In 1983 more than 77 000 people, including distinguished overseas film makers, saw 220 screenings from 30 countries, while 30 000 people visited the exhibition of posters and stills during the festival which was held from late March to early April. The festival also organised an international symposium on the cinematography of Southeast Asia and China as part of its fringe activities.


The Urban Council operates 21 public libraries and two mobile libraries, while in the New Territories the Cultural Services Department operates 14 public libraries including one mobile library. In 1983, the Urban Council opened a new district library, a small arts library and three small static libraries; construction of the Kowloon Central Library at Pui Ching Road progressed with the first phase of the project expected to be completed during 1984; and plans were in hand to provide an independent district library in Lai Chi Kok. In the New Territories, the Cultural Services Department opened one small library and one district library; planning for new district libraries at north Kwai Chung, south Kwai Chung, Yuen Long, Sai Kung and Mui Wo continued.

      During the year, 454 185 new books were acquired by the two library systems, bringing the total stock to 1.78 million volumes. Non-book materials include 4 018 newspapers and



periodicals, 4 014 reels of microfilms, 2 278 video-cassettes, 1 890 sets of slides, and 49 937 records and cassettes tapes. Some 133 800 people joined the libraries as new members, bringing the total membership to 1.28 million. More than 7.5 million books were issued for home reading and a further 12.7 million were read in the libraries.

Some 1.19 million people participated in the extension activities organised to promote the use of libraries, including book exhibitions, creative writing competitions, a Chinese literary week, talks, clubs, video-cassette and film shows, hi-fi concerts and live perform- ances. To mark the centenary of the Urban Council, seven books, including the six winning entries in the second competition on Creative Writing in Chinese for Children, a Shakespearian comedy in Chinese and a series of reading guides were published.

Hong Kong Museum of Art

     During 1983, the Hong Kong Museum of Art presented 14 major exhibitions, including Picasso's early works, ancient Chinese bronzes, a photographic exhibition of Buddhist sculpture, new American paperwork, and Chinese works of art from the world-renowned Avery Brundage Collection. For the first time, the Commonwealth Photographic Exhibi- tion was held in Hong Kong with photographers from 16 countries participating.

Throughout the year, 284 012 visitors attended the exhibitions an average of 778 people a day. In addition to major exhibitions held at the museum galleries, small travelling exhibitions were loaned free of charge to libraries and cultural institutions. The museum also organised regular film shows, guided tours for school groups, and lectures by local and overseas scholars and artists. As part of Urban Council's programme to encourage the visual arts, significant items continued to be added to the museum collections. Permanent accommodation for the museum is planned at the Tsim Sha Tsui Cultural Centre with a floor area of 12 500 square metres, replacing the present temporary facilities at the City Hall high block.

The Flagstaff House Tea Ware Museum, a branch of the Museum of Art, was completed in late December. The museum, situated at Victoria Barracks in Central District, houses more than 500 items of antique Chinese tea ware and will be opened in January 1984.

Hong Kong Museum of History

The year marked a new era for the Hong Kong Museum of History which moved into new temporary premises in Kowloon Park in February. Two converted 80-year-old barrack buildings provide two floors of exhibition space, a 100-seat lecture room, an extension activities room, and storage and office areas for the growth of the collections in preparation for the permanent museum at Chatham Road East.

      Exhibitions mounted during the year included the museum's inaugural exhibition on fossil man in China, attracting 169 000 visitors in three months; a stamp exhibition to coincide with the start of a collection on the postal history of Hong Kong, visited by 65 000 people; and exhibitions featuring Tang Dynasty kiln sites, nature conserva- tion and local currency. The total attendance figure at exhibitions reached 438 500. Many visitors also attended lectures and other activities held in the museum. The museum continued to expand its collection of items of local historical interest and, in collaboration with the Antiquities and Monuments Office, continued the development of its Central Archaeological Repository. It worked with the newly-established New Territories Museum Activities Section to preserve Kowloon-Canton Railway diesel rolling stock for future display; and was given a 1949 Daimler bus, the first double- decker used in Hong Kong.



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the Weather

Hong Kong lies just within the tropics yet its climate is remarkably temperate for nearly half the year. The cool, dry winter season, governed by a monsoon which blows from October until mid-March or later, brings relief from the heat and humidity of the summer monsoon from May to August when 80 per cent of the year's rain falls. During these seasons, there are considerable variations in the weather, for instance fog, hail and frequently destructive typhoons. Indeed, forecasting Hong Kong's weather presents a formidable challenge as it is influenced, by complex interactions between the Asian. monsoon and local effects arising from Hong Kong's coastal location. Rain- storms, tropical in nature, sometimes develop explosively and are extremely difficult to forecast. Yet it was just this location that caused the Royal Observa- tory to be set up in Hong Kong in 1883. The territory was considered a favourable spot in the region for the study of weather in general and typhoons in particular. For even by the 1800s, weather predictions in the East still depended heavily on local lore and custom. Throughout its hundred years' existence, the Observatory has kept pace with the times and today, through the latest technology and equipment, provides a sophisticated service to the public, ship- ping and aviation, and forms part of a worldwide meteorological network.

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Space Museum


The Hong Kong Space Museum, opened in 1980 as the first stage of the Tsim Sha Tsui Cultural Centre, provides the public with an exceptional entertainment venue in which knowledge about the universe, space exploration and related sciences is presented through sky shows, exhibitions, lectures, astronomy classes and telescopic observations.

On June 11, the solar telescope in the Hall of Solar Sciences captured 'live' the solar eclipse which lasted for about 90 minutes and was shown to hundreds of visitors with the aid of the museum's automatic solar telescope. Other highlights during the year included two one-hour sky show productions which included an Omnimax film, together with other multi-media demonstrations.

Museum of Science and Technology

The Hong Kong Museum of Science and Technology project, initiated by the Urban Council, will be situated at Chatham Road East with a gross area of 27 000 square metres. While the planning of the museum went ahead in 1983, the Urban Council continued to finance the construction of a temporary Science Museum - to be completed in 1985 - as the first phase of the project. The 5 000-square-metre temporary museum will later form part of the museum proper.

During the year, science exhibitions and lectures were organised on a regular basis: a visitor-participatory exhibition on science in action, held at the City Hall, attracted 100 000 visitors during a three-week period, while 15 popular science lectures and six special lectures on chemical science each attracted on average more than 200 people.

Antiquities and Monuments Office

The Antiquities and Monuments Office of the Cultural Services Department in 1983 continued its research, recording, preservation and restoration of a wide range of items of historical and archaeological interest, many of which are now accessible to the public. Work on the protection of ancient rock carvings and inscriptions continued; the first phase of restoration work at Man Lun Fung Ancestral Hall in San Tin was completed; and initial phases of the restoration of Sheung Yiu Village in Sai Kung Country Park were concluded with the typical Hakka village opened to the public at the end of the year.

The 1982 amendment to the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance provides immediate protection for some proposed monuments to allow adequate time for their consideration by the relevant authorities. The Director of Urban Services has been designated as the sole authority for the purposes of the ordinance, resulting in speedier process in the declaration of monuments. There are now 24 declared monuments ranging from steps and gas lamps in Duddell Street to the Qing Dynasty Fort on Lantau Island. The Supreme Court Building in Central District was added to the list during the year. The first phase of the overseas consultants' three-year territory-wide archaeological survey to assist the government in managing valuable archaeological resources - was completed.


The Environment


IMPORTANT progress was made during the year on plans and measures to protect Hong Kong's environment against excessive pollution. At year's end, a new ordinance on air pollution control was enacted and brought into force and a large sewage treatment works opened. In addition, information on the state of Hong Kong's environment became available from recent monitoring programmes, including one on river-water quality being carried out jointly with the Environmental Protection Office of the Shenzhen Municipality. Dealing with matters of geophysics and meteorology, the Royal Observatory provides comprehensive weather forecasting and warning services to the public and to international shipping and aviation. During the year, the public warning services were improved and expanded to include the provision of landslips and flooding warnings.

Framework for Pollution Control

The task of formulating environmental protection policy was transferred early in the year to the Secretary for Health and Welfare. He is supported in this task by the free-standing Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which was set up in early 1981 to assume a central co-ordinating role in formulating and carrying out the government's policies in this field, and to provide a source of expertise and scientific data on all aspects of pollution control and environmental planning. The work of the EPA involves developing environmental programmes, establishing quality objectives, monitoring long-term pollution trends, asses- sing and advising on the impact of major new developments and providing assistance with environmental planning aspects of government projects.

      The enforcement of legislation, issuing of licences and the surveillance and control of individual discharges and emissions is carried out by the Air Pollution Control Division in the Labour Department; the Pollution Control (Liquid and Solid Wastes) Division in the Engineering Development Department; the Noise and Vibration Control Unit in the Urban Services Department; the Agricultural Waste Control Unit in the Agriculture and Fisheries Department; and the Pollution Control Unit in Marine Department. Certain other control activities are undertaken as part of various government programmes, such as the granting of construction noise permits by the Engineering Development Department or the control of vehicle emissions carried out by the Royal Hong Kong Police Force.

Environmental Protection Programme

The environmental protection programme that has developed progressively over the past decade covers air and water pollution, noise and vibration and waste management. It comprises five main elements: planning and environmental impact assessment aimed at pre-empting future problems; legislation to provide a statutory framework for planning as well as routine control of emissions; a construction and a works operational programme for



the provision and operation of public sector environmental control and waste disposal facilities such as sewage treatment works and incinerators; monitoring of environmental quality to check the effectiveness of existing measures and the need for new ones; and consultation, both with representatives from industry and commerce likely to be affected by existing measures and new proposals and with the community through advisory committees.

Planning and Environmental Impact Assessment

Consideration given to environmental requirements during the earliest planning stages of Hong Kong's new developments provides both a challenge and an opportunity to avert future environmental problems. It has become routine that plans - including outline development and zoning plans, master development plans and regional strategic planning studies - receive detailed scrutiny by the EPA and other departments with an interest in environmental matters. In some cases, comprehensive environmental investigations are mounted - for example, a two-year study in connection with the proposed development of Junk Bay as a new town was completed during the year.

For certain developments in the private sector, developers are required to submit detailed environmental assessments to the government. The coal-fired power stations at Tap Shek Kok and on Lamma Island, various chemical plants, and other plants on Tsing Yi Island, have been subject to this procedure.

Legislation and Control

A major step forward in 1983 was the enactment of the Air Pollution Control Ordinance in April which came into force in October. This ordinance joins the Waste Disposal and the Water Pollution Control Ordinances which became law in 1981. To complete the legislative framework, a new Noise Control Bill was being drafted and had reached an advanced stage by the year's end. The control of other aspects of pollution is provided for under various ordinances and regulations, such as the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance, the Public Health and Urban Services Ordinance, and the Road Traffic Ordinance.

      The Labour Department's Air Pollution Control Division, which had administered the regulations controlling smoke and grit emitted from stationary sources under the Clean Air Ordinance, continued to carry out these provisions - together with other more extensive ones - when they were transferred to the Air Pollution Control Ordinance in October. The division inspected 4313 premises and gave advice to industry on matters concerning statutory requirements, design and installation of air pollution control equipment and measures to prevent contravention of the clean air legislation. It processed 314 sets of plans and specifications for chimneys and related combustion equipment and received and investigated 1 521 complaints about air pollution, the majority of which were satisfactorily resolved through advice to industry without the need to resort to enforcement action. Some 100 prosecutions were initiated under the Clean Air Ordinance and Air Pollution Control Ordinance, three for failure to abate smoke nuisances, 49 for emitting excessive dark smoke and 48 for unauthorised installation of furnaces, ovens or chimneys. These resulted in 97 convictions and fines ranging from $250 to $5,000. A programme of installing electrostatic precipitators in the two older municipal incineration plants was in hand following satisfactory trials at the Kennedy Town Plant.

Emissions from mobile sources make a significant contribution to air pollution in Hong Kong and new road vehicles imported into the territory must meet specified European or equivalent regulations on emissions controls. Control of excessive smoke emissions from



diesel engined vehicles is carried out by the police and the Transport Department under the Road Traffic (Construction and Use) Regulations. The introduction of a fixed penalty for excessive smoke emission has improved control in this area. During the year, 49 summons were taken out for this offence with an average fine of $239, and 1 642 fixed penalty tickets were issued at $100 each.

      Plans to bring into operation the Water Pollution Control Ordinance in the first water control zone of the Tolo Harbour and Channel advanced, and subsidiary legislation was almost complete by the end of the year. A mathematical model for Tolo Harbour has been developed to aid the formulation of control strategies to meet the zone's water quality objectives and to predict the effect on water quality of future reclamations in the area. Until the Water Pollution Control Ordinance becomes territory-wide, control of industrial and private sewage effluents is exercised through special conditions in land leases and through the Buildings Ordinance.

       Pending the introduction of the Noise Control Ordinance, construction noise is con- trolled under the Summary Offences Ordinance. Construction equipment to be used on public holidays, and between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. on other days, must be specifically permitted by the Engineering Development Department; 2 200 such permits were issued during the year. Noise from ventilating and air-conditioning systems is presently controlled under the Public Health and Urban Services Ordinance with the Urban Council the authority in the urban areas and the Director of Urban Services in the New Territories. A total of 390 complaints was received and investigated, leading to the issue of 114 abatement notices and three prosecutions.

Construction and Operation of Facilities

Over the years, the government has made major investments in facilities for the collection, treatment and disposal of wastes and this programme continued during 1983.

      A major feature is the provision of sewage treatment works throughout the territory and the Engineering Development and Electrical and Mechanical Services Departments had more than 30 treatment works at various stages of consideration, planning, design and construction during 1983. The first stage of a permanent sewage treatment works at Sha Tin, and plants at Hei Ling Chau Refugee Camp and Stanley Fort were completed during the year and brought into operation, as well as a screening plant at Pillar Point for Tuen Mun New Town and an Imhoff tank with a submarine outfall for Tai O on Lantau Island. Construction work started on a submarine sewage outfall for Kwun Tong district, municipal sewage works on Cheung Chau and at Chai Wan, and a new pumping station in East Kowloon. Construction of the sewage treatment works at Shek Wu Hui, Yuen Long and Tai Po, new screening plants in Central District, and pumping stations in Mong Kok and Tuen Mun continued. A large pumping station at Ma On Shan, catering for more than 150 000 residents, was being designed.

Works have started to provide for the interception of dry weather flows to Kai Tak and Tuen Mun nullahs and this should make a useful contribution towards reducing the acute pollution problems encountered in nullahs and other slow-moving water throughout the territory. Investigations into the use of treated sewage effluent for irrigation and flushing, and the possible marine dumping of sewage sludge, were in hand during the year.

      The day-to-day collection and disposal of a daily average of over 6 000 tonnes of domestic, commercial and industrial wastes continued. Approximately 40 per cent of the wastes collected by the Urban Services Department and by private contractors was dealt with at the three municipal incinerators and the composting plant operated by the



Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, while the remainder, as well as the incinerator residue, was disposed of at the controlled tips operated under contract to the Director of Engineering Development. Products of the composting plant are now being used by various authorities to condition soil used in landscaping. During the year, a new controlled tip at Pillar Point Valley was brought into operation to replace the Siu Lang Shui tip which had been filled to capacity. Work started on the preparation of a tip at Jordan Valley to replace the Ma Yau Tong tip when this is full. The restored land that becomes available following the completion of a controlled tip is assigned for recreation purposes or some other beneficial use.

As Hong Kong is party to a number of international maritime conventions concerned with oil and other forms of pollution, the Pollution Control Unit of the Marine Department is responsible for dealing with offshore oil pollution, the control of marine dumping activities and the surveillance of oil transfer to and from ships. It is also responsible for the collection of floating refuse. Since the unit was set up, many pollution offenders have been successfully prosecuted. The maximum penalty on conviction is a fine of $200,000 and costs incurred in clearing or dispersing oil pollution are recoverable from offenders.

To combat oil pollution, the unit has a purpose-built pollution control vessel, stocks of low toxicity chemical dispersants, and more than 2 400 metres of large and medium-sized oil containment booms. A substantial inventory of oil pollution equipment within the government and oil companies can be deployed at short notice in an emergency.

Floating refuse is a perennial problem and during the year some 5 693 tonnes of refuse were scavenged from the sea surface. Additionally, 2 498 tonnes of refuse were collected from source by the ship-to-ship service which serves ocean-going ships in Victoria Harbour, and by the boat-to-boat service which collects refuse from dwelling boats in the typhoon shelters at Tuen Mun, Aberdeen, Yau Ma Tei, Causeway Bay and Aldrich Bay.

The New Territories Services Department now carries by barge all refuse collected on the island of Cheung Chau to the mainland for disposal, a scheme which may be extended to other outlying islands. Small village refuse incinerators which are a source of environmental nuisance were being replaced during the year by collection vehicle services or, where access is not practical, by new purpose-designed incinerators.

Because of the heavy annual rainfall and the very high intensity of storms during the summer months, the provision of adequate stormwater drainage systems, particularly in the flat and low-lying areas of reclaimed land, is an important and continuing task of the Civil Engineering Office of the Engineering Development Department. During the year, major stormwater drainage schemes were completed at the new reclamations at Cheung Sha Wan in northwest Kowloon and at Chai Wan on Hong Kong Island. Similar schemes were started at Sham Shui Po and To Kwa Wan. Work also began on a river training scheme on the Ng Tung River at Lo Wu in order to reduce the risk of flooding in the upstream areas.

Monitoring and Investigation

It is important that public and private sector resources for controlling pollution or improving the environment are used effectively and efficiently and to achieve this it is essential to recognise the nature and extent of the problems in Hong Kong. This requirement, together with the need to check on the effectiveness of newly-introduced control measures and to identify new adverse trends, has led to various monitoring schemes and investigational projects.



A new air quality monitoring station was established by the EPA during the year at a site above Central and Western Districts. The station is equipped to monitor continuously the levels of sulphur dioxide, particulates, oxides of nitrogen, and ozone, as well as local meteorological conditions. It joins a network of three other air quality monitoring stations operated by the EPA and is supplemented by semi-continuous measurements of sulphur dioxide and particulates from the Labour Department's Air Pollution Control Division and by continuous sulphur dioxide monitors provided and operated by the Hong Kong Electric Company and the China Light and Power Company under a collaborative programme with the government. Measurements so far show that air pollution in Hong Kong is characterised by a high level of particulates everywhere and sporadic high levels of sulphur dioxide near sources of emission. It appears, however, that Hong Kong does not experience the widespread and persistent high levels of sulphur dioxide that occur in some urban areas in more developed countries.

Major investigations of lead in dust and kerbside pollution levels were completed by the EPA during the year. These showed that lead-in-dust, lead-in-air, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and benz-a-pyrene levels were within internationally accepted levels and were lower than in many conurbations elsewhere in the world; but again, particulate levels were found to be high.

Several government departments contribute to water quality monitoring. Regular sampling and field measurements were carried out by the Pollution Control (Liquid and Solid Wastes) Division of the Engineering Development Department at 60 general water quality stations, 22 seawall sewage outfalls, 18 submarine sewage outfalls, 29 bottom sediment stations, 56 beach stations, 27 seawater intakes and 17 typhoon shelters, covering virtually all territorial marine waters likely to be affected by sewage discharges. Laboratories at the various sewage treatment works operated by the department carry out constant tests to ensure that the quality of the effluent is within acceptable standards. Properties measured include pH, salinity, turbidity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, BOD, suspended solids, nutrients, chlorophyl-a and faecal and total coliform counts. The bacterial quality of the water is also monitored at 38 gazetted beaches and nine ungazetted beaches by the Urban Services Department. In addition, surveys are carried out by the EPA as part of the preparation for various water control zones and the water quality objectives for these zones, and to provide data for validating water quality models under development.

On the whole, marine water quality is good, bearing in mind the pressures on water adjacent to densely developed urban areas. There are, however, black spots such as Kowloon Bay, various typhoon shelters and some beaches to the west of Kowloon. Certain larger but semi-enclosed areas of water, such as Tolo Harbour, are seen as threatened. The unsightly appearance of floating refuse remains a widespread problem and the EPA initiated an investigation during the year to work out the sources, pathways and sinks of flotsam appearing in Hong Kong water as a basis for action to reduce the problem.

      Extensive monitoring of solid and semi-solid wastes has been carried out to assist in forecasting the amount and nature of municipal and commercial wastes - as well as toxic, difficult and hazardous wastes - and in planning collection and disposal facilities. It is estimated that general waste will increase from the present level of over 6000 tonnes per day to as much as 13 000 tonnes per day by the end of the decade. The most recent survey shows that in 1982 the main components of municipal waste were paper (27 per cent by weight), putrescibles (20 per cent), plastics (14 per cent) and rags and cotton (six per cent), whereas industrial waste comprised mainly paper (16 per cent), putrescibles (10 per cent), plastics (16 per cent), rags and cotton (19 per cent) and



wood (18 per cent). Recycling, especially paper and metals, reduces the amount of wastes requiring disposal.

A project completed by consultants on behalf of the government during the year showed that there are some 40 000 tonnes of toxic, hazardous and difficult wastes in Hong Kong each year. These wastes comprise mainly solvents, alkali and acid sludges, waste oils and hazardous metal oxides. Proposals are being drawn up for their control, treatment and disposal.

In the past decade, agricultural wastes have become a notorious and increasing cause of pollution of streams in the New Territories and, ultimately, of water courses running through the urban areas. A detailed analysis of the methods of disposal of these wastes, and the costs involved, was completed during the year and plans based upon the selected method are being prepared.

Consultation and Collaboration

The principal consultative forum on environmental matters is the Environmental Protec- tion Advisory Committee (EPCOM) which advises the government on all aspects of pollution in the environment, and in particular ensures that new environmental legislation is appropriate and balances the need for environmental improvement against the require- ment that industry remains viable and competitive.

EPCOM, with an unofficial member as chairman, comprises 13 members, including prominent citizens, representatives of three major industrial organisations - the Chinese Manufacturers' Association, the Federation of Hong Kong Industries, and the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce - and a representative of the environmental group, the Conservancy Association. Three special committees under EPCOM are concerned with land and water pollution, air pollution and noise. Each committee examines specific areas of pollution control in detail by seeking views from experts and academics, members of the public, industrial organisations and government departments.

EPCOM and its special committees considered a wide variety of subjects during the year, including the overall policy on sewage treatment, environmental aspects of the disposal of pulverised fuel ash from the coal fired power stations, methods to minimise the amount of waste generated in the territory, the control of construction noise, planning against helicopter noise, the Air Pollution Control Bill and subsidiary regulations, and regulations under the Water Pollution and Waste Disposal Ordinances as well as under the Air Pollution Control Ordinance. A statutory requirement incorporated in all the new ordinances is that EPCOM be consulted on any proposed regulations, environmental quality objectives and standards. Looking ahead, EPCOM announced during the year that in 1985 it will jointly sponsor with the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers a conference on pollution in the urban environment.

In addition to formal consultation through the EPCOM network, discussions take place with organisations whose members may be the cause of various types of pollution and therefore affected by any steps taken to achieve control. In some instances, industrial organisations have taken the initiative to introduce an element of self-regulation and this has been wholeheartedly encouraged by the government. In particular, the Building Contractors' Association (BCA) launched a self-regulating construction noise control programme in March. Discussions started during the year between the EPA and the BCA on developing a similar programme for the control of dust generated by construction activity.

       Another important development in the general area of consultation and collaboration was the establishing of links on environmental matters with the Guangdong Environmental



Protection Bureau and the Shenzhen authorities. A delegation from the bureau visited Hong Kong in January and the Hong Kong Government paid a return visit to Guangdong in November. These visits resulted in useful talks on mutual problems with areas for possible future collaboration identified.

Conservation and Countryside Management

Hong Kong's hilly topography has ensured the survival of a relatively large expanse of countryside, much of which is scenically very attractive. Steep and rugged slopes rise from sea-level to 600 and 900 metres and feature rocky crags, wooded ravines with rushing streams, and open hillsides. Some 20 freshwater reservoirs of various sizes nestle among the hills, giving additional charm to the scenery.

About 75 per cent of Hong Kong's land area consists of hills and the vegetation on them includes grass, scrub, and some 125 square kilometres of woodland - much of it the result of afforestation programmes. The woodlands not only make the countryside more beautiful but are important in the management of water catchments.

The Agriculture and Fisheries Department is the principal government agency responsible for conserving the territory's countryside. The Country Parks Ordinance, which came into effect in early 1976, provides for the designation, control and management of the most important areas of countryside as country parks, and enables them to be developed for recreational purposes. It also gives particular protection to vegetation and wildlife. There are now 21 country parks throughout Hong Kong, covering about 40 per cent of the land area.

Within these country parks, recreational amenities include picnic and barbecue places, waymarked walks, shelters, toilets, and information and educational services. Road access is also being improved to enable park staff to deal more effectively with fires and litter - the most serious problems created by visitors.

     The department also has the responsibility for protecting the flora and fauna throughout the whole of Hong Kong. The Forests and Countryside Ordinance provides for the general protection and management of vegetation, and special protection is given to certain plants including native camelias, magnolias, orchids, azaleas and the Chinese New Year Flower.

      The Wild Animals Protection Ordinance prohibits hunting of wild animals and restricts the entry of unauthorised members of the public into two important wildlife habitats, the Mai Po Marshes and the Yim Tso Ha Egretry. Overall enforcement of the ordinances is carried out by park rangers, park wardens and nature wardens. These officers also provide information at visitor centres and at ranger posts and escort groups on guided visits.

      In addition to general conservation of the countryside, Hong Kong has now adopted the concept of identifying and conserving sites of special scientific interest to ecologists, such as a site where a rare tree or a rare species of butterfly can be found. More than 40 sites have been identified for future conservation action.

Topography and Geology

Hong Kong is part of an ancient Cathaysian landmass that some 1 000 million years ago extended from Shandong (Shantung) in northern China to the Gulf of Hainan. Following intensive folding of its metamorphic and crystalline rocks, intense mountain-building occurred with granitic and volcanic intrusions during the Mesozoic period, about 250 million years ago. From the beginning of the Quaternary period, between two to three million years ago, the lower-lying areas were alternately flooded or exposed as masses of water were locked up or released from ice sheets. The last marine incursion was about



10 000 years ago; since that time there have been sporadic depositions of sedimentary material eroded from the hills.

This erosion of the hills and deposition in the valleys increased rapidly following the widespread colonisation of the Hong Kong area during the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Large volumes of sedimentary material are brought regularly to Hong Kong by the Zhu Jiang (Pearl) River, but this process has been accelerated in recent years by extensive reclamation projects along the coastline. Hong Kong's granitic and volcanic rocks are deeply weathered and are prone to landslides if disturbed, but they can be excavated quite easily for use as reclamation material. Much of the natural landscape is changing as hills are removed and the fill is used at reclamation sites throughout the territory.

Apart from providing decomposed rock material as fill for reclamation, the hills that make up most of the total land area of Hong Kong have little economic value. Soils are thin and nutrient-deficient, supporting only a sparse cover of grass or scrub except in protected valleys or in water catchment areas where a policy of afforestation has succeeded in establishing hardy pines with some deciduous trees. While Hong Kong does possess some deposits of iron, lead, zinc, tungsten, beryl and graphite, they have been mined only in small quantities.

Because Hong Kong lacks large rivers, lakes and underground water supplies, reservoirs have had to be constructed in large valleys such as Tai Lam Chung, in the New Territories, and in coastal inlets such as Plover Cove and High Island where the land has been reclaimed from the sea. The areas surrounding Hong Kong's reservoirs and their water catchment areas have become part of the government's Country Parks Scheme.

The most important agricultural area Hong Kong possesses is the flat alluvium around Yuen Long in the New Territories. These alluvial lowlands have emerged from the sea only within the last 2 000 to 3 000 years, and some coastal areas are still prone to flooding when heavy rainfall coincides with high tides. The natural deposition of sediment is continuing around the Deep Bay area where brackish fishponds have been successfully established in areas that once were mud flats, mangrove swamp or salt-water rice paddies.


Although Hong Kong lies just inside the tropics it has a remarkably temperate climate for nearly half the year. During November and December there are pleasant breezes, plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures, and many regard these as the best months of the year. During January and February there is rather more cloud and occasional cold fronts followed by dry northerly winds which can at times be too cold for comfort. It is not uncommon for temperatures to drop below 10°C in urban areas. The lowest temperature recorded at the Royal Observatory is 0°C, although sub-zero temperatures and ice occur at times on high ground and in the New Territories.

March and April can also be very pleasant except for occasional spells of high humidity. Fog and drizzle can be particularly troublesome on high ground exposed to the southeast, and air traffic and ferry services are sometimes disrupted by the reduced visibility. May and June are hot and humid with frequent showers and thunderstorms, particularly during the mornings. Afternoon temperatures often exceed 32°C and nights are humid with temperatures generally around 26°C. There is usually a fine spell in early July which may last for one or two weeks.

On average, 31 tropical cyclones form in the western North Pacific or China Seas every year and about half of them reach typhoon strength (maximum winds of 33 metres per second or more). September is the month during which Hong Kong is most likely to be



affected, although gales can occur any time between May and November. When a tropical cyclone is about 700-1 000 kilometres southeast of Hong Kong the weather is usually fine and exceptionally hot, but isolated thunderstorms sometimes occur in the evenings. If the centre moves closer to Hong Kong winds increase and rain can become heavy and widespread. Heavy rain from tropical cyclones may last for a few days and consequent landslips and flooding sometimes cause more damage than the winds.

The mean annual rainfall ranges from around 1 200 millimetres at Waglan Island to more than 3 000 millimetres in the vicinity of Tai Mo Shan. About 80 per cent of the rain falls between May and September. The wettest month is June when rain occurs about two days out of three and the average monthly rainfall at the Royal Observatory is 431.8 millimetres. The driest month is December when the monthly average is only 25.3 millimetres and rain falls on only about five days in the month. Climatological information on Hong Kong's weather is given at Appendix 39.

      Severe weather phenomena that can affect Hong Kong include tropical cyclones, strong winter monsoon winds, and thunderstorms with associated squalls that are most frequent from April to September. Water-spouts, hailstorms and snow occur infrequently and tornadoes are rare.

The Year's Weather

     1983 was a year of both records and contrasts. During the first half of the year, rainfall was above normal every month. The total rainfall from January to April broke all previous records for the same period. In contrast, the year ended with a long dry spell with no measurable rain between October 27 and December 27. Unusually, there was not a single tropical cyclone over the western North Pacific until nearly the end of June. This rare situation last occurred in 1973. However in September Hong Kong suffered a direct hit by Typhoon Ellen, resulting in extensive damage. The year as a whole was wetter than normal and a total rainfall of 2 893.8 mm was recorded at the Royal Observatory.

      January was wet and cloudy. The total of 76.3 mm of rain recorded was nearly three times the average figure while the total duration of sunshine, 75 hours, was only about half the normal value. The month was cooler than usual and temperatures fell below 10°C between January 20 and 24. A minimum of 7.1°C was recorded at the Royal Observatory on January 22 and -1.0°C was reported on Tai Mo Shan on the same morning. Coastal fog patches occurred towards the end of the month.

February was again wet. New rainfall records were set with 241 mm of rain for the month, the highest figure since records began at the Royal Observatory in 1884 and about six times the average amount. The number of days with measurable rain, totalling 24, exceeded all previous records. The month was also cooler than usual. Fog was reported on a number of occasions, resulting in the diversion of six aircraft from Hong Kong International Airport. Ferry services were also affected: on February 1, a triple-decker ferry with more than 430 passengers went aground in fog off Kau Yi Chau and two people were hospitalised.

March was the second consecutive month in the year with a record rainfall: 428 mm compared with an average of 54.8 mm. Most of the rain was associated with thunderstorms which occurred on 10 days of the month, the highest frequency for March since 1947. Frequent thunderstorms on March 27 brought 98.6 mm of rain, making it the wettest day in March since 1884. Hail, reported on March 1, 2, 12, 25 and 26, was more frequent than has been observed in any single year in the past. The month was again cooler than usual. Temperatures dropped to 9.6°C on March 6 following an outburst of the winter monsoon



on March 4. Widespread coastal fog was experienced between March 20 and 24 causing a number of accidents at sea and seriously affecting air and sea traffic. Altogether three people were injured in the incidents.

April was again wetter than usual. The total rainfall amounted to 171.1 mm, 23 per cent above normal. The accumulated rainfall for the first four months of the year, 916.4 mm, was a new record for the period and was nearly three and half times the average figure. Hail was reported on April 5 and 7. Heavy thundery showers on April 8 caused flooding in various parts of Hong Kong. The month was warmer than normal.

       May was the fifth consecutive month with above average rainfall. The month's rainfall of 372.5 mm was 25 per cent above normal. Flooding and landslips occurred in various parts of Hong Kong on eight days of the month during heavy showers and thunderstorms.

The amount of rainfall in June, 445.8 mm, was only slightly above average. About three-quarters of this amount, that is, 346.7 mm of rain, fell on June 17 causing widespread flooding and landslips in various parts of Hong Kong. A man was killed in the deluge, 12 others were injured and more than 600 made homeless. Victoria Peak was partially isolated when telephone links as well as water, gas and electricity supplies were cut off by a landslip. The month was hotter than usual. The mean minimum temperature of 27.0°C was the highest recorded for June.

       July was the first month in the year with below average rainfall. The monthly total of 131.2 mm was only about 41 per cent of the normal figure. With a mean temperature of 29.4°C, it was the second hottest July since records began in 1884. A long fine spell was experienced from July 1 to 11. The first tropical cyclone signal of the year was displayed in Hong Kong on July 12 during the approach of Severe Tropical Storm Tip. Tropical cyclone signals were also displayed for Typhoon Vera and Typhoon Wayne which moved into the South China Sea on July 15 and 25 respectively. The effects of these tropical cyclones on Hong Kong were minimal and there were no reports of damage.

August was hot. The monthly mean temperature of 29.0°C was the third highest for August while the mean minimum temperature of 26.8°C was the second highest. The total rainfall, 345.7 mm, was about 16 per cent below normal and was brought mostly by showers and thunderstorms between August 15 and 25.

       The hurricane signal, No. 10, was displayed during the morning of September 9 when Typhoon Ellen passed close to the southwest of Hong Kong. Typhoon Ellen was the worst typhoon to strike Hong Kong since Typhoon Hope in 1979. Hurricane-force winds were recorded at Waglan Island over a period of eight hours. This was the longest duration of hurricane-force winds at the station since records began in December 1952. Gusts exceeding 100 knots were recorded at most meteorological stations in Hong Kong. As Typhoon Ellen lashed Hong Kong 10 people were killed, 12 reported missing and 333 others injured; 260 huts collapsed and about 1 200 people were made homeless; 27 ships totalling 185 000 tonnes ran aground; three fishing boats and the barquentine 'Osprey' sank in the typhoon and almost 200 pleasure craft were badly damaged. In the New Territories, some 10 000 farmers were affected: 1 500 hectares of crops and about 80 per cent of the vegetables under cultivation were damaged by floods and winds and about 100 000 chickens and 2 300 pigs were drowned in the floods, mostly in Yuen Long and Kam Tin, while 120 hectares of fish ponds were also flooded. Mei Foo Sun Chuen in Kowloon was flooded by sea water up to a depth of two metres in places and some 80 000 households in Kowloon and the New Territories suffered power failure. Towards the end of the month, Severe Tropical Storm Georgia came within 740 kilometres of Hong Kong and necessitated the hoisting of the strong wind signal, No. 3. Other significant weather



phenomena during the month included a tornado in San Tin on September 9 and a hail- storm on September 24.

October was an exceptionally warm month. The mean temperature of 26.4°C was the highest for the month of October while the mean daily maximum temperature of 28.9°C was the second highest for October since records began in 1884. The monthly mean cloudiness of 71 per cent was the second highest for October. The total monthly rainfall amount of 227.4 mm was nearly 90 per cent above average. On October 13, gale or storm signals, No. 8 NE and No. 8 SE, were displayed during the approach of Typhoon Joe. Altogether 58 people were injured, but no major damage was reported. On October 23, the strong wind signal, No. 3, was hoisted for Severe Tropical Storm Lex when it was centred over the northern part of the South China Sea.

November was the driest November on record. Only a trace of rain was recorded during the whole month. The monthly mean relative humidity of 59 per cent and the monthly mean cloudiness of 25 per cent were both the second lowest for the month. Apart from an interlude of cloudy weather between November 12 and 15, the weather was fine and sunny throughout the month.

The dry spell persisted into December until it was interrupted by rain on December 28 and 29. An intense surge of the winter monsoon arrived from the north on December 29. The weather was very cold on December 30 and a minimum temperature of 6.1°C was recorded at the Royal Observatory. Hoar frost was reported at Tai Mo Shan and Tate's Cairn where temperatures dropped to -3.6°C and −0.1°C respectively.

The Royal Observatory

The Royal Observatory was established in 1883 mainly to provide scientific information for the safe navigation of ships. During her visit to Hong Kong in April, HRH The Princess Anne officially opened a new nine-storey office block beside the original observatory building. This marked the start of the centenary celebrations. Other highlights later in the year included an international seminar sponsored by the department and the World Meteorological Organisation; a joint symposium with the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers; and commemorative postage stamps issued in November.

Operations and Services

The department's most important function is the provision of weather forecasts and tropical cyclone warnings for the public, shipping and aviation. The Central Forecasting Office issues local weather forecasts and warnings of hazardous weather conditions to the press, government departments and radio and television broadcasting stations. When- ever Hong Kong is threatened by tropical cyclones, frequent warnings with advice on necessary precautions are issued at three-hourly intervals and widely disseminated. Other warnings cover thunderstorms, flooding, landslips, fire danger, strong monsoons and frost. Regular weather bulletins are issued to ships at sea, fishermen in coastal waters and yachtsmen. Specialised forecasts are prepared on request for offshore operations in the South China Sea.

      Services for aviation are provided by the Airport Meteorological Office. About 80 aircraft each day are supplied with prognostic weather charts and landing forecasts. Special warnings are issued for adverse weather. Wind conditions at the airport and its vicinity are monitored continuously using a network of anemometers and a doppler acoustic radar at Lei Yue Mun under the southeastern approach to the airport.



In order to provide these services, meteorological data are received from other countries through a computerised telecommunications system. This information is regularly analysed and supplied to forecasters while the coded messages are exchanged automatically with neighbouring countries.

Weather observers at the Royal Observatory headquarters, Hong Kong International Airport and Cheung Chau keep a continuous watch on local conditions. Additional observations are made by the Marine Department at Waglan Island and Green Island, and by the Royal Navy at Tai O. Fifteen anemometers are operated by the observatory in different locations. Winds recorded at the Star Ferry Pier, Kowloon and at Waglan Island, representing conditions in Victoria Harbour and offshore respectively, are telemetered to the Central Forecasting Office. A spherics recorder is used to register thunderstorm activity within a range of about 100 kilometres. Automatic rain-gauges report rainfall amounts instantaneously through a micro-processor system, complementing the network of more than 100 conventional rain-gauges, mostly read by volunteer observers. Tide readings at Tai Po Kau, North Point, Lok On Pai and Chek Lap Kok are telemetered to the Central Forecasting Office providing important information in the warning of floods during the approach of tropical cyclones. A wave recorder at Waglan Island gives a continuous record of waves.

The observatory's historical weather records are used to answer climatological enquiries from local and overseas organisations such as engineering consultants, universities, utility companies, and insurance and legal firms. It is designated by the World Meteorological Organisation as the centre for marine meteorological data for the South China Sea and advice on marine climatological conditions is given when requested.

Upper-air atmospheric conditions are measured by radiosondes carried by balloons released at King's Park Meteorological Station. The radiosondes relay Omega navigation signals to the ground station and a mini-computer calculates the upper winds from changes in the phase of these signals. A tethered radiosonde system is used at selected locations to obtain data up to a few hundred metres above the ground.

A new weather radar was installed at Tate's Cairn during the year. The radar employs a mini-computer to produce displays for the reference of forecasters and short-term estimates of rainfall over a wide area. The old radar is being maintained as a back-up.

      High resolution satellite cloud pictures from the Japanese Geo-stationary Meteorological Satellite continued to be received in Hong Kong. The pictures, recorded in digital form, are processed by micro-processors to give special displays for purposes such as to estimate maximum winds in a tropical cyclone.

In order to monitor local earthquakes, a network of three short-period seismometers at Cheung Chau Island, High Island and Tsim Bei Tsui is operated by the Royal Observatory. Long-period seismographs record tremors from all over the world. Strong motion accelerographs are installed at three locations with different soil properties. While on average only two or three earthquakes are felt by the public each year, hundreds are detected by the seismometer network; in 1983 about 100 earthquakes were detected within 320 kilometres of Hong Kong.

Measurements of Beta and Gamma radio-activity in airborne dust and rain-water are made at King's Park. The observatory co-operates with the UK Atomic Energy Research Establishment and the International Atomic Energy Agency in these measurements.

The observatory operates a caesium beam atomic clock which provides time signals accurate to about one micro-second. A six-pip signal is broadcast on 95 MHz every quarter hour.




The Royal Observatory participates in international co-operative programmes to improve the standard of weather services. In 1983, special observations were made and sent to other countries in Southeast Asia during the Second Typhoon Operational Experiment organised under the auspices of an international Typhoon Committee. Two forecasters were seconded to the International Experiment Centre in Tokyo to carry out operational studies during actual typhoon situations.

Research is also directed at meeting the demand for meteorological analyses by industry and for engineering projects. Other projects during the year included work on design wind and rainfall parameters, and modelling storm surges and currents using computers. The micro-meteorological study carried out in Junk Bay to investigate local conditions which may affect new developments was completed, while a similar study for western Victoria Harbour was started.




THE total population at the end of 1983 was 5 344 400, comprising 2 775 000 males and 2 569 400 females. This represents an increase of 25 per cent on the 1973 population estimate of 4 285 300.

The average annual rate of increase over the 10-year period was 2.2 per cent, with the rate fluctuating from year to year because of changes in migration flows. During the years 1978-80 in particular there was a large inflow of immigrants from China - both legal and illegal - and an influx of boat refugees from Vietnam. The average annual growth rate increased from 1.8 per cent over the period 1973-7 to 3.9 per cent over the period 1978-80. The average annual growth rate for the years 1981-3 was 1.4 per cent due to a reduction in the inflow of immigrants as a result of revisions in immigration policy at the end of the years 1980 and 1982.

Meanwhile, the rate of natural increase dropped steadily over the period from 15 to 11 per thousand. This was the result of the birth rate declining from 20 per thousand in 1973 to 16 per thousand in 1983, and the death rate remaining stable at about five per thousand.

Hong Kong, with a land area of only 1 066 square kilometres, is one of the most densely populated places in the world. The overall density per square kilometre at the end of 1983 was 4972. But this figure conceals wide variations in density between different areas. According to the 1981 Census, the density for the metropolitan areas of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Kowloon and Tsuen Wan was 28 479 people per square kilometre; but for the New Territories it was 792 per square kilometre. The most densely populated district was Sham Shui Po in New Kowloon, with 165 445 people per square kilometre. This situation will, of course, change with the continuation of the new town development programme in the New Territories, designed to alleviate the high density in the urban areas and to help provide an increasing population with better housing and an improved living environment.

The age distribution of the population of Hong Kong has changed considerably during the 10-year period. In 1973, 33.7 per cent of the population was under 15; in 1983 the figure was 23.9 per cent. The proportion of those aged 65 and above has risen from 4.9 per cent to 7.1 per cent. As a result of these changes, the proportion of the population of working age (those aged 15 to 64) has increased from 61.4 per cent to 69.0 per cent, indicating that there is a greater potentially productive population available. The dependency ratio - the ratio of the young and the aged to those in the 15 to 64 age group - has dropped from 629 per thousand in 1973 to 451 per thousand in 1981.

The sex ratio of the population has also changed. In 1983, the ratio was 1 080 males to every 1 000 females, compared with 1 037 in 1973. The increase in the proportion of males over females during the 10-year period can largely be explained by the substantial inflow of immigrants, who were predominantly young and male.



The 1981 Census showed that 57.2 per cent of the population was born in Hong Kong. About 98 per cent of the population can be described as Chinese on the basis of place of origin. Most of these people originated from Guangdong Province. Those from Guang- zhou, Hong Kong, Macau and adjacent places form the largest community while the second largest group is Siyi, followed by the Chaozhou group. The remaining Chinese population have their origins in other parts of Guangdong and other provinces of China.

At the end of 1983, the estimated number of non-Hong Kong Commonwealth citizens residing either permanently or temporarily in Hong Kong was 66 400. These comprised: British 19 700 (excluding members of the Armed Forces); Indian 14 700; Malaysian 9 300; Australian 7 700; Singaporean 4 600; Canadian 5 500; and other Commonwealth countries 4900. The estimate for non-Commonwealth permanent and temporary residents was 84 400. Of these, the largest groups were: Filipino 24 200; American 12 800; Pakistani 7 200; Japanese 6 900; Thai 9 200; Portuguese 7 600; Indonesian 3 700; German 2 100; Korean 2 100; French 1 500 and Dutch 1 100.


All marriages in Hong Kong are governed by the Marriage Ordinance and the Marriage. Reform Ordinance. Under the Marriage Ordinance, at least 15 days' notice of an intended marriage must be given to the Registrar of Marriages. The Registrar has discretionary powers to reduce the period of notice in special circumstances or to grant a special licence dispensing with notice altogether. But this is done only in the most exceptional circumstances. Marriages may take place either at any of the 185 places of public worship licensed for the celebration of marriages, or at any of the 11 full-time marriage registries and four part-time sub-registries located in the main urban districts and rural centres. During the year, 45 514 marriages were performed in the registries and 2 367 at licensed places of worship. All records are maintained at the principal marriage registry at the City Hall.

Many couples wish to be married over the weekends (especially when the auspicious days of the lunar calendar fall on Saturday or Sunday). To meet this demand, the principal marriage registries operate on Saturdays and Sundays. All registries also make provision for group marriages.

The Marriage Reform Ordinance provides that all marriages entered into in Hong Kong on or after October 7, 1971, shall imply the voluntary union, for life, of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, and may be contracted only in accordance with the Marriage Ordinance. It declares valid certain customary marriages and other marriages known as modern marriages provided, in each case, they were entered into before October 7, 1971. The ordinance also makes provision for the post-registration of these marriages, and for their dissolution. During the year, 71 customary and 26 modern marriages were post-registered.

Births and Deaths

The registration of births and deaths is compulsory, and facilities for registration are provided throughout Hong Kong. The General Register Office keeps all records of births and deaths, and there are 10 registries in the main urban and rural districts. In the outlying areas and islands, births are registered at various rural committee offices by visiting district registrars, and deaths are registered at local police stations.

The statutory period during which a birth should be registered is 42 days from the date of birth. During the year, 82 015 live births and 26 485 deaths were registered, compared with 86 036 and 25 460 respectively in 1982. The figures, when adjusted for under-registration, gave a natural increase in population for 1983 of approximately 57 583.



A birth which has not been registered within one year may be post-registered with the consent of the Registrar of Births and Deaths and on payment of a $30 fee. During the year, 569 births were post-registered.

A death registry where joint services are provided for the registration of death, the issue of cremation permits and the booking of cremation facilities, was opened on Hong Kong Island in 1983. A similar registry began operating in Kowloon in 1982.

The Immigration Department is responsible for the registration of births, deaths and marriages in Hong Kong.






Natural History

     BEHIND the facade of tall skyscrapers which grace the lowlands on the edge of Victoria Harbour, there is a mixed topography of undulating hills and mountain peaks which make up Hong Kong's network of 21 country parks. The conventional image of the territory as being intensely urbanised - it has one of the highest population densities in the world is offset by the fact that more than 70 per cent of its total land area consists of natural and established woodlands, grass and scrub offering protection for a wide variety of indigenous animal and plant life.


      Most of Hong Kong's countryside is protected by the Forests and Countryside Ordinance, the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance, the Country Parks Ordinance and the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance.


The Mai Po Marshes, a restricted area under the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance, is an important attraction for Hong Kong birdwatchers. The 380 hectares of mudflats, shrimp ponds and dwarf mangroves provide a very rich bird habitat, particularly for ducks and waders. Of more than 250 species of birds which have been recorded in this area, at least 110 are rarely seen elsewhere in the territory.

Yim Tso Ha, also restricted, is the largest egretry in Hong Kong and five species - the Chinese Pond Heron, Night Heron, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, and the rare Swinhoe's Egret nest there regularly. More than 1 000 egrets can be found there during the nesting season between April and September. Another egretry near Mai Po is visited by most birds except the Swinhoe's Egret and Night Heron.

      Although traditional fung shui woods near the older villages and temples are diminishing, they continue to provide a very important habitat for many birds. Sightings in wooded areas include an assortment of warblers, flycatchers, robins and bulbuls.

Of the larger indigenous animals, the Chinese Pangolin (Scaly Anteater), which grows to a length of about one metre and is protected by horny scales, is seen occasionally. Areas around the Kowloon reservoirs are inhabited by monkeys that originated from specimens either released or which escaped from captivity. There are breeding groups of both Long-tailed Macaques and Rhesus monkeys. Smaller mammals are common, with the Grey Shrew and the House Shrew being numerous in some rural areas. The Chinese Porcupine, with its strikingly-coloured black and white quills, is still present in parts of the New Territories and on Hong Kong Island.

      Once, wild pigs were sufficiently scarce to warrant protection by law, but their numbers have increased to such an extent that the damage they have done to crops resulted in bitter complaints from farmers. Consequently, special culling exercises have been organised by the Royal Hong Kong Police Force to reduce their threat to crops.



Occasional reports are still received of sightings of less common species such as the Leopard Cat, Ferret Badger, Eastern Chinese Otter and Barking Deer. However, the increasing presence of people in the countryside means an uncertain future for these larger species.

Snakes, lizards and frogs are plentiful in Hong Kong. Also, there are various species of terrapins and turtles, although none is common. Most of the local snakes are non- poisonous and death from snake bite is a very rare occurrence. The venomous land snakes are: the Banded Krait, with black and yellow bands; the Many-banded Krait, with black and white bands; Macclelland's Coral Snake, which is coral red with narrow, black transverse bars; the Chinese Cobra and the Hamadryad or King Cobra - both of which are hooded; the rare Mountain Pit Viper; the Red-necked Keelback with vermilion neck; and the White-lipped Pit Viper or Bamboo Snake. The Bamboo Snake is bright green and less venomous than others, but it is not easily seen and strikes readily if closely approached. The Hamadryad, Kraits and Corals prey almost exclusively on other snakes.

Several species of sea snakes - all venomous - are found in Hong Kong waters, but they have never been known to attack bathers. An amphibian of special interest is the Hong Kong Newt, which has not been recorded elsewhere in the region.

There are more than 200 recorded species and forms of colourful butterflies, several of which, in their larval forms, cause considerable damage to farmers' crops. These include the two commonly-found species of Cabbage Whites, the Swallowtails, and the beautiful but less common Small Blue. All are described and illustrated in the first major reference work on local butterflies - This is Hong Kong: Butterflies by G. and B. Johnston (Hong Kong Government Printer). Among the many local moths are the giant silk worm moths, including the Cynthia, the Fawn, Golden Emperor, the Atlas and Moon moths. The Atlas has an average wing span of 23 centimetres and the Moon, 18 centimetres.

Of the local plant bugs, two are especially noted for their colour and shape. They are the rare and beautifully-spotted Tea Bug, which has been recorded only on hill-tops, and the Lantern Fly, which has delicately-coloured wings and a remarkably long forehead. Dragon and damsel flies are common, as are wasps and metallic-coloured beetles. Of particular interest is the giant Red-spotted Longhorn beetle which feeds on Mountain Tallow and Wood-oil trees. Many other species of longhorn beetles infest living or weakened trees including citrus and pine. Most of these and many other insects are listed in the Check List of Agricultural Insects of Hong Kong 1981 (Agriculture and Fisheries Department Bulletin No. 2, Hong Kong Government Printer).

Since its introduction to Hong Kong 1938, the African Giant Snail has become a major pest in vegetable crops and gardens. Farmers are also troubled by several slugs. One of these, Veronicella, is a large, black slug sufficiently different from the other slugs to be placed in a separate family.

Aquatic Life

      Marine life forms in Hong Kong are diverse and mainly tropical in character. They include a large number of commercially important species of fish, crustacea and molluscs. The types and quantities of fish prevalent fluctuate according to seasonal influences and also vary according to the area. The waters of Hong Kong can be broadly divided into a western sector, influenced by the Zhu Jiang (Pearl) River and predominately brackish, and an eastern sector, subject to the influences of the open sea. Various locations provide natural propagation and nursery grounds for many species of fish, crustacea and molluscs, and provide seasonal feeding for large transient predators, such as the Little Tuna, Dolphinfish, Sailfish and sharks.



      More than 20 species of shark have been recorded in Hong Kong waters, mainly in the eastern and southeastern areas. Sharks have been sighted in Mirs Bay in the New Territories and as far south as Stanley and Deep Water Bay on Hong Kong Island. Their presence in Hong Kong is a result of the influence of warm ocean currents off the South China Sea during the summer months, in particular, July to September. Sharks which are common in Hong Kong and potentially dangerous are the Hammerhead Shark and species of the True Shark family, which can grow to more than three metres. Other commonly- found sharks, which do not normally attack humans, include the Cat Shark and the Leopard Shark.


The Hong Kong Herbarium, which contains about 34 000 plant specimens, is more than 100 years old. This government institution, administered by the Agriculture and Fisheries Department, is responsible for collecting, classifying and maintaining authoritative preserved plant specimens representative of Hong Kong flora. It also disseminates knowledge and information by maintaining an index of scientific, Chinese and English common names for the plants of Hong Kong. The herbarium, housed in the New World Centre Office Building in Tsim Sha Tsui, is open to the public.

Situated near the northern limit of the distribution of tropical Asian flora, the plants of Hong Kong are large in number and variety. It is estimated there are about 2 600 species of vascular plants, both native and introduced, and these are listed in the Check List of Hong Kong Plants (Agriculture and Fisheries Department).

       Before the introduction of conservation measures, the hillsides were becoming increas- ingly bare of trees as a result of cutting, burning and exposure to the elements. On most, the only cover was coarse grass or scrub. Now many slopes, particularly those in the water catchment areas, have been planted with trees of both local and exotic species. These woodlands, and other areas of countryside, are protected and are being developed for the growing numbers of people who spend increasing amounts of their leisure time in the countryside.

      Remnants of the original forest cover - either scrub forest or well-developed woodlands - are still to be found in steep ravines. These have survived the destructive influences of man and fire through their precipitous topography and moist winter microclimate. It is in such places that many of the more interesting plants grow. Small areas of well-grown woodlands can also be found near the older villages and temples. These fung shui, or sacred groves owe their existence to the protection afforded by generations of villagers in accordance with ancient tradition.

      On muddy sea shores, an interesting type of vegetation known as the Dwarf Mangrove Association is occasionally found; there are also patches of vegetation peculiar to sandy beaches. These two vegetation types are particularly well adapted to their environment - providing a useful educational example.

      Many species of plants in Hong Kong are noteworthy for the beauty or fragrance of their blossoms. They attract butterflies and insects, while other plants bear fruit and seeds that serve as important sources of food for birds and animals. The orchid species are described and illustrated in Hong Kong Orchids by G. Barretto and J. L. Young Saye (Urban Council series).

      Many villagers have a good working knowledge of the usefulness of some local plants. Aquilaria sinensis is used in the manufacture of scented joss sticks. And among those used in




traditional Chinese herbal medicines are Psychotria rubra, Ardisia crispa and Strophanthus divaricatus, which are considered good for bruises and certain injuries.

Zoological and Botanical Gardens

The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens, managed by the Urban Council, are the oldest and possibly the most popular public gardens in Hong Kong. Situated on a 5.35-hectare site at the foot of Victoria Peak overlooking Government House, the gardens contain a wide variety of botanical and zoological features. The gardens were constructed between 1861 and 1871 and are divided by Albany Road. The Old Garden, located to the east of the road, houses an extensive bird collection while the New Garden, opened in 1871, is home to the mammals. The horticultural contribution, which is mainly located in the Old Garden, is enhanced by extensive planting inside the zoological enclosures.

      With the sale or transfer of zoological stock between countries becoming increasingly difficult, greater emphasis has been placed on the breeding of stock within the gardens. Most successful in this respect during 1983 was the White-naped Crane and, for the second successive year, the Count Raggi's Bird of Paradise. The latter is believed to be only the third instance of zoo breeding of this rare species on two separate occasions. Another important event was the arrival of a pair of very rare Red Crowned Cranes from Beijing Zoo in June.

      New facilities opened during the year include a free-flight aviary with a spectacular waterfall created from Ping Chau sedimentary rock, and a combined enclosure for Siamungs and Lemurs in the New Garden. A popular feature, the fountain terrace, was removed to enable reconstruction of the reservoir roof lying beneath it. On completion of the reservoir works, the terrace will be rebuilt to a new design with an improved range of horticultural features to complement the zoological exhibits in the garden.

      In September, almost 70 per cent of the gardens' plant life was uprooted, including century-old trees, as a result of Typhoon Ellen. Workers started repairing the damage. immediately but the gardens will take years to recover fully.

       During a visit to Hong Kong in October as President of the World Wildlife Fund, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh unveiled a plaque commemorating the identification of endangered species in the gardens by signs displaying the fund's panda symbol.




THE dynamic drive of its people and their determination to survive continual challenges - mainly caused by external influences - has enabled Hong Kong to make rapid economic and social progress and become a leading international manufacturing, trading and financial centre despite an almost complete absence of natural resources.

      Yet, the optimism prevailing during the past years as the territory's prosperity and economy expanded was somewhat tempered during 1982 and 1983 as concern grew about the future of the territory after the expiry in 1997 of the lease of the New Territories.

As a result of discussions about the future of Hong Kong between the British Prime Minister and Chinese leaders in Peking in September 1982, agreement was reached to enter into talks through diplomatic channels with the common aim of maintaining the stability. and prosperity of Hong Kong. A second phase of the talks began in Peking on July 12, 1983. The Governor, Sir Edward Youde, visited Peking on a number of occasions to take part in the talks. As part of the continuing process of consultation on Hong Kong's future, he also made several visits to London, some with unofficial members of the Executive Council, for discussions with British Ministers.

      Uncertainty over the future, compounded by the inevitable impact on Hong Kong of the lingering effects of a world-wide recession, contributed to a decline in the value of the Hong Kong dollar, a lack-lustre property market and some outflow of capital, giving rise to certain amount of concern and speculation.

Throughout the 142 years since its founding as a British settlement, Hong Kong has had to face challenges. Massive influxes of immigrants from China (both legal and illegal) over the years and, more recently, boat refugees from Vietnam, have placed increased social pressures on the population with an impact which reached into all corners of life. As a commercial centre, Hong Kong has continually been confronted with international monetary fluctuations and trade restrictions. Always, the territory has adapted and survived these difficulties with characteristic resilience and forbearance.

Paradoxically, in its early days Hong Kong was regarded as an uninviting prospect for settlement. The population of about 3 650 was scattered over 20 villages and hamlets and 2 000 fishermen lived on board their boats in the harbour. Deficient in fertile land and water, and mountainous, it possessed only one natural asset, a fine and sheltered anchorage. Largely the reason for the British presence, Victoria Harbour was strategically located on the trade routes of the Far East, and was soon to become the hub of a burgeoning entrepôt trade with China.

      Hong Kong's history has been one of material and social improvement; the expansion of the city and towns by cutting into hillsides, reclaiming the land from the sea, and the building of homes, schools, hospitals and other forms of public facilities to meet the demands of the growing population.



       It is Hong Kong's people who, by their industry and business acumen, have developed the infrastructure and services which have allowed the small territory to thrive.

Archaeological Background

Archaeological studies in Hong Kong, which began in the 1920s, have uncovered Stone Age artefacts at numerous sites scattered along the winding shoreline, testifying to events stretching back over several thousand years. More recently, extensive excavations at Sham Wan on Lamma Island and Chung Hom Wan on Hong Kong Island have revealed two main neolithic cultural traditions lying in stratified sequence. At lower levels there is coarse, cord-marked pottery together with finer decorated pottery, and chipped and polished stone tools. Cultural comparisons supported by several scientific datings indicate that the beginning of this culture in the area may have been around 3 000 BC. The evidence from the pottery shapes and decorations suggests that they may have been the result of contacts with the northern Chinese Stone Age cultures of Longshan (Lung-shan).

At the higher level, a cultural change is noticed when the pottery, soft and hard, is decorated with stamped geometric designs. This geometric tradition, of which the best known example is the 'Kui' or 'double-f' pattern - a late geometric motif common in South China began about 1 500 BC. The resemblance of pottery decorations to the northern bronze motifs of the Shang Dynasty (1766-1154 BC) and the Zhou (Chou) Dynasty (1122- 249 BC) has led to the hypothesis that they inspired the geometric pottery tradition of the south. The excavations also reveal the appearance of bronze in this area around 600 BC and the advent of the Chinese of the Qin (Ts'in) (221-207 BC) and Han (206 BC-220 ad) dynasties, as evidenced by the discovery of coins from this period.

Although little is known of the early aboriginal inhabitants themselves, it is likely that they belonged to the ancient 'Yueh' tribes of South China, and were of Malaysian-Oceanic origin. The abundance of seashore sites suggests that they were boat people, sailing freely in the sheltered waters around Hong Kong's many islands, frequently landing and spending some time ashore. They lived by fishing, but may have practised some agriculture close to their landing sites. Interesting archaeological features, almost certainly made by these people, are the rock carvings of geometric patterns found at Shek Pik, Lantau Island; on Kau Sai, Po Toi and Cheung Chau Islands; and at Big Wave Bay, on Hong Kong Island.

       China's military conquests during the Qin and Han dynasties must have brought Chinese in increasing numbers to the south and exerted pressure on the local population. The Han tomb at Lei Cheng Uk, in Kowloon, stands as firm evidence of the presence of Han Chinese in this area.

       Although the early garrisons may have cultivated the land for self-subsistence, the Chinese chronicles contain no records of land tenures until the Song (Sung) Dynasty (960- 1279). A strong tradition exists locally that the first Chinese settlers to arrive were the family surnamed 'Tang' whose members subsequently established the peasant and land- owner traditions in this area.

Hong Kong's connection with the Song Dynasty is rich in legend and tradition. As the Mongol armies pursued the young Song emperor and his shattered forces into the south, the final defeat of the Song forces is reputed to have taken place in the Guangzhou (Canton) estuary. There is a belief that following the defeat the court fled to Lantau Island where many loyal Song courtiers lie buried. Some archaeological support exists since Song relics have been found from time to time on the island, while in 1962 a rich cache of thousands of Song coins was accidentally uncovered during the construction of the Shek Pik Reservoir. Another site - Nim Shue Wan, on the east coast of Lantau - although never



excavated, has been known for many years to local archaeologists as a rich source of Song pottery.

The fate of the aboriginal boat people of this area is uncertain. It is believed that some may have fled to other islands, while others remained and were absorbed by other Chinese who had gradually assumed sway over the region.

A Place from Which to Trade

     Hong Kong's development into a commercial centre began with its founding as a settlement under the British flag in 1841. At the end of the 18th century the British dominated the foreign trade at Guangzhou but found conditions unsatisfactory, mainly because of the conflicting viewpoints of two quite dissimilar civilisations.

      The Chinese regarded themselves as the only civilised people and foreigners trading at Guangzhou were subject to residential and other restrictions. Confined to the factory area, they were allowed to remain only for the trading season, during which they had to leave their families at Macau. They were forbidden to enter the city and to learn the Chinese language. Shipping dues were arbitrarily varied and generally much bickering resulted between the British and Chinese traders. Yet there was mutual trust and the spoken word alone was sufficient for even the largest transactions.


       Trade had been in China's favour and silver flowed in until the growth of the opium trade from 1800 onwards - reversed this trend. The outflow of silver became more marked after 1834, when the East India Company lost its monopoly of the China trade and the foreign free traders, hoping to get rich quickly, joined the lucrative opium trade which the Chinese had made illegal in 1799.

      This led to the appointment of Lin Ze-xu (Lin Tse-hsu) in March, 1839, as special Commissioner in Guangzhou, with orders to stamp out the opium trade. A week later he surrounded the foreign factories with troops, stopped food supplies and refused to allow anyone to leave until all stocks of opium had been surrendered and dealers and ships' masters had signed a bond not to import opium on pain of execution. Captain Charles Elliot, RN, the British Government's representative as Superintendent of Trade, was shut up with the rest and authorised the surrender of 20 283 chests of opium after a siege of six weeks.

      Elliot would not allow normal trade to resume until he had reported fully to the British Government and received instructions. The British community retired to Macau and, when warned by the Portuguese Governor that he could not be responsible for their safety, took refuge on board ships in Hong Kong harbour in the summer of 1839.

      Lord Palmerston, the Foreign Secretary, decided that the time had come for a settlement of Sino-British commercial relations. Arguing that in surrendering the opium the British in Guangzhou had been forced to ransom their lives - though, in fact, their lives had never been in danger - he demanded either a commercial treaty that would put trade relations on a satisfactory footing, or the cession of a small island where the British could live free from threats under their own flag.

      An expeditionary force arrived in June, 1840, to back these demands and thus began the so-called First Opium War (1840-2). Hostilities alternated with negotiations until agreement was reached between Elliot and Qishan (Keshen), the Manchu Commis- sioner. Lin had been replaced by Qishan after his exile in disgrace over the preliminaries of a treaty.

      Under the Convention of Chuanbi (Chuenpi), January 20, 1841, Hong Kong Island was ceded to Britain. A naval landing party hoisted the British flag at Possession Point on



January 26, 1841, and the island was formally occupied. In June, Elliot began to sell plots of land and settlement began.

       Neither side accepted the Chuanbi terms. The cession of a part of China aroused shame and anger among the Chinese, and the unfortunate Qishan was ordered to Peking in chains. Palmerston was equally dissatisfied with Hong Kong, which he contemptuously described as 'a barren island with hardly a house upon it', and refused to accept it as the island station. that had been demanded as an alternative to a commercial treaty.

'You have treated my instructions as if they were waste paper,' Palmerston told Elliot in a magisterial rebuke, and replaced him by Sir Henry Pottinger, who arrived in August, 1841. The latter conducted hostilities with determination. A year later, after pushing up the Chang Jiang (Yangtze River) and threatening to assault Nanjing (Nanking), he brought the hostilities to an end by the Treaty of Nanjing, signed on August 29, 1842.

In the meantime, the Whig Government in England had fallen and, in 1841, the new Tory Foreign Secretary, Lord Aberdeen, issued revised instructions to Pottinger, dropping the demand for an island.

Pottinger, who had returned to Hong Kong during the winter lull in the campaign, was pleased with the progress of the new settlement and, in the Treaty of Nanjing, deviated from his instructions by successfully demanding both a treaty and an island, thus securing Hong Kong. In addition, five Chinese ports including Guangzhou were opened for trade. The commercial treaty was embodied in the supplementary Treaty of Humen (Bogue), October, 1843, by which the Chinese were allowed free access to Hong Kong Island for trading purposes.

Lease of New Territories

The Second Anglo-Chinese War (1856-8) arose out of disputes over the interpretation of the earlier treaties and over the boarding of a British lorcha, the Arrow, by Chinese in search of suspected pirates. The Treaty of Tianjin (Tientsin), 1858, which ended the war, gave the British the privilege of diplomatic representation in China. The first British envoy, Sir Frederick Bruce, who had been the first Colonial Secretary in Hong Kong, was fired on at Dagu (Taku) Bar on his way to Peking to present his credentials, and hostilities were renewed from 1859-60.

The troops serving on this second expedition camped on Kowloon Peninsula, as the territory's earliest photographs show. Finding it healthy, they wished to retain it as a military cantonment, with the result that Sir Harry Parkes, Consul at Guangzhou, secured from the Viceroy the perpetual lease of the peninsula as far as Boundary Street, including Stonecutters Island. The Convention of Peking, 1860, which ended the hostilities, provided for its outright cession.

Other European countries and Japan subsequently demanded concessions from China, particularly after Germany, France and Russia rescued China from the worst consequences of its defeat by Japan in 1895. In the ensuing tension, Britain felt that efficient defence of Hong Kong harbour demanded control of the land around it.

By a convention signed in Peking on June 9, 1898, respecting an extension of Hong Kong territory, the New Territories - comprising the area north of Kowloon up to the Shum Chun River, and 235 islands was leased for 99 years. The move was directed against France and Russia, not against China whose warships were allowed to use the wharf at Kowloon City. There, Chinese authority was permitted to continue 'except insofar as may be inconsistent with the military requirements for the defence of Hong Kong'. However, an Order in Council of December 27, 1898, revoked this clause and the British unilaterally



took over Kowloon City. There was some desultory opposition when the British took over the New Territories in March, 1899, but this soon disappeared. The area was declared to be part of the overall territory of Hong Kong but was administered separately from the urban area.

Initial Growth

The new settlement did not go well at first. It attracted unruly elements, while fever and typhoons threatened life and property. Crime was rife. The Chinese influx was unexpected because it was not anticipated they would choose to live under a foreign flag. The population rose from 32 983 (31 463 Chinese) in 1851, to 878 947 (859 425 Chinese) in 1931. The Chinese asked only to be left alone and thrived under a liberal British rule. Hong Kong became a centre of Chinese emigration and trade with Chinese communities abroad. Ocean-going shipping using the port increased from 2 889 ships in 1860, to 23 881 in 1939. The dominance of the China trade forced Hong Kong to conform to Chinese usage and to adopt the silver dollar as the currency unit in 1862. In 1935, when China went off silver, Hong Kong had to follow suit with an equivalent 'managed' dollar.

Hong Kong's administration followed the normal pattern for a British territory overseas, with a governor nominated by Whitehall and nominated Executive and Legislative Councils with official majorities. The first unofficial members of the Legislative Council were nominated in 1850, and the first Chinese in 1880; the first unofficial members of the Executive Council appeared in 1896, and the first Chinese in 1926. In 1972, the long- standing arrangement that two electoral bodies the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and the Unofficial Justices of the Peace were each allowed to nominate a member to the Legislative Council, was discontinued.


      The British residents pressed strongly for self-government on a number of occasions, but the home government consistently refused to allow the Chinese majority to be subject to the control of a small European minority.

A Sanitary Board was set up in 1883, became partly elected in 1887, and developed into an Urban Council in 1936. The intention, at first, was to govern the Chinese through Chinese magistrates seconded from the mainland. But this system of two parallel adminis- trations was only half-heartedly applied and broke down mainly because of the weight of crime. It was completely abandoned in 1865 in favour of the principle of equality of all races before the law. In that year, the Governor's instructions were significantly amended to forbid him to assent to any ordinance 'whereby persons of African or Asiatic birth may be subjected to any disabilities or restrictions to which persons of European birth or descent are not also subjected'. Government policy was laissez-faire, treating Hong Kong as a market place where all were free to come and go and where the government held the scales impartially.

Public and utility services developed - the Hong Kong and China Gas Company in 1861, the Peak Tram in 1885, the Hong Kong Electric Company in 1889, China Light and Power in 1903, the electric Tramways in 1904 and the then government-owned Kowloon-Canton Railway, completed in 1910. There were successive reclamations dating from 1851 - notably one completed in 1904 in Central District, which produced Chater Road, Connaught Road and Des Voeux Road, and another in Wan Chai between 1921-9.

A system of public education began in 1847 with grants to the Chinese vernacular schools. Later, the voluntary schools - mainly run by missionaries - were included in a grant scheme in 1873. The College of Medicine for the Chinese, founded in 1887, developed into the University of Hong Kong in 1911 and offered arts, engineering and medical faculties.



       After the Chinese Revolution of 1911, which overthrew the Manchu Dynasty, there was a long period of unrest in China and large numbers of people found shelter in Hong Kong. The agitation continued after Chinese participation in World War I brought in its wake strong nationalist and anti-foreign sentiment - inspired both by disappointment over failure at the Versailles peace conference to regain the German concessions in Shandong (Shantung), and by the post-war radicalism of the Kuomintang. The Chinese sought to abolish all foreign treaty privileges in China. Foreign goods were boycotted and the unrest spread to Hong Kong, where a seamen's strike in 1922 was followed by a serious general strike in 1925-6 under pressure from Guangzhou. This petered out, though not before causing considerable disruption in Hong Kong. Britain, with the largest foreign stake in China, was at that time a main target of anti-foreign sentiment, but in this odious role she was soon to be replaced by Japan.

The 1930s and World War II

During World War I, Japan presented her '21 demands' to China. Then, in 1931, Japan occupied Manchuria and the attempt to detach China's northern provinces led to open war in 1937. Guangzhou fell to the Japanese in 1938, resulting in a mass flight of refugees to Hong Kong. It was estimated that some 100 000 refugees entered in 1937, 500 000 in 1938 and 150 000 in 1939 bringing the population at the outbreak of World War II to an estimated 1.6 million. It was thought that at the height of the influx about half a million people were sleeping in the streets.

       Japan entered World War II when, on December 7, 1941, her aircraft bombed United States' warships at Pearl Harbour and at approximately the same time Japanese armed forces attacked Hong Kong (December 8, 1941, local time). The Japanese invaded Hong Kong from across the mainland border and, subsequently, the British were forced to withdraw from the New Territories and Kowloon on to Hong Kong Island. After a week of stubborn resistance on the island, the defenders - including the local Volunteer Corps were overwhelmed and Hong Kong surrendered on Christmas Day. The Japanese occupation lasted for three years and seven months.

Trade virtually disappeared, currency lost its value, the supply of food was disrupted and government services and public utilities were seriously impaired. Many residents moved to Macau - the Portuguese province hospitably opening its doors to them. Towards the latter part of the occupation, the Japanese sought to ease the food problems by organising mass deportations. In the face of increasing oppression, the bulk of the community remained loyal to the allied cause. Chinese guerillas operated in the New Territories and escaping allied personnel were assisted by the rural population.

Soon after news of the Japanese surrender was received on August 14, 1945, a provisional government was set up by the Colonial Secretary, Mr (later Sir) Frank Gimson. Rear Admiral Sir Cecil Harcourt arrived, on August 30, with units of the British Pacific Fleet to establish a temporary military government. Civil government was formally restored on May 1, 1946, when Sir Mark Young resumed his interrupted governorship.

The Post-War Years

Following the Japanese surrender, Chinese civilians - many of whom had moved into China during the war - returned at the rate of almost 100 000 a month. The population, which by August, 1945, had been reduced to about 600 000, rose by the end of 1947 to an estimated 1.8 million. Then, in the period 1948-9, as the forces of the Chinese Nationalist Government began to face defeat in civil war at the hands of the communists, Hong Kong received an influx unparalleled in its history.



      About three quarters of a million people - mainly from Guangdong Province, Shanghai and other commercial centres - entered the territory during 1949 and the spring of 1950. By the end of 1950 the population was estimated to be 2.3 million. Since then it has continued to rise and now totals more than 5.3 million.

After a period of economic stagnation caused by the United Nations' embargo on trade with China, Hong Kong began to industrialise. No longer could the territory rely solely on its port to provide prosperity for its greatly increased population. From the start, the industrial revolution was based on cotton textiles, gradually adding woollens and, in the late 1960s, man-made fibres and made-up garments. Although the share of total exports held by textiles and clothing has declined over the past 10 years, clothing and textiles still make up more than 40 per cent of domestic exports by value. While textiles remain the mainstay of Hong Kong's economy, major contributions are made by electronic products, watches and clocks, plastic goods and other light industries.

      Associated with events in China, 1966 saw mounting tension in Hong Kong which during 1967 developed into a series of civil disturbances affecting all aspects of life and temporarily paralysing the economy. But, by year-end, the disturbances were contained and the community continued its tradition of peaceful progress.

      In development of the post-war years, Hong Kong has continued to build up its role as an entrepôt with its neighbours and trade with China has been no exception. Coupled with tourism, this has led to vast improvements in communications with an increasing number of people entering China from or through Hong Kong, its natural gateway, each year. The territory's flag carrier Cathay Pacific and the Civil Aviation Administration of China operate scheduled and chartered flights between Hong Kong and cities in China; the Kowloon-Canton Railway runs jointly with the Guangzhou Railway Administration express 'through' trains between Kowloon and Guangzhou; a direct bus service - a British and Chinese joint venture operates 10 different routes into Guangdong; and there are daily hoverferry services, as well as ferry services, to Guangzhou. The major transport event of 1983, further boosting land travel between Hong Kong and China, was the completion of the electrification of the railway from Kowloon to Lo Wu.


To keep pace with the development and a policy of decentralisation, the government is committed to improving the infrastructure and an estimated $7,600 million, about 21 per cent of expenditure, is being spent on public works projects during 1983-4. New roads, tunnels and flyovers have completely transformed road travel throughout the territory in the post-war era and modern, multi-lane highways are opening up many new areas.

The development of Hong Kong's economic base has enabled the government to increase spending on social services over the years - from $1,819 million in 1973-4 to an estimated $16,603 million in 1983-4.

Accommodation has always been a problem with a rapidly growing population and expenditure in this field has increased accordingly. More than 2.25 million people now live in some form of public housing managed by the Housing Authority. Throughout 1983, public housing flats were being constructed at an average rate of one every 7.5 minutes each 12-hour working day, every day of the year - and it is planned to continue providing about 35 000 flats a year under present conditions.

Expenditure on education facilities and improvements for Hong Kong's young and vibrant population has always been one of the major considerations in budget preparations and there are now junior secondary school places for every student up to the age of 15 years.



       In the field of social welfare, major advances have been made by both the government and voluntary agencies in the past decade with expenditure increasing from $137 million in 1973-4 to an estimated $1,682 million during 1983-4.

       The medical and health services are also undergoing vigorous development programmes which, by the end of the decade, will provide five more hospitals and 20 additional clinics and polyclinics.

       During the post-war years, a comprehensive system of protection for wages, rest days, statutory holidays, paid annual leave, maternity leave, sick pay and severance payments has been built up, and the benefits provided have steadily improved. The minimum age for employment in both the industrial and non-industrial sectors is 15 years.

Public Records Office

      Set up in 1972, the Public Records Office is now one of the largest local sources of information for historical and other studies relating to Hong Kong.

Storage for 4 670 linear metres of permanent records is provided in the head office repository in Central District and for a further 3 950 linear metres in a sub-office in Wong Chuk Hang. In 1983, a second sub-office in Wong Chuk Hang was opened, providing storage for 4 900 linear metres of intermediate departmental records which require further screening before selection for permanent retention.

       Valuable additions were made to the photograph and map collections during the year, including some 630 photographs taken in the early 1900s and copies of more than 70 maps and plans from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Public Records Office now has the largest collections of pre-war maps and photographs in Hong Kong.

       Public access to the library, including the newspapers and the map and photograph collections, is unrestricted, but formal approval is required for access to official records. Photo-copying facilities are available.



Constitution and Administration

HONG KONG is administered by the Hong Kong Government, and its administration has developed from the basic pattern applied in all British-governed territories overseas. The head of the Hong Kong Government is the Governor.

Role of the Governor

The Governor is the representative of the Queen in Hong Kong. He has ultimate direction of the administration of Hong Kong and is also the titular Commander-in-Chief. As head of the government he presides at meetings of both the Executive Council and the Legislative Council. The Executive Council, which is the principal policy making organ of the government, offers advice to the Governor on which he makes directions. The Bills which are passed by the Legislative Council must receive the Governor's assent before becoming laws.

      The Governor is in close touch with the administration of the territory, and exerts a major influence over the direction of affairs. Sir Edward Youde has been the Governor of Hong Kong since May 1982.

The Governor is appointed by the Queen, and derives his authority from the Letters Patent passed under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom. The Letters Patent establish the basic framework of the administration of Hong Kong and, together with the Royal Instructions passed under the Royal Sign Manual and Signet which lay down procedures that must be followed, form the constitution of Hong Kong.

The Letters Patent specifically create the office of Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Hong Kong, and require him to observe its laws and the instructions given to him by the Queen or the Secretary of State. They also deal with the constitution of the Executive and Legislative Councils, and the Governor's powers in respect of legislation, disposal of land, the appointment of judges and public officers, pardons, and the tenure of office of Supreme Court and District Court judges.

The Royal Instructions deal with the appointment of members of the Executive and Legislative Councils, the nature of proceedings in the Executive Council, the Governor's responsibility to consult the Executive Council and his right to act in opposition to it. They also deal with the membership of the Legislative Council, the nature of proceedings there, the format of the legislation passed by the council, and the nature of legislation which may not be passed. The Standing Orders of the Legislative Council, made under the authority of Royal Instruction XXIII, provide how Bills are to be passed. Several amendments were made to the Standing Orders in July 1983 with a view to improving the procedures followed by the council.


Central Government

Executive Council


The Executive Council consists of four ex-officio members - the Chief Secretary, the Commander British Forces, the Financial Secretary and the Attorney General - together with other members who are appointed by the Governor on the instructions of the Secretary of State. There are 13 appointed members, 11 unofficial and two official. Appointed members hold office for fixed periods.

       The council meets twice a week, in camera, and its proceedings remain confidential, but many of its decisions are made public. The function of the council is to advise the Governor, who is required by the Royal Instructions to consult it on all important matters of policy, other than those which are too urgent to allow the council to be consulted (in which case the Governor must explain to the council as soon as possible what action he has taken). The Executive Council's advice on matters of policy involving the expenditure of public funds is subject to the approval of the necessary funds by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council. The council also considers all principal legislation before it is. introduced into the Legislative Council, and it is responsible for making subsidiary legislation (regulations) under a number of ordinances.

       Under the Royal Instructions it is the prerogative of the Governor to decide what matters should be put before the council. Should a member request the discussion of a specific matter and the Governor refuses his permission, then a record of both the request and the refusal must be entered in the minutes of the council, should the member so desire. Constitutionally, the council advises the Governor who then makes a decision. If he decides to act against the advice of the majority of members, the Governor is required to report his reasons to the Secretary of State.

The Governor-in-Council - the Governor acting after consulting the Executive Council - also considers appeals, petitions and objections under those ordinances which confer a statutory right of appeal.

Legislative Council

The Legislative Council is constituted by virtue of the Letters Patent, and its primary function is the enactment of legislation, including legislation for the appropriation of public funds. A Bill passed by the Legislative Council does not become law until the Governor gives his assent to it; after the Governor's assent, a Bill becomes an ordinance without being subject to external approval, although the Queen has reserve powers to disallow an ordinance. The power of disallowance has not been used for very many years.

       The Legislative Council currently has a maximum membership of 58, comprising 29 official members, including the Governor, who is the President, and three ex-officio members the Chief Secretary, the Financial Secretary and the Attorney General - and 29 unofficial members. The present actual membership is 19 official and 29 unofficial members.


      All members, except the Governor and other ex-officio members, are appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Secretary of State. Official members normally remain appointed for as long as they hold office under the Crown in Hong Kong, while unofficial members can be appointed for up to four years and may be re-appointed for further periods of not more than four years each.

       The Legislative Council meets in public once every two weeks throughout the year, except for a recess of about two months in August and September, in the Council Chamber attached to the Central Government Offices. Proceedings are bilingual; members may



address the council in English or Cantonese, and facilities for simultaneous interpretation to cover the proceedings are provided.

Legislation is enacted in the form of Bills, which go through three readings and a committee stage. A question is put at each stage and is decided by the majority of votes. If a clear majority either for or against any motion is not apparent from a voice vote, the President may order the council or the committee to proceed to a division, when votes will then be taken from members individually and recorded by the Clerk to the Council. Official members are expected to vote with the government on all issues, except those where a 'free vote' is expressly permitted. Private Bills, not representing government measures and intended to benefit particular persons, associations or corporate bodies, are introduced from time to time and enacted in the same way. All Bills, after passing through the Legislative Council, receive the assent of the Governor and are then gazetted as ordinances. Apart from the enactment of legislation, the business of the council includes two major debates in each legislative session: a wide-ranging debate on government policy which follows the Governor's address at the opening of the new session of the council in October each year; and the budget debate on financial and economic affairs, which takes place in February and March during the second reading of the Appropriation Bill.

Questions may also be addressed by unofficial members to the government relating to public issues for which the government is responsible, either seeking information on such issues or asking for official action on them. Oral questions and answers are dealt with in the Legislative Council, and supplementary questions for the purpose of elucidating an answer already given may also be asked.

Other business of the council includes motions on subsidiary legislation, statements and policy papers (Green Papers and White Papers) for debate. A complete record of all papers laid before the council together with a verbatim record of proceedings (Hansard) is kept in respect of each legislative session.

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee of the Legislative Council consists of the Chief Secretary (Chairman), the Financial Secretary, one other official member of the council (at present the Secretary for Lands and Works) and all the unofficial members of the council. It scrutinises public expenditure, both at special meetings held in March at which members examine the draft Estimates of Expenditure, and at regular meetings held throughout the year to consider requests which entail changes to the provisions agreed by the Legislative Council in the estimates each year, or to note financial implications of new policies. The Finance Committee has two sub-committees, the Establishment Sub-Committee and the Public Works Sub-Committee.

The Public Works Sub-Committee consists of the Financial Secretary (Chairman), the Secretary for Lands and Works and 15 unofficial members of the Legislative Council. It reviews the progress and priority of capital works in the Public Works Programme, and makes recommendations to the Finance Committee on proposals for changes to the programme.

      The Establishment Sub-Committee consists of 13 unofficial members of the Legislative Council, one of whom is the chairman, the Secretary for the Civil Service and the Deputy Financial Secretary. It examines staffing proposals for directorate posts and for the creation of new ranks or changes in salary scales in detail, and makes recommenda- tions on them to the Finance Committee. It also examines reports on the establishments of departments.


Public Accounts Committee


The Public Accounts Committee, established by resolution of the Legislative Council on May 10, 1978, is a standing committee of the Legislative Council consisting of a chairman and six members, all of whom are unofficial members of the council. Its main function is to examine and report on the findings in the Director of Audit's report on the audit of the government's annual statements of account prepared by the Director of Accounting Services, and on any matter relating to the performance of his duties and the exercise of his powers' under the Audit Ordinance. The prime concerns of the committee are to see that public expenditure has not been incurred for purposes other than those for which the money was granted; that full value has been obtained for the sums expended; and that the administration has not been faulty or negligent in its conduct of financial affairs.

The committee's report, which includes details of the evidence given to it by controlling officers of different heads of expenditure and other witnesses, is laid on the table of the Legislative Council together with the Director of Audit's report in January each year. Both reports then become public documents, and are sent to the Secretary of State. The government's response to the report of the committee is contained in the government minute which describes the measures taken to give effect to the committee's recommenda- tions or, in relevant cases, the reasons why acceptance of those recommendations is not considered appropriate. This minute is also laid on the table of the Legislative Council, within three months following the laying of the Public Accounts Committee's report each year.


By taking part in the process of government, Unofficial Members of the Executive and Legislative Councils (UMELCO) play a significant role in the administration of Hong Kong. They advise on the formulation of government policies, participate in the enactment of legislation, monitor the effectiveness of public administration and consider complaints by members of the public against government departments. Unofficial members are selected by the Governor from a wide spectrum of society and they hold more than 300 seats, outside the two councils, on various committees and boards dealing with public and community affairs.

Unofficial Members spend much time in studying all Bills and any course of government action which is important or controversial, and receive representations from public bodies or from members of the public. The UMELCO Police Group, which consists of seven Unofficial Members and the Attorney General as a co-opted member, monitors the handling of complaints against the police. Similarly, the UMELCO ICAC (Independent Commis- sion Against Corruption) Complaints Committee, comprising six Unofficial Members and a law officer, monitors the handling of complaints against the ICAC. Various UMELCO panels meet regularly with senior government officials. Issues and policies of importance are discussed at these meetings and may be debated and publicly questioned at meetings of the Legislative Council.

Unofficial Members keep themselves apprised of developments throughout the territory by making regular visits to government departments and to urban and New Territories districts. Research and administrative assistance is provided by the UMELCO Office. Although funded by the government, it is not a government department. The UMELCO Office is also an established channel for the redress of grievances and handles all public complaints, appeals and representations addressed to Unofficial Members alleging official maladministration. Unlike the statutory grievance systems operating in some countries, the



UMELCO redress system is neither defined nor confined by law. Under the system, Unofficial Members have the right of access to government records and senior officials and to challenge the established practices and policies of government departments. When necessary they bring important issues to the attention of either of the two councils. A full record of the work of UMELCO is contained in its annual report.

Urban Council and District Administration

Urban Council

     1983, the Urban Council's centenary year, saw a widening of the franchise from which Urban Councillors are elected and also a revision of the geographical basis on which the franchise is based. The council is a statutory body whose jurisdiction covers provision of services to the population of approximately four million who live in the urban areas.

      The council, which derives its authority from the Urban Council Ordinance, has been charged continuously since its inception with a number of mandatory functions such as environmental hygiene, including street cleaning and refuse collection, and food hygiene, including the health requirements for restaurants, food shops, markets, abattoirs and other food premises, and the control of hawkers and markets. Another statutory function is to act as the urban area Liquor Licensing Board. The council is also responsible for the issue of public entertainment licences. Other functions involve recreational and cultural acti- vities, including the building and control of swimming pools, tennis courts, stadia, parks and playgrounds, the management of City Hall, public libraries, museums and bathing beaches. Over the years the council has been instrumental in fostering both recreation and culture in Hong Kong and a further two major venues, the 12 500-seat fully air-conditioned Hong Kong Coliseum and the 3 000-seat open-air Ko Shan Theatre, were completed and opened during the year.

      The Director of Urban Services, the council's principal executive officer, heads the Urban Services Department which carries out the council's policies and implements its decisions. The council has been financially autonomous since 1973 and receives approxi- mately 75 per cent of its revenue from an eight per cent rate, the balance of its revenue being derived from entrance fees, licence fees and similar fees. Its revenue for the 1983-4 financial year is expected to be in the region of $1,300 million.

      In April, the number of elected members was increased from 12 to 15, with members elected from district constituencies rather than from a territory-wide franchise as in the past. Each constituency returns one member, although the larger districts are divided into. two constituencies - both returning one member. The number of appointed members has likewise been increased to 15. The council meets in public normally once a month, but conducts most of its day-to-day business through 12 select committees and 17 sub-committees.

All councillors have individual or collective ward offices to deal with complaints and give assistance to the public on a wide variety of matters, even outside the work of the council. The council provides limited financial assistance to members whose occupations prevent them from having their own offices, to allow them to set up offices to carry out their duties as Urban Councillors.

District Administration

The District Administration Scheme developed further in 1983 following the setting up of district boards and district management committees in each of the 18 administrative



districts throughout the territory the previous year. The objective behind establishing district boards is to provide a balanced and representative platform for public consultation and participation at the district level. District boards consist of government officials, appointed unofficial members, elected members from the constituencies and Urban Councillors or rural committee chairmen, and have a mainly advisory role with a substantial influence over district affairs.

In monitoring the government's performance and achievements at the district level, the boards discuss a wide range of matters affecting the well-being of those who live or work in the district. All district boards have been allocated public funds for local recreational and cultural activities and for minor environmental improvement work. Meetings are normally held once every two months. Each district board has established a network of committees to deal with matters such as environmental improvement, traffic and transport, community building, recreation and sports, and district social services. In 1983, over 70 district board committees were set up in the 18 districts.

District management committees consist of government officials and serve as the executive arm of district boards to produce effective and responsive government at the district level.

       The district boards in the New Territories became statutory bodies, in accordance with the provisions of the District Boards Ordinance, on April 1, 1982, while the urban area district boards became statutory bodies on October 1, 1982. The current term of office for all district boards and members will expire on March 31, 1985. Of the total of 489 seats on the district boards, about one-third of the board members are official members, one-third are appointed unofficials and the remainder are elected unofficials.

Links with the Urban Council and the Heung Yee Kuk

District boards in Hong Kong and Kowloon and in the New Territories are linked with the Urban Council and the Heung Yee Kuk - a statutory body which represents the indigenous population of the New Territories and advises the government on New Territories matters. Urban area district boards provide seats for elected and appointed Urban Councillors while New Territories district boards have seats reserved for rural committee chairmen.

Electoral System for the Urban Council and District Boards

       Elections to the Urban Council and district boards are based on a wide franchise and on electors voting in constituencies. The franchise is very broad: practically everyone who is over 21 years of age and who has been resident in Hong Kong for over seven years, or who is a Hong Kong belonger, is eligible to be registered as an elector in the constituency in which he lives. There is no compulsory or automatic registration of electors. Any person who meets the requirements and who wishes to become an elector may apply to be registered at the time fixed annually for the registration of new electors. At the end of 1983, there were 904 916 registered electors, representing about 32 per cent of an estimated total potential electorate of 2.8 million. Of these electors, 708 119 are resident in the urban areas and are entitled to vote at Urban Council elections and at district board elections in the urban areas; the remaining 196 797 are resident in the New Territories and are entitled to vote only at district board elections in the New Territories.

       An elector may vote only in the constituency in which he has been registered. For Urban Council elections, there are 15 constituencies, each constituency area being made up of a number of district board constituencies in the urban areas. For district board elections, the territory is divided into 18 districts, 10 in the urban areas and eight in the New Territories.



      Each district area is sub-divided into a number of district board constituencies. The number of constituencies in each district area varies, reflecting the district's geographical spread, population size and local characteristics. There are 76 district board constituencies in the urban areas and 46 in the New Territories. All constituencies are single-member constituen- cies except for 10 double-member district board constituencies in the New Territories.

      The rules for candidature are very simple: any elector who has been resident in Hong Kong for more than 10 years can be nominated as a candidate for election to the Urban Council or a district board in any constituency if his nomination is supported by 10 electors in that constituency. The candidate who polls the largest number of votes is elected.

The elections to the district boards took place in 1982, and to the Urban Council in 1983. The next district board elections will be held throughout the territory on the same day in March 1985, and the next Urban Council elections in March 1986.

At the district board elections held in the New Territories in March 1982, 174 candidates were nominated: two were unopposed and 172 contested 54 seats. Some 100 000 electors voted, representing a turn-out rate of over 50 per cent. At the district board elections held in the urban areas in September 1982, two candidates were unopposed and 227 candidates contested 74 seats. Some 250 000 electors voted, representing a turn-out rate of over 35 per cent. Elections to the Urban Council were held in March 1983. Of the 41 candidates, three were unopposed and 38 contested 12 seats. Some 128 000 electors voted, representing a turn-out rate of over 22 per cent. In 1983, by-elections were also held in three district board constituencies in the urban areas. One was uncontested while the other two, held in May and August, were contested.

The Executive

Role of the Chief Secretary

The Chief Secretary is the principal adviser to the Governor on matters of policy. He is the chief executive of the Hong Kong Government. Together with the Financial Secretary and the Attorney General, he is one of the three officers of the Executive with the right of direct access to the Governor.

      The Chief Secretary has a very small personal staff. He exercises direction primarily as head of the Government Secretariat, the central organisation comprising the secretaries of the policy branches and their staff. Since 1902, when the office of Lieutenant-Governor lapsed, the Chief Secretary (or his predecessor, the Colonial Secretary) has deputised for the Governor during his absence. He is the leading official member of the Legislative Council and the Chairman of the Finance Committee.

Role of the Financial Secretary

The Financial Secretary is responsible for the fiscal and economic policies of the Hong Kong Government, and is an ex-officio member of both the Executive and Legislative Councils. He is, in addition, a member of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council, and Chairman of the Public Works Sub-committee of the Finance Committee. As the government officer with primary responsibility for Hong Kong's fiscal and economic policies, the Financial Secretary oversees the operations of the Finance, Monetary Affairs, Trade and Industry, and Economic Services Branches of the government.

      The Financial Secretary is responsible under the Public Finance Ordinance for laying before the legislature each year the government's Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure. In his capacity as an official member of the Legislative Council, he makes a speech each year outlining the government's budgetary proposals and moving the adoption of the



Appropriation Bill which gives legal effect to the annual expenditure proposals contained in the Budget. He is also personally responsible under a number of ordinances for carrying out various executive duties such as setting levels of certain charges and remuneration and overseeing the accounts of certain trust funds and statutory bodies.

Role of the Director of Audit

The audit of all the government's accounts is carried out by the Director of Audit. He also audits the accounts of the Urban Council, the Housing Authority and more than 50 statutory and non-statutory funds and other public bodies, as well as reviewing the financial aspect of the operations of the multifarious government-subvented organisations working in Hong Kong. The director's appointment, tenure of office, duties and powers are prescribed in the Audit Ordinance. To ensure his complete autonomy and independence in the exercise of his functions, the Director of Audit is not a civil servant and the ordinance provides that he shall not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority. It also prescribes certain safeguards against his dismissal or premature retire- ment from office.

Structure of the Executive

The Executive of the Hong Kong Government is organised into branches and departments. The branches collectively form the Government Secretariat. There are currently 11 policy branches, two resource branches and a branch with specialised functions of administration. Except for the Councils and Administration Branch, which has a director, all branches are headed by secretaries.

The policy branches whose secretaries report direct to the Chief Secretary are Home Affairs, City and New Territories Administration, Security, Housing, Education and Manpower, Lands and Works, Health and Welfare, and Transport. The Civil Service Branch, a resource branch, and the Councils and Administration Branch also come under the aegis of the Chief Secretary. The policy branches whose secretaries report direct to the Financial Secretary are Economic Services, Monetary Affairs, and Trade and Industry. Finance Branch, a resource branch, is also responsible to the Financial Secretary. The head of the Finance Branch is the Deputy Financial Secretary who, despite his title, is of the same rank and status as other secretaries.


With certain exceptions such as the Audit Department and the Independent Commis- sion Against Corruption, whose independence is safeguarded by their director and commissioner respectively reporting direct to the Governor, the Judiciary, which is the responsibility of the Chief Justice, and the Legal Department, which is the responsibility of the Attorney General - the heads of government departments are responsible to the branch secretaries for the direction of their departments and the efficient implementation of approved government policy. There are currently 59 departments and agencies in this structure. In some instances a branch secretary may have only one executive department in his area of policy responsibility, as in the case of the Secretary for Housing and the Housing Department. In other instances the span of responsibility is wider, for example, 10 departments in the case of the Secretary for Security.

Civil Service

The Civil Service provides the staff for all government departments and other units of the administration. In line with government policy to keep the growth of the service to an absolute minimum, 1983 was a time for consolidation. During the financial year 1982-3,



the number of posts increased by only 3.3 per cent - from 168 298 to 173 788 - compared with the 1981-2 and 1980-1 figures of 9.7 per cent and 8.3 per cent respectively. Of the 173 788 posts, 999 were at directorate level. The other 172 789 posts were made up of senior professionals (1 693), middle rank (21 686), junior supervisors (62 425), disciplined services (39 014), manual workers (46 714) and other grades, including trainees (1 257). In April, of the total strength, 166 569 posts were filled, 98 per cent with local officers.

With Hong Kong's centralised form of government, the Civil Service operates some services which in other countries would be administered by local authorities, such as hospitals, public works and utilities, urban cleansing and public health, and the police force. The departments in charge of these areas namely the Medical and Health Department, with an establishment of 20 840, the Lands and Works group of departments (22 237), the Urban Services Department (26 262) and the Royal Hong Kong Police Force (28 478) - account for 56 per cent of the establishment of the entire Civil Service.

The overall responsibility for personnel administration lies with the Civil Service Branch of the Government Secretariat. Headed by the Secretary for the Civil Service, its functions include manpower and career planning, appointments, training, discipline, pay and conditions of service, staff management and staff relations.

Since 1980, the authority to approve the creation, deletion or re-deployment of posts below directorate rank has been delegated to heads of departments who are advised by departmental establishment committees. The creation of posts at directorate level, or of new ranks or grades, continues to require the approval of the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council. Recruitment and promotions in the middle and senior ranks are subject to the advice of the Public Service Commission which is independent of the government. The commission has a full-time chairman and leading citizens are appointed as members on a voluntary basis.

     The government is advised by two independent bodies the Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service, and the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service - on matters relating to the structure, pay and conditions of service of, respectively, the Civil Service directorate and non-directorate staff. Members are appointed by the Governor. During the year, the commission spent much time examining the principles underlying Civil Service remuneration, including in particular the 'total package' concept covering both pay and benefits. It completed the second report on Civil Service pay policy and started work on a review of job-related allowances in the Civil Service.

      The cost of the Civil Service is reflected in the expenditure on personal emoluments. For the 1983-4 financial year this is estimated to be $8,220 million (excluding pensions), or 35 per cent of the estimated total recurrent expenditure for the year.

One of the main objectives of the government during 1983 was the promotion of service- wide efficiency and productivity. The Civil Service Branch contributed to this aim through staff selection, training and staff management, and by providing guidelines, advice and technical support to the 59 departments. Following the advice of the Standing Commission on Civil Service Salaries and Conditions of Service, improvements have been brought to staff consultation, and to the handling of staff relations generally, with the result that the government is now in a better position to tackle productivity. During 1983, the productivity drive was directed towards the quality of service at the point of delivery to the public. Studies were conducted at 40 specially selected busy offices, seeking the views from the public and the staff - on how service could be improved. The implementation of their suggestions led to the improvement of services provided and to the efficiency of the offices.



The government attaches great importance to the training of civil servants to ensure that officers meet the operational requirements of departments through acquiring the necessary qualifications, knowledge, skills and attitudes. One of the main executive arms for implementing this policy is the Civil Service Training Centre (CSTC). The CSTC runs management training courses to develop skills in administrative procedure, staff perform- ance and the use of resources. During the year, increased emphasis was placed on staff management and staff relations to improve the effectiveness of managers and their work teams. The CSTC also helps departments set up their own training programmes for junior officers and is responsible for financing local and overseas training programmes, including the award of government training scholarships. In May, the CSTC organised a two-day conference on Staff Management in the Civil Service, chaired by the Secretary for the Civil Service and with more than 250 participants, including senior managers from the public and private sectors, and representatives from the academic community and Civil Service staff associations. The CSTC also runs courses in the use of English, Cantonese, Putonghua (Mandarin) and other Chinese dialects, as well as in other languages.

To prepare mid-career officers for wider managerial responsibilities at the directorate level, a working party was appointed by the Governor in 1982 to examine the feasibility of establishing full-time in-service senior staff courses. On the recommendations of the working party, an advisory board was appointed in May to oversee the organisation and running of five full-time and some part-time courses between 1984-6.

Civil Service training during 1982-3 cost about $430 million. This figure included training activities by 96 training schools or units in departments, with CSTC activities comprising about 29 per cent of the total figure. During 1983, about 8 000 officers attended courses run by the centre, 900 officers took training overseas and 14 500 officers attended full-time or part-time day-release courses run by the two universities, the polytechnic and other technical institutes.

Advisory Boards and Committees

A review of the government's advisory boards and committees - an important and distinctive feature of the system of government in Hong Kong - was carried out in early 1983. The main purpose

             of the review was to make a systematic assessment of the effectiveness of the consultative process and to ensure that the objectives and terms of reference of these bodies are up to date and relevant to present-day Hong Kong. The review also sought to find out whether the size and composition of these bodies is appropriate to their functions, and whether new members are needed to extend the range of unofficial participation.

Of the 323 boards and committees assessed, it was found that the majority are serving a useful function and their terms of reference are valid and relevant to present-day circumstances. A total of about 4000 unofficials are members of these boards and committees, half of which are chaired by unofficials. A conscious effort is being made to introduce new blood and young talent to extend the range and calibre of unofficial participation. This is in keeping with the growing number and importance of advisory boards and committees as the work of the government increases in range and complexity.

In general, advisory bodies may be divided into five categories: statutory bodies which tender advice to a head of department (such as the Pilotage Advisory Committee); statutory bodies which tender advice to the government (such as the district boards); non-statutory bodies which tender advice to a head of department (such as the Labour Advisory Board); non-statutory bodies which tender advice to the government (such as the Fight Crime Committee); and committees which are executive in nature (such as the Air Transport Licensing Authority).




Chinese and English are the two official languages of Hong Kong. English is widely used in the fields of commerce, banking and international trade. In daily life, however, Chinese is very widely used. Cantonese, a South China dialect, is spoken by the majority of the Chinese community. Putonghua (Mandarin) and a number of other Chinese dialects are understood by a limited number of people. Other foreign languages used by the mercantile community or tourists are not widely understood, though trained interpreters speaking Japanese and some European languages are available.

The Legal System

Law in Hong Kong

     Generally speaking, the law of Hong Kong follows that of England and Wales. The Application of English Law Ordinance was passed in 1966 to declare the extent to which English law is in force in the territory. Section 3 provides that the common law of England and the rules of equity shall be in force in Hong Kong so far as they are applicable to the circumstances of Hong Kong or its inhabitants subject to such modifications as such circumstances may require. Additionally, some English Acts apply to Hong Kong, such as the Justices of the Peace Act of 1361 and the Habeas Corpus Act of 1679.

      On occasions, laws are made to apply to Hong Kong by order of Her Majesty in Council: the power to make all such law as may appear necessary for the peace, order and good government of the territory being expressly preserved by Article IX of the Letters Patent. In practice, this is largely confined to matters which have a bearing on Hong Kong's international position. For example, the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order 1977 is an Order in Council applying provisions of civil aviation treaties, to which the United Kingdom is a party, to the United Kingdom's overseas territories including Hong Kong.

      Local legislation (that is, ordinances passed by the Legislative Council and assented to by the Governor) usually starts with one of the policy branches of the Hong Kong Government formulating drafting instructions for the Drafting Division of the Attorney General's Chambers. The instructions are prepared after consultation within the relevant government departments and, if appropriate, with interested public groups, as to the policy to adopt. After a Bill has been drafted it is submitted to the Governor-in-Council for approval to submit it to the Legislative Council. If the Bill is passed by vote of the Legislative Council, the Governor is empowered to enact by giving his assent to it and it is passed into law.

      In much the same way that the common law of England has evolved, so has that of Hong Kong, based on the English common law and rules of equity, following and applying local ordinances and English or United Kingdom Acts where applicable. Hong Kong ordinances are often closely modelled on United Kingdom statutes or the legislation of Common- wealth countries if considered more appropriate. Cases from Commonwealth countries and the United States of America are quoted in the courts and considered with respect. The Hong Kong courts apply a doctrine of binding precedent similar to that adopted by the English courts. The Hong Kong Court of Appeal is bound by its own previous decisions. Appeal from the Court of Appeal lies to the Privy Council and it was said in a Full Court case in 1969 that the Hong Kong courts were 'clearly bound by decisions of the Privy Council and of the House of Lords'. The Full Court again considered the question of precedent in 1973 and stated that 'any relevant decision of the Privy Council' was binding on the Hong Kong courts.


Attorney General


The Attorney General is the Governor's legal adviser. The Royal Instructions provide for him to be an ex-officio member of the Executive Council and the Legislative Council. In addition, he is Chairman of the Law Reform Commission of Hong Kong, a member of the Judicial Services Commission, a member of the ICAC Operations Review and the Complaints Committees, and a member of the UMELCO Complaints Against Police Group. He is titular head of the Hong Kong Bar. All government departments requiring legal advice receive it from the Attorney General. He is the representative of the Crown in all actions brought by or against the Crown. He is further responsible for the drafting of all legislation and for the conduct of all prosecutions.

The Attorney General's Chambers are divided into four divisions each headed by a law officer to whom the Attorney General delegates certain of his powers and responsibilities. The Civil Advisory Division is headed by the Crown Solicitor, and is responsible for giving all legal advice in civil matters and conducting all civil litigation involving the Crown. The Prosecutions Division is headed by the Director of Public Prosecutions who is responsible for deciding whether a prosecution shall be instituted. The Law Drafting Division is headed by the Law Draftsman who is responsible for drafting all legislation and subsidiary legislation. The Solicitor General heads the Administration Division, a part of which consists of the Law Reform Commission Secretariat. In the courts the Attorney General is usually represented by crown counsel who are members of his chambers. On occasions, the services of outside counsel are obtained.

It is the Attorney General who is responsible for all prosecutions in Hong Kong, and it is for him alone to decide whether or not prosecutions should be instituted in any particular case and it is his responsibility to conduct and control them. In this respect the Court of Appeal in Hong Kong held in 1979 that the powers and responsibilities of the Attorney General in Hong Kong were mutatis mutandis, the same as those of the Attorney General in England. The vast majority of minor prosecutions heard before magistrates are routine matters which are dealt with by law enforcement departments along settled guidelines issued under the authority of the Attorney General and without individual reference to the Attorney General's Chambers. Where such cases are complicated matters, or give rise to difficult points of law, then advice is sought from the Prosecutions Division and counsel from that division may conduct the subsequent prosecution. The advice of the Attorney General's Chambers must be sought in the case of serious offences where the venue of trial will be the District Court or the Supreme Court.

Law Reform Commission

The Law Reform Commission was appointed by the Governor-in-Council to consider and report on such topics as may be referred to it by the Attorney General or Chief Justice. Its membership includes Legislative Councillors, university staff and legal practitioners. The commission has issued reports on commercial arbitration, bills of exchange, laws on homosexuality and community service orders. The commission's proposals on commercial arbitration and bills of exchange have both resulted in amendments to the law in Hong Kong and it is currently looking into ways of improving the law to meet the needs of a modern and highly developed society.


The Chief Justice is the head of the Judiciary. He is assisted in the discharge of his administrative duties by the Registrar and Assistant Registrars of the Supreme Court.



The Chief Justice, the Justices of Appeal and the Judges of the High Court are appointed by Letters Patent issued under the Public Seal by the Governor on instructions from the Queen, conveyed through the Secretary of State. District Judges are appointed by the Governor, by instrument under the Public Seal, and magistrates by the Governor by warrant.

The Judiciary tries all prosecutions and determines civil disputes, whether between individuals or between individuals and the government. The principle of English constitu- tional law, that in the performance of their judicial acts members of the Judiciary are completely independent of the executive and legislative organs of the government, is fundamental in Hong Kong.

The courts of justice in Hong Kong are the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the District Court, the Magistrates' Court, the Coroner's Court, the Lands Tribunal, the Small Claims Tribunal and the Labour Tribunal.

The Lands Tribunal's jurisdiction was expanded in June 1982 to include landlord and tenant matters in pre-war buildings which were formerly dealt with by the Tenancy Tribunal. The Tenancy Tribunal was then abolished. It also deals with disputes originally heard in the District Court over landlord and tenant matters in post-war buildings and determines applications for new tenancies in respect of domestic premises currently having a rateable value of $50,000. For this purpose it may determine the 'prevailing market rent'. The Small Claims Tribunal deals with monetary claims involving amounts not exceeding $5,000. The procedure followed is simple, informal and legal representation is not allowed.

      The Labour Tribunal deals with individual money claims arising from contracts of employment. The informal procedure followed is initially directed at reconciling the parties to the dispute.

Magistrates exercise criminal jurisdiction over a wide range of indictable and summary offences. Their powers of punishment are restricted to a maximum of two years' imprison- ment or a $10,000 fine