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LegCo to resume Second Reading debate on Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2011 and Motor Vehicles (First Registration Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2011
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The following is issued on behalf of the Legislative Council Secretariat:

     The Legislative Council will hold a meeting this Wednesday (June 15) at 11am in the Chamber of the Legislative Council Building. During the meeting, Members will resume Second Reading debate on the Dutiable Commodities (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Motor Vehicles (First Registration Tax) (Amendment) Bill 2011 and the Residential Care Homes (Persons with Disabilities) Bill. If the Bills are supported by Members and receive their Second Readings, they will then go through the Committee Stage and be read the Third time.
     
     Meanwhile, the Guardianship of Minors (Amendment) Bill 2011, the Supplementary Appropriation (2010-2011) Bill and the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2011 will be introduced into the Council for First and Second Readings. Debate on the Bills will be adjourned.
     
     On Members' motions, Members will debate a motion on perfecting tree management system. The motion, to be moved by Hon Tanya Chan, states: "That planting trees may achieve the effects of improving air quality, alleviating the greenhouse effect and lowering the temperature in urban areas, and improve the urban environment; greening may also improve community landscape as well as people's living environment, thereby upgrading quality of life; a comprehensive system of tree preservation and management is an indispensable segment of the greening process; while proper tree management may strike a balance between conserving trees and protecting people's lives and properties, it can also reduce the chances of the Administration having to handle tree risk management and hazardous trees in the future and reduce expenditures; in this connection, in order to further perfect Hong Kong's tree preservation and management system, this Council urges the Government to:
     
     Establishment of a framework and perfecting resource allocation°–
     
(a) set up an independent and dedicated department to co-ordinate the work of green planning, tree preservation and tree risk management, which is at present scattered among various government departments;

(b) set up an advisory framework comprising tree and greening experts as well as community members for advising the relevant policy bureaux and government departments on policies and specific measures relating to green planning as well as tree preservation and management;

(c) increase resources for green planning, tree preservation and tree risk management;

(d) study enacting specific legislation on tree management, establish a comprehensive legal framework, and formulate various policies and measures on tree preservation and management, so as to ensure that trees can receive comprehensive and appropriate protection;

     Perfection of green planning°–

(e) add green elements to various large-scale public and private works projects as well as new development areas, and formulate a tree preservation and management mechanism;

(f) formulate a comprehensive green planning system, and comprehensively examine the greening arrangements in Hong Kong;

     Perfection of the training and regulation of talents°–
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(g) formulate a licensing and regulatory system for tree management personnel and tree management contractors;

(h) strengthen the training of tree preservation and management personnel, and encourage various organisations to offer courses on tree preservation and management as well as green planning;

     Strengthening of community work°–

(i) conduct tree surveys in the various communities, so as to identify trees of conservation value, and include such trees in a specific register, and conserve them through specific legislation on tree management; and

(j) strengthen public education on tree preservation and management, and organise the participation of interested people and groups in tree preservation and management work in the districts."
     
     Hon Chan Hak-kan, Hon Ip Wai-ming, Hon Kam Nai-wai and Prof Hon Patrick Lau will move separate amendments to Hon Tanya Chan's motion.
     
     Members will debate another motion on Moral and National Education Curriculum. The motion, to be moved by Hon Albert Ho, says: "That the Education Bureau earlier proposed to make Moral and National Education a compulsory subject arousing public concern; Hao Tiechuan, Director-General of the Publicity, Culture and Sports Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, made a high-profile remark on the Internet that the new subject is a type of 'necessary brainwashing' and queried that 'any education in defiance of the Central Government' was not regarded as national education; subsequently, officials from Hong Kong's Education Bureau even commented at a consultation seminar on the curriculum guide that 'universal values (such as democracy and freedom, etc.) are equal to western values', and rebuked teachers for 'obstinately discussing the country's state of affairs from a negative perspective'; in order to allay public concern and ensure that the introduction of the new subject will not be utilised as a tool for instilling political ideas, this Council urges the Government to:
     
(a) face up to the concern of the education sector and the public, and ensure that the introduction of the new subject is based on open and impartial public consultation, rather than a fake consultation exercise conducted in a top-down manner; the scope of consultation should cover whether the new subject is to be introduced in September 2012;

(b) instil elements relating to universal values such as democracy, freedom and human rights, etc., into national education, and enhance the existing civic education, so as to establish recognition of national and citizenship identity;

(c) give teachers a free hand so that they can adopt rational, objective and diversified pedagogical approaches to cultivate students' independent critical thinking;

(d) through the new subject, teach students to understand the relationship of the state, the nation, the Government and political parties with the people, and to differentiate love for the country and care for the nation from support for the Government, political parties, the ruling regime and political figures, so that they will understand that love for the country and the people is not equal to love for a political party and support for the leadership; and

(e) ensure that the new subject can comprehensively and truly depict the state of affairs in China; and using Chinese history, particularly contemporary Chinese history, as teaching materials, including the June 4, incident, the rights defending movement and even the suppression of political dissidents such as Liu Xiaobo and Ai Weiwei, etc., to enable students to understand the problems faced by China as a result of the socio-political development since its economic reform and liberalisation."
     
     Hon Cyd Ho will move a separate amendment to Hon Albert Ho's motion. Hon Cheung Man-kwong and Hon Audrey Eu will move amendments to Hon Cyd Ho's amendment.
     
     In addition, Hon James To will move a resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance to extend the period of amending the Inland Revenue (Double Taxation Relief and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income) (Japan) Order; the Inland Revenue (Double Taxation Relief and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and Capital) (French Republic) Order; the Inland Revenue (Double Taxation Relief and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and Capital) (Principality of Liechtenstein) Order; the Inland Revenue (Double Taxation Relief and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income) (New Zealand) Order and the Specification of Arrangements (Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg) (Avoidance of Double Taxation on Income and Capital and Prevention of Fiscal Evasion) (Amendment) Order 2011 laid on the table of the Legislative Council on May 18, 2011, to the meeting of July 6, 2011.
     
     Hon Ip Kwok-him will move a resolution under the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance to extend the period of amending the Electoral Affairs Commission (Registration) (Electors for Legislative Council Functional Constituencies) (Voters for Election Committee Subsectors) (Members of Election Committee) (Amendment) Regulation 2011; the Electoral Affairs Commission (Nominations Advisory Committees (Legislative Council)) (Amendment) Regulation 2011; the Electoral Affairs Commission (Electoral Procedure) (Legislative Council) (Amendment) Regulation 2011; the Electoral Affairs Commission (Electoral Procedure) (District Councils) (Amendment) Regulation 2011; the Electoral Affairs Commission (Electoral Procedure) (Election Committee) (Amendment) Regulation 2011; the Electoral Procedure (Chief Executive Election) (Amendment) Regulation 2011; the Electoral Procedure (Village Representative Election) (Amendment) Regulation 2011; the Particulars Relating to Candidates on Ballot Papers (Legislative Council and District Councils) (Amendment) Regulation 2011 and the Electoral Affairs Commission (Financial Assistance for Legislative Council Elections and District Council Elections) (Application and Payment Procedure) (Amendment) Regulation 2011 laid on the table of the Legislative Council on May 18, 2011, to the meeting of July 6, 2011.
     
     During the meeting, Members will also ask the Administration 20 questions on various policy areas, six of which require oral replies.

     The agenda of the above meeting can be obtained via the LegCo InfoFax Service (Tel: 2869 9568) or the LegCo website (www.legco.gov.hk). Please note that the agenda is subject to change, and the latest information about the agenda could be found in the LegCo website.
     
     Members of the public are welcome to observe the proceedings of the meeting from the public galleries of the LegCo Chamber. They may reserve seats by calling 2869 9399 during office hours. Seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Members of the public can also watch the meeting via the web broadcast system on the LegCo website.

Ends/Monday, June 13, 2011
Issued at HKT 18:53

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