LegCo Affairs - Reports
WK LO's LegCo Express
1. Public work projects approved in the PWSC and the FC
On 11 May, the PWSC approved HK$10.1 billion increase of project estimate of the Shatin to Central Link. The PWSC also approved the funding request of HK$2.2 billion for the Hung Shui Kiu/Ha Tsuen New Development Area. On 1 June, another funding allocation of HK$23 billion was endorsed to expand the United Christian Hospital, redevelop the Grantham Hospital, and construct several other public health facilities.
On 15 May, the FC approved the request of HK$2 billion for a funding scheme to subsidise manufacturers to set up new smart production lines in Hong Kong. The FC also agreed to inject HK$2 billion to the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation for developing a new Microelectronics Centre. On 29 May, the FC approved a commitment of HK$5.4 billion for providing funding to the Ocean Park Corporation.
2. Job opportunities for engineering graduates and young engineers
I am very concerned with the reduction of job opportunities for graduates in the crisis of COVID-19. To support the HKIE Scheme A training for graduate engineers during this difficult time, I urged the Government to increase the quota of VTC subsidies for the Scheme. On 10 May, the Government announced the increase of the quota from 272 to 1000. Furthermore, the Development Bureau will provide 4,700 short-term vacancies, some of which can be offered to graduates. I also suggested the Government to provide salary subsidies to encourage companies to employ young engineers who have completed their Scheme A training in this year.
3. Issues on implementation of the Employment Support Scheme
The Government has launched the “Employment Support Scheme” (ESS) under the second round of the “Anti-epidemic Fund” to provide time-limited financial support to employers to retain employees who may otherwise be made redundant. Employers of the construction industry are concerned with the ESS eligibility of workers who are under the Industry MPF Scheme. These workers may be classified temporary employees in the current Industry MPF Scheme, while they have in fact been working for a long time for their respective employers. I lined up several meetings for representatives of the construction industry to express their concerns to the related Bureaux. The Development Bureau is working on special arrangements to resolve the issues.
4. Met Chief Secretary for Administration with Government engineers
Together with representatives from various unions of Government engineers, I met the Chief Secretary for Administration and Secretaries of the related Bureaux on 22 May. Topics covered in the meeting included establishment of professional grades, promotion ladder of young colleagues, e-government, approval process of public works projects, etc. The meeting was open and constructive.
5. Subcommittee on Eleven Pieces of Subsidiary Legislation Relating to the Prevention and Control of Disease and Gazetted Respectively on 27 March, 28 March, 1 April, 28 April and 5 May 2020
I joined this Subcommittee in May. The Subcommittee has completed the scrutiny of the Legal Notices in relation to imposition of temporary measures on catering business and scheduled premises and Legal Notices in relation to prohibition on group gathering at its meeting on 26 May.
6. Subcommittee on Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) (Amendment) Regulation 2020 and Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 2020
A Subcommittee was formed to examine on the proposed legislative amendments to relax the vehicle length and weight restrictions of public light buses and other relevant technical amendments. I joined the Subcommittee in May.
7. Participated in filming a music video with the construction industry and Government departments to fight the coronavirus
Various stakeholders of the engineering and construction industry, including the Development Bureau, the Construction Industry Council, the CEDD, the HKIE and other related professional bodies and trade associations, etc., jointly produced a music video with the song of "Anti-epidemic, we are in a same boat". It is a song composed by engineers, to encourage practitioners in the industry to work together to ride out the difficult time. I am pleased and honoured to join the production of this music video.