WK Lo's LegCo Express
Ir Dr The Hon Lo Wai Kwok
Funding requests approved by the PWSC and the FC
During the 2017-2018 legislative session, the Public Works Subcommittee (PWSC) has held 26 meetings of totally 73 hours and endorsed funding requests for 26 public works projects, involving HK$130.3 billion including HK$12.4 billion block allocation and HK$1.1 billion additional funding for two railway projects. Counting new projects only, there were 23 new public works projects, amounting HK$116.8 billion endorsed, including Kai Tak Sports Park, Tung Chung New Town Extension, Central Kowloon Route, etc. About 20 of the projects originally planned by the government to be submitted to the PWSC were not processed or failed to be put on the agenda. The Finance Committee (FC) only approved HK$58.3 billion of public works funding, due to filibustering. Both the PWSC and the FC spent much longer time on deliberating each item this year. I hope in the coming session, the remaining public works projects can be passed as soon as possible, as they are closely related to the improvement of livelihood and social development.
Met the CE to express views on the Policy Address
On 17 July 2017, I met the Chief Executive (CE) Mrs Carrie Lam with members of the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong to express our views on the Policy Address 2018. We submitted more than 200 proposals to be considered for the new CE's first Policy Address. We urged the CE to push for more opportunities for Hong Kong people in the upcoming Bay Area development plan and the Belt and Road Initiative. We hope the government will encourage small enterprises from Hong Kong to develop business in the Bay Area. The CE responded positively to our suggestions.
LegCo duty visit to Israel
I joined the delegation of the LegCo Panel on Commerce and Industry to visit Israel from 22 - 28 July 2017. During the visit, the delegates met with Israeli government officials, members of the Israeli Parliament and the representatives from their innovation and technology sectors to learn the policies and initiatives relevant to the promotion of industrial research and development, and exchanged views on the development and facilitation of the growth of the I&T industry and re-industrialisation in the country.
Amendment to the motion of "Reforming outdated legislation and promoting the development of innovation and technology"
I moved an amendment to the motion of "Reforming outdated legislation and promoting the development of innovation and technology" at the LegCo meeting on 5 July 2017 to urge the government to coordinate various policy bureaux in reviewing outdated legislation and formulating policies afresh. I proposed that the government could provide triple tax deductions for expenditures on research and development and design; remove various regulations and restrictions and provide relevant legal advice and technical support for financial services enterprises; use innovation and technology to make planning for transport, healthcare, environmental protection, elderly services, etc; review on the vetting and approval of amendments to land use; and amend the scope of information provided by the government as defined in the Code on Access to Information. The original motion and my amendment got supports from the LegCo Members and were passed.
Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants (Amendment) Bill 2017
The Bill seeks to amend the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance and its subsidiary legislation to increase the penalties for offences relating to the regulation of scheduled species and to provide stricter regulation for elephant hunting trophies and elephant ivory. I joined the Bills Committee and had the first meeting on 7 July 2017.
United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) (Amendment) Bill 2017
By Resolution 2178, the Security Council of the United Nations urged its Member States to implement legal sanctions against individuals who travel for the purpose of the perpetration, planning or preparation of, or participation in, terrorist acts or providing or receiving of terrorist training. In October 2016, the Financial Action Task Force urged its members to ensure that the financing of travel of foreign terrorist fighters would be criminalised. The Bill seeks to further implement Resolution 2178 and create offences in respect of terrorist financing. I joined the Bills Committee and had the first meeting on 21 July 2017.
Ir Dr The Hon Lo Wai Kwok