Related bills on new Municipal Affairs Bureau ready by 2019

The Secretary for Administration and Justice, Ms Chan Hoi Fan, speaks to reporters.

The Secretary for Administration and Justice, Ms Chan Hoi Fan, said today the Government had almost completed drafting the set of legislative bills associated with the establishment of the new Municipal Affairs Bureau.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of one of the Legislative Assembly’s standing committees, Ms Chan said she expected all procedures would be completed before the establishment of the Municipal Affairs Bureau, which was scheduled for 1 January 2019 as set out in the law recently passed by the Legislative Assembly, and that will oversee the new bureau.

The draft bills covered topics such as updating functions of other public departments following the establishment of the new bureau. For instance, several matters related to firearms, ammunition, fireworks and firecrackers would be transferred to the police. Such matters were currently overseen by the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau, which is to cease existence upon the establishment of the Municipal Affairs Bureau.

Ms Chan stated that the Government would in due time announce the selection criteria for the members of the Municipal Affairs Bureau’s 25-strong consultative body; the selection process would include a self-recommendation scheme for people interested to join the body. Ms Chan said the Government welcomed members of the public to sit on the consultative body, provided they were dedicated to serving the community and able to fulfil the relevant legal requirements.

The Government would also explain to the public the reasoning behind the selection of each of the consultative body’s 25 members, she added.

In addition, Ms Chan said the Government would launch later this month a public consultation on a proposed interim housing scheme, primarily for those affected by the urban redevelopment of the city’s old districts. Members of the public were welcome to contribute their opinions and suggestions on the scheme.

The Secretary stressed the Government’s proposal to make available part of an interim housing project – planned for the former Pearl Horizon site –to eligible buyers of units in the unfinished Pearl Horizon project, was made with good intention, in order to solve the housing needs of those people.

The Government’s proposal was the most feasible option under the law to offer assistance to buyers of the unfinished flats in Pearl Horizon, Ms Chan added.

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