New premises to put legislators in best light

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 June, 2007, 12:00am

Lawmakers were yesterday assured that the Legislative Council premises in the proposed HK$5.2 billion Tamar complex would be more user-friendly, and that state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment putting legislators in the best light in front of cameras was also likely.

Neither government representatives nor specialists from the four consortiums bidding for tender attended yesterday's special consultation meeting to reveal further details of their proposals.

Legislative Council Secretariat assistant secretary-general Pauline Ng Man-wah said she had inserted special requirements in the tender document. These included, for example, that 'the furthest entrances of the plenary hall of the chamber and any members' offices [and the dining hall] shall not exceed 140 metres'.

Ms Ng said this would ensure that when the division bell rang, all members would be able to return to the chamber within three minutes to cast their vote. Members' offices are currently located in different buildings outside Legco.

Legco president Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai, who also sits on the seven-member special selection panel for the Tamar project, assured lawmakers that proposals that did not accommodate mandatory requirements would not be considered. While not mandatory, other specifications in the tender document would also be considered during the selection process, with higher marks going to proposals that accommodated them, said Mrs Fan.

Ms Ng said she had requested robotic cameras, manned from a television production room, which would focus on the speakers during debates. Spotlights that illuminate a speaker should also be installed, she said.

Ms Ng said she had requested that air-conditioning be built to cool the room from the floor upwards. 'Only people need to be cooled, so we hope to save electricity by not having to cool the air above us,' she said.

Meanwhile, the House Committee approved sending a letter to the chief executive seeking a meeting between lawmakers and state leaders when they arrive to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the handover.

However, Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung has already indicated that opportunities for such a meeting would be slim due to the packed schedule.