LEGISLATIVE Councillors yesterday rejected calls for new laws to punish parents who leave their children unattended. However, during a three-hour debate last night, Meeting Point legislator Dr Leong Che-hung succeeded in getting unanimous support for his motion, which read: ''In the light of rising incidence of injury to children, both physical and mental, occurring both at home and elsewhere and the complex nature of the treatment, counselling and rehabilitation of the victims, this council urges the administration to look into the problem without delay and to come up with appropriate measures.'' Both Dr Leong and Co-operative Resources Centre (CRC) legislator Mrs Miriam Lau Kin-yee argued that the suggested legislation would be educational rather than revengeful. ''Many countries, notably certain states of Australia, Canada and the United States, do have such legislation,'' Dr Leong said. ''It is understood that these laws are seldom enforced, especially when punishment is concerned.'' Mrs Lau said: ''The legislation is not intended to penalise the parents but to send them a clear signal about their basic responsibilities.'' Dr Leong said a single comprehensive children's ordinance should be created to state clearly the responsibilities of parents, child minders and the society for children. The call for legislation to protect children left alone resurfaced after two recent fire-related deaths of unattended children. According to records from the Coroner's Court, 119 children aged under 10 have died while left unattended in the past five years. Mrs Lau's fellow CRC legislator, Mr Gilbert Leung Kam-ho, opposed enacting laws to punish parents. ''The Government should first of all provide adequate child care services to working parents and educate them on the dangers of leaving children unattended before any related legislation can be put into effect,'' he said. ''Otherwise, it will be unfair to working class families.'' Another CRC legislator, Mrs Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee, called for more publicity on the promotion of parenthood. ''Keeping Hongkong Clean appears more deserving than parents' responsibility to look after their children, when it comes to [announcements of public interest] slots on television,'' she said. United Democrat Mr Man Sai-cheong called for the setting up of a child safety council to oversee the promotion, education and research on the subject. Another United Democrat, Mr Yeung Sum, suggested that additional resources should also be given to mutual aid committees to run child day care centres. Meeting Point legislator Mr Tik Chi-yuen repeated his call for the Government to adopt a parents' charter to help parents understand their role and responsibility. The Secretary for Health and Welfare, Mrs Elizabeth Wong Chien Chi-lien, said that, while she had been sorely tempted to introduce legislation to punish parents' negligence, she agreed with the general consensus that public education should be promoted at this stage. She also reiterated the Government's earlier promise to improve child care services.