The territory's most eminent citizens will no longer be asked to swear allegiance to the Queen following changes to the appointment of Justices of the Peace. Nearly 70 obsolete powers enjoyed by JPs are also to be stripped, including the power to issue arrest warrants. A bill localising the system was gazetted yesterday following consultations between the Government and Chief Executive-designate Tung Chee-hwa. Despite allegations that it has colonial connotations, the title in English and Chinese will be unchanged. If passed, the only residual duty will be visiting prisons and similar institutions. Assistant Director of Administration Leonia Tai Shuk-yiu said: 'Over the years JPs have accumulated many powers under a number of ordinances. 'Many of these are no longer exercised and it's no longer appropriate for JPs to have these powers.' There are 613 JPs who are members of the public, plus a further 288 government officials. Among those who have sworn to 'well and truly serve our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth the Second' are tycoons Li Ka-shing, Hari Harilela, Tsui Tsin-tong and Peter Woo Kwong-ching. Also sworn in have been Secretary for Justice-designate Elsie Leung Oi-sie and provisional legislators Rita Fan Hsu Lai-tai and Maria Tam Wai-chu. Those taking office after the bill is passed will swear to 'conscientiously and truly serve the people of Hong Kong'. Caryle Tsui Wai-ling, appointed a JP in 1993, said although JPs were issued with a book detailing their powers, in reality their role was limited to prison visits.