A government resolution seeking to extend a stamp duty introduced as an anti-property speculation measure for a further two years has been endorsed. Secretary for Treasury Kwong Ki-chi said it was necessary to allow the Stamp Duty Ordinance to operate for two more years until December 31, 1999, because it was effective in curbing property speculation. Mr Kwong said the ordinance had no adverse effect on genuine property buyers. 'If legislators do not extend the effective period of the Stamp Duty Ordinance, it will send a very wrong message to the public that the Government has no plans to attack an overheated property market,' he said. Chan Kam-lam, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, said members should not expect the Government to relax its controls because the property market had cooled down. 'I remember many people have complained that the Chief Executive failed to announce new measures to attack property speculation in his policy address. So why don't we support this ordinance?' he said. But independent Eric Li Ka-cheung - who supported Liberal Ronald Arculli's move to limit the operation of the ordinance to June 30, 1998 - said it was wrong to use taxation as an administrative means to controlling the market. But Mr Kwong argued that Mr Arculli's amendment was difficult to implement if the ordinance was to expire on June 30 and the first legislative council would only be established in July.