Legislators want a say in any changes made to MTR services after it is partially privatised. They say a new operating agreement gives the corporation too much power and elected representatives too little. The new agreement will come into effect when the corporation is partially privatised by March 2001. At yesterday's bills committee meeting, officials maintained the corporation would operate according to commercial principles after public listing. According to the draft agreement, the corporation need give the Government only 28 days' notice 'before implementing any material modification to train service arrangements'. As for frequency of train services in non-peak hours, only 14 days' notice is needed. Albert Ho Chun-yan of the Democratic Party questioned how 'material' was 'material' and who could decide if a modification was 'material' or not. 'What about if the Government thinks it is but the corporation does not?' he asked. Deputy Secretary for Transport Kevin Ho Chi-ming said the Commissioner for Transport would try to settle any disagreements if such a situation arose. Citing the example of a dispute on whether overnight services could be provided on a particular date, however, he admitted the Government could not force the corporation to accept. 'If no agreement can be reached, we shall have to decide if we can use other means of transport,' he said. Democrat Andrew Cheng Kar-foo called on the Government to require the corporation to consult the legislature before any big changes in services were carried out. Kevin Ho said the Government believed the corporation would not do anything to harm public interests. The privatisation plan, announced in the Budget, is expected to raise about $30 billion.