Subways have no link to waterfront
Time and again, the government has emphasised that Victoria Harbour is an important social and economic asset for Hong Kong. Several studies have been conducted to assess connectivity with the harbourfront.
However, in the administration's latest pedestrian subway proposal for Causeway Bay, the harbour has once again been isolated and left on the fringes, well beyond Gloucester Road.
Ask any Hongkonger or tourist what attractions they would like to visit on the Causeway Bay waterfront and they would most likely say the Noonday Gun and the typhoon shelter. Yet the prospect of negotiating the arduous and uncomfortable journey across or under Gloucester Road would deter anyone from visiting them. Causeway Bay harbourfront also has other important venues including the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and the Police Officers' Club. It will connect with the proposed North Wan Chai MTR station and the Convention and Exhibition Centre further west when the harbourfront promenade is completed.
The government has expended much in the way of resources and finance to plan and develop a continuous harbourfront promenade going from Central all the way to Causeway Bay. Yet it has failed to put in place important linkages allowing people to access the promenade in the first place.
Causeway Bay's importance as a shopping, retail and tourist magnet for Hong Kong is internationally recognised and a pedestrian system similar to the subways in Tsim Sha Tsui or the elevated walkways in Central would help ease the problems created by dense traffic and pedestrians being on the same level.
Causeway Bay also happens to be one of the most densely populated areas and therefore needs well-integrated, direct and comfortable pedestrian links to the harbourfront.
Given that Gloucester Road deters pedestrian movement between the waterfront and the rest of Causeway Bay, the government must urgently review its proposed pedestrian subway network for the area to ensure a link to the harbourfront, if it is to live up to its pledge of 'bringing people to the harbour and the harbour to the people'.
Julia Lau, member, Town Planning Board
Presenters were not impressive
I tried every audio channel setting on every channel on Cable TV showing the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, asking myself why the broadcaster did not see fit to have at least one option that did not have to include the inane blathering of the host of so-called presenters.
While it is probably too much to expect Cable TV to provide a choice of languages, it would have been an idea not taxing to even the smallest of brains to have a choice that would include nothing.
That way I wouldn't have had to listen to these people wonder aloud about the origins of the phrase 'second to the right and straight on till morning', for example.
Lester Lim, Mid-Levels
Full English option is needed
I was excited about the start of the Olympics, only to find that [most of] the commentary is in Cantonese.
The Games is being held in the English-speaking city of London, so the coverage will already have an English commentary provided. Since Cable TV has the rights to show the events, it is presumably getting an English-language feed with other choices (Cantonese, Putonghua) being available on Nicam. But no, I have found that only channel 64 [standard definition] is in English, with 61, 62, 63 in Cantonese.
I was not satisfied by the customer service representative's reply to my phone query explaining these language options. Why is this?
While watching English Premier League football on these same channels live every week during the football season, English in Nicam is never a problem. Can Cable TV clarify this, as I am not going to sit for the next two weeks watching the Olympics in a language that I don't understand?
Hong Kong is a diverse city, with different nationalities supporting their athletes in the Games.
I appreciate Cable cannot accommodate all the world's languages but English is a universal language most people can relate to.
Can Cable explain why Nicam is not provided for coverage of these important events?
C. Meredith, Kennedy Town
Liberal studies is best forum
As my last year of secondary education approaches, it's very interesting to observe this pivotal point in the education system in Hong Kong.
Some people have called national education a drive to nurture national pride and encourage critical thinking; others simply label it as brainwashing. Even if the course is criticised for being biased and teaching propaganda, I have enough faith in the young generation of Hong Kong to believe that any attempt at brainwashing would be unsuccessful.
Any discussion of national politics and history in schools must be balanced and unbiased. It must be accepted that no political system, capitalism, communism, even feudalism, is perfect. History has proved that each system has is merits and its flaws. You do not tell pupils what are correct answers and expect them to adopt such views. What is needed is an open discussion of the issues involved.
This can already be achieved through the existing curriculum and the controversial liberal studies subject.
Maybe finally it can be put to good use. There is no need to waste public funds on a brand new yet suspiciously familiar subject, which could be open to abuse if it became a vehicle for praising the Chinese Communist Party.
National pride is an interesting issue. I am proud to be Chinese, but I am concerned about some matters relating to the central government and human rights violations on the mainland. Will this course promote loyalty to the nation or the party?
Johnny Tam, Hung Hom
Stop MTR when No 9 signal raised
I refer to your editorial ('Vicente a signal to prepare for the worst', July 26) where you say that emergency bus transport has 'to be part of contingency planning'.
Normally buses stop running after a few hours of the typhoon signal No 8 being hoisted and trains are the only option available. If something then goes wrong, of course there is no backup.
The more logical option would be for the MTR to stop operating when the No 9 signal is hoisted rather than trying to provide a service in what would have been extreme conditions.
In the meantime more should be done to remind the public of just how dangerous typhoons can be and not to venture out when No 8 and higher signals are hoisted except when really necessary.
Roger Kynaston, Ferrals le Montagnes, Languedoc-Roussillon, France