I WOULD like to make a few points relating to the recent debates about underage drinking and unlicensed bars.
Firstly, these should be separate issues, since bars that operate without licences are not especially irresponsible and prone to serving minors; in most cases that I am aware of they've simply been waiting for their application to be completed via a longbureaucratic process and are forced to operate rather than go out of business (as has been pointed out in this newspaper, an accepted practice in Hongkong).
With regard to underage drinking: most adults if asked why they drink alcohol would mark relief from stress high on their list of reasons. Teenagers also suffer from stress, particularly here, and should not be stopped from indulging early on, otherwise how will they behave when legally allowed to do so? Probably in an abnormally excessive fashion.
Most adults young enough to recall the days when they were the targets of similar censure are not hypocritical enough to condemn their modern counterparts and I believe the reasons for the current furore lie not with the underage drinkers but with the needs of certain people to supply bogus reasons for the New Year's Eve crush in Lan Kwai Fong.
JONATHAN LOWE Sandy Bay