Disable the mobile pests

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 July, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 July, 1999, 12:00am

Recently I was watching the romantic tale of Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in Notting Hill in UA Queensway cinema, a relatively upmarket cinema with a ticket price to match, when a peal of ringing tones suddenly broke out and somebody nearby me shouted: 'Wai, wai . . .' What continued was, as I expected but dared not imagine, a long and tiresome conversation about trivial matters. Laughter broke out in the theatre for at least three minutes.

My accusing eyes obviously could not stop the interruption and, to my surprise, the intruder appeared to have nil embarrassment.

I accept such incidents are part of Hong Kong etiquette and the freedom to receive and respond to mobile phone calls in public places is an individual right. But what if the rights of other people are infringed? Should an individual right be exercised at the expense of the rights of the majority? When loud phone tones and conversations disturb the peace of theatre, library, church and even funeral services and the warning signs to turn off mobile phones are ignored, should we seriously consider installing a disabling device in such places to stop the wireless nuisance? ANDREW WONG Happy Valley