PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 June, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 June, 2003, 12:00am

Q What kind of jobs does Hong Kong need most?

People need long-term jobs that offer security. This can be achieved if the economy improves, rather than through government job creation.

I think Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's attempts to appease the public are rushed and ineffective.

Creating 32,000 short-term jobs may temporarily reduce the unemployment rate but it does not focus on long-term benefits.

The government says these jobs will help people improve their skills. But how much knowledge does picking up garbage require?

This job package may pull people out of the unemployment trap but it will not prevent them falling back in again.

Guai Sing Chi Arevalo, Tsim Sha Tsui

Q Are noise restrictions at the Hong Kong Stadium too strict?

If you choose to live in a major city, you will have to deal with vehicular noise. If you move next to an airport, you will have to deal with aeroplanes. And if you move next to a school, you will have to deal with the racket of students. Thus, if you live next to a stadium you will have to deal with concerts. Let us all be adults.

I suggest we lift the noise ban, get a real national sports team and invite world-class concerts. And, if you really need peace and quiet, why are you living in a city of 6.7 million people?

Name and address supplied

Q How should Hong Kong dispose of its waste?

I support the concept of a greener Hong Kong, although I myself am too busy to sort out my garbage.

The truth is that it is much more convenient to collect all the garbage in a bag, seal it and throw it out. The nearest recycling bin from my flat is 2-3 blocks away and I am just too busy to bother.

I notice that the government has been putting up more rubbish bins. Why not do the same for recycling bins? Despite the government's efforts to get people to use fewer plastic bags, sales girls at our supermarkets use them like there's no tomorrow.

Hong Kong shops come up with the fanciest packaging to promote sales. But our landfills are fast filling up and it will take some time for the mounds of trash to decompose.

With Hong Kong hobbled by a high unemployment rate, why not offer jobs to sort out the landfill rubbish?

It takes a lot of time and money to refill land in Hong Kong and we are trying our best to preserve as much of our harbour as possible. Why not clear up landfill space to make more efficient use of it?

Most of our landfill space is taken up by non-biodegradable items. By separating out biodegradable trash we can speed up the rate of decomposition and reduce the space allotted for non-biodegradable trash.

Maybe we can appeal to large organisations like the Hong Kong Jockey Club to set aside part of its Mark Six money to reward people or groups who efficiently manage their trash. Providing the resources for 'greener' participation is not enough; we need motivation through incentives.

Varsha Bhojwani, Tsim Sha Tsui

It is good to see so many recycling bins appearing around Hong Kong, although they are invariably in groups of three - for plastic, aluminium and paper waste. But what about glass? It seems a strange omission.

Might there be an entrepreneur somewhere who could do the city a service and provide a few jobs by organising the melting and recycling of glass? It might be a small step towards solving the landfill problem, but every little step helps.

Colin Rampton, Sha Tin

On other matters ...

Although the government apparently did not respond promptly in the early days of the Sars outbreak, it is unfair of Sydney Chung, dean of medicine at Chinese University, to cast all the blame on the Department of Health and other government officials while failing to mention the blunders that the management of the Prince of Wales Hospital may have committed ('Top medic lashes out on handling of Sars crisis', Sunday Morning Post, June 15).

One must not overlook the fact that the infection of medical workers and cross infections among patients at the Prince of Wales Hospital raged from early March to mid-May, when much more was known about the disease and the hospital was receiving a lot of support from both the government and the public. Was the incessant outbreak indicative of mismanagement within the hospital itself?

Two doctors from the hospital wrote to the British medical journal The Lancet in late April, acknowledging that the hospital had erred in the initial outbreak which led to the infection of more than 150 people, including medical students and visitors.

While it is understandable that medical workers may not be entirely faultless when faced with a new disease, this - as well as the barrage of complaints from the hospital's medical staff heard in radio phone-in programmes - shows that the hospital's track record in handling Sars is far from immaculate.

In fact, if Professor Chung really suspected that something terrible was happening so early on, why did he fail to alert his staff at the Prince of Wales Hospital, which is the Chinese University's teaching hospital?

It also will be better if Professor Chung, who is entrusted with the duty of training our future doctors, can have the courage to assess and admit his and his colleagues' failures instead of shifting all the blame to others.

Joyce Siu, Tsing Yi