PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 August, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 25 August, 2003, 12:00am

Q What is the point of flash-mobbing when everyone already knows the plan?

Well the answer is, there is no point, and that is exactly why what you did in writing about Friday's event in advance was so dumb!

And that is why the organisers had to change plans at the last minute. That's what you get for spilling the beans. I realise you were probably just following orders in writing that story, but you would have gotten a much better story if you kept your mouth shut and waited a day.

What is worse than you writing the article about Hong Kong's first flash mob before it happened is you printing all the details of the plan. Fortunately, the organisers were smart enough to devise a new plan at the last minute, although some reporters did still manage to get there. But the look of shock on the faces of the ones running up to the (new) scene right after the actual flash mob happened was priceless. But, beans spilt or not, we still had fun.

A Hong Kong mobber

Your talkback question is irony in all its glory. The whole point of flash-mobbing is to leave the passersby in mass confusion and to bring wonder to people's faces. It's like a glamour bomb, when someone does something outrageous and ends up putting a smile on someone else's face. The Post putting it on the front page made flash mobs known and now instead of having a crowd to participate, we will also have a crowd that knowingly watches. It loses its appeal. Thank you, oh so very much.

Audrey Chee, Homantin

I have followed with interest the recent articles in the Post regarding the arrival of flash-mobbing in Hong Kong. The activity sounds like good, clean, creative fun and, in my opinion, should certainly be welcomed and encouraged.

What especially caught my eye, however, was the (twice published) comment: 'Police said flash-mobbing appeared to be harmless and participants would not need to obtain prior approval.'

In my understanding, the Public Order Ordinance states that a notice of no objection must be obtained from the police in advance of any assembly of more than 40 people, or procession of more than 30 people. In light of the ordinance, I find this police-attributed comment to be rather peculiar and confusing.

Apparently, certain groups deemed harmless by police are now being advised they are exempt from any requirement to adhere to this law. This would appear to be yet a further example of the already worrying erosion of the rule of law in recent years.

Would the police, therefore, through these columns please, first, clarify the law regarding the need to obtain a notice of no objection from the police in advance of holding assemblies or processions. Second, would they confirm this law is being applied equally to all, rather than it being selectively dependent upon some internal police prediction of what may or may not be 'harmless'.

Third, advise of any other 'laws' where the need for compliance hinges upon similar police speculation. And, fourth, corroborate that the comment was indeed made by the police and clarify its intended meaning.

Graeme C. Alford, Sai Kung

Q Have health authorities co-operated enough with private hospitals in dealing with Sars?

I think the government did everything it could to stop the disease from spreading, such as establishing specialised hospitals. After the outbreak, the government also did a lot to prevent the disease from coming back.

I think people blame the government because it was not able to prevent any deaths, but I think this was inevitable whatever precautions had been taken. People do not know how hard it is for the government to prevent such deaths in such a short time.

People have to put themselves into their shoes to see just how difficult it is.

Patrick Wong Pak-kiu, Tsuen Wan

Q Should same-sex marriages be allowed in Hong Kong?

There has been much dialogue in these columns on this subject in recent times, focusing specifically on same-sex marriages and the ordination of clergy who are practising homosexuals.

As permanent residents who are also serving elders in the Hong Kong church, we are pleased to have the opportunity to express our viewpoint.

This is not a homosexual versus heterosexual issue but a much wider one. And we should certainly resist the pressure from certain groups that have chosen to make it into such an issue.

Maybe it is about time that we should listen to what God says about the issue.

Sex is a gift from God. Sex is God's idea. Our sexuality (our maleness, our femaleness) is related to our creation in the image of God. Our sexuality is not an accidental arrangement of the human species, nor a convenient way of keeping the human species going, but the very centre of our humanity.

God has set boundaries for He knows best. He knows the destructive power of sex used badly.

The decision for us is simple: we can choose to live within God's boundaries.

This leads to blessings for us as individuals and for our community. Or we can choose to live outside these boundaries and deprive ourselves of these blessings.

The Bible is clear. God's boundaries are one man, one woman in the context of a life-long covenant we call marriage. He intends sexual intercourse to be a consummation of that covenant. Heterosexual union within marriage is God's intention.

Anything else is a distortion of God's plan.

John Snelgrove, South Bay

Tony Read, Mid-Levels