PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 January, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 January, 2004, 12:00am

Down to Earth

There were two pieces of good news over the past week. One was the landing of the exploration rover Spirit on Mars, and the other was that Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa has finally returned to Earth ('Reform taskforce to consult Beijing', January 8).

For six years, Mr Tung seemed to have resided on another planet and did not have a scintilla of understanding of the people he ruled. But from the policy address he made on Wednesday, his seventh and the best one, Hong Kong people are happy to see that Mr Tung has begun to understand that what his subjects want him to do is actually not to do anything.

Therefore, in this year's policy address, we no longer hear any more empty promises, nor do we see any grandiose development blueprints or visionary yet unviable policy ideas.

That is exactly what the people of Hong Kong have been hoping for, and they can now heave a deep sigh of relief. Welcome back, Mr Tung.

K. K. LEE, Tseung Kwan O

Ferry restrictions

We refer to the letter headlined 'Airport ferries' (January 3), by Craig Sanderson, on airport transfer ferry services between Hong Kong International Airport and four cities in the Pearl River Delta.

The services, newly introduced from September 29, provide air-to-sea and sea-to-air passengers with hassle-free ferry transfers, bypassing customs and immigration formalities in Hong Kong. This is part of our effort to make Hong Kong International Airport a truly multi-modal transport hub for the region.

The ferry terminal (which is called SkyPier) and the dedicated route between SkyPier and the passenger terminal forms part of the restricted area under the Airport Authority Ordinance.

Passengers who opt to take the services do not need to clear customs and immigration, and bonded transport is provided between the passenger terminal and SkyPier.

The ferry service is therefore made available to transfer passengers only.

LOUIS LIU, Senior Communication Manager - Media Relations, Communication Services, Airport Authority Hong Kong