Q Should the Sai Kung waterfront be turned into a pedestrian area?
I refer to the comments in Talkback on triads in Sai Kung from Mr Langford. I am the district commander of Wong Tai Sin, which encompasses Sai Kung.
Crime in Sai Kung is very low and triad activity non-existent except for [car jockeys'] involvement in parking on the promenade. I have a policy of zero tolerance of triads and I have identified several strategies and tactics to rid Sai Kung of any remaining triad influence. Car jockeying in itself is not a crime but can be quite lucrative; triads using the profits to fund nefarious activities.
As regards my plan inconveniencing motorists, let me point out that unless a motorist wishes to use the restaurants in this area, he has virtually no chance of parking. Therefore many members of the public are already being inconvenienced.
I would also ask why this group of restaurants should monopolise this area of parking? Mr Langford may also wish to know that within a few minutes walk of the facilities on the promenade are two huge car parks which are very often empty; therefore motorists have plenty of choice and I do not think they will be greatly inconvenienced, if at all.
Ian Seabourne, District Commander, Wong Tai Sin police
Q What can be done to prevent the spread of dengue fever?
I have lived in Hong Kong for 18 years, but grew up in Malaysia. The country has heavy rainfall, high humidity and warm temperatures throughout the year, as well as significantly more undergrowth and vegetation that encourage mosquitoes to flourish.
Dengue fever first became a major problem there in the 1970s, and the Malaysian government immediately responded just as Hong Kong is now, more than 30 years later, by urging people to focus on hygiene in the home and removing stagnant water. What I don't understand is why mosquito 'fogging' is not employed as a regular preventative measure; in Malaysia, government and private housing estate managements take responsibility for this. Sure, it's noisy, a little smelly from the fumes and inconvenient for the brief 10 minutes or so that it takes to complete, but surely better than taking the risk of dying of dengue fever.
Suzanne Miao, Pokfulam
Q Should the government press ahead with its super-jail plan?
With the government now weighing in with its defence of Hei Ling Chau as the 'choice between two evils' it is opportune to set out just what Hei Ling Chau is and isn't. It is an island location which, under the proposed road links, will be as far away from the rest of Hong Kong as one can get. In the event of a riot at Hei Ling Chau, it would take 90 minutes for the police tactical unit to respond.
Add to this the need for more than 4,000 personnel to commute daily, visits to the prison, necessary court appearances [by the inmates], and transportation of food and daily necessities and you can see that there could hardly be a less convenient location from every operational and social angle.
Hei Ling Chau sits in the middle of a conservation area. It is virtually the navel of the South Lantau coast between the Disney [project] at one end and the proposed marine park at the other. To most Hong Kong people, Lantau is the western green lung while Sai Kung is the eastern one.
One does not need to be a geography major to appreciate the synergy of an integrated tourism initiative on South Lantau. A prison and a 2.2km bridge which no one can use plonked in the middle of this, utterly defeats the tourism potential no matter how it is to be built.
Hei Ling Chau would be an island site. This is not an operational requirement, quite the reverse, and a substantial sum would be spent to ensure that the 'island isolation' is diminished by a billion-dollar bridge.
So why pick Hei Ling Chau which has conservation value and would be an operational disaster? The government has said it has carried out an extensive site search and apart from three sites in the Frontier Closed Area all in close proximity (rejected to preserve nebulous cross-border development opportunities) and a similarly remote island off Sai Kung, Hei Ling Chau was the best they could come up with.
There are obvious questions. Are the reasons for rejecting Kong Nga Po still valid after public consultation on the 2030 study has been largely against commercial exploitation? What happened to the rest of the 2,200 hectare Frontier Closed Area?
What about the under utilised 2,700-hectare People's Liberation Army estate, which includes the 2,280-hectare Castle Peak firing range? What about the location on the Deep Bay coast?
We don't know why these other options were not looked at. Amazingly, that information and the site selection process is not part of the public consultation. Rather Hei Ling Chau is being forced upon us. There is a travesty of due process here.
What we ask for is for the super-prison proposal to be revisited. If after mature consideration the need is reconfirmed (and there are arguments), then a proper site search should be made and the options put to the public to judge whether the 'best choice between two evils' has been made.
Clive Noffke, Green Lantau Association
On other matters ...
Has anyone tried to watch Six Feet Under on Saturday nights on TVB Pearl? You do have to try because TVB Pearl does not make it easy.
First, it is shown quite late - anywhere between 12.10am and 12.25am (so far, and this Saturday's episode is only the third). Second, the commercial breaks have to be experienced to be believed. It is not unusual for eight or nine commercials to follow one another during the breaks.
The point is that Six Feet Under is universally recognised as one of the greatest television achievements ever. TVB Pearl, in programming it as it does, does not seem to be aware of this.
Michael McCaffrey, North Point