cab chat

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 September, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 September, 2004, 12:00am

Mickey Lau Chi-wah, 49, gives his insight on bloodworms, voting and illegal passenger vans Ride from Sha Tin to Quarry Bay: $184

It's a pretty interesting question, why all of a sudden there are bloodworms in the pools. Neither I nor family and friends I know go swimming in the public pools much, but just from looking at the news it seems pretty coincidental that the lifeguards went on strike and now these worms appear. But I can't say for sure, of course, whether there actually is any connection.

If you leave aside the question of the lifeguards, then it's a matter of cleaning. Did the Leisure and Cultural Services Department have to get everyone involved and make this such a big deal? They should just do their job and make sure they clean the pools properly, and not argue about whether or not there were worms or pupae or eggs or shell or whatever.

It's only after they make sure that they have done their job of cleaning the pools properly that they should think if this is a prank or if there's some way of sorting out the differences with the lifeguards. Right now they are wasting a lot of resources, since the worms aren't even harmful.

If the government is doing a good job and allocating their resources efficiently then there wouldn't be so many conflicts. All the officials and departments are just concerned with doing their own part. They never think about issues from the point of view of the people actually involved and affected by the issues.

There wasn't all that much change for us on the first day of the school year, yesterday. The roads were a bit more crowded with the school buses but not all that many more people took taxis. It just means that there will be less business because the students will go out less.

It gets difficult because there's a lot of competition these days. Some taxis are handing out name cards and giving discounts of 20 or 30 per cent, but their receipt still says the full amount. The government should do something about that.

But it's not just other taxis. The worst these days are the light goods vehicles that can be chartered. They have their own radio call system, they give out name cards so people will know who to call, and they have room for five people plus storage for goods. They have set prices for going from one place to another, but you can also negotiate with them. Of course, from a legal point of view they don't even have the proper licences to carry passengers. Did you know that taxi licences now cost more than $3 million?

The workers renovating houses never take taxis anymore, even if they're not carrying a lot of tools and equipment. They work in groups of about six people, and if they take taxis they'll have to hire two cars. It's much more convenient for them to just give a call to these vans. I can understand that everyone wants to find the cheapest way of getting to their destination. But now the government is not doing anything about this. There are taxis giving discounts, and there are the unlicensed village buses too.

I propose that they should make it so that they can have only two seats for passengers up front, and only goods storage in the back. I'm not saying that they should be chased out of business, but this way they can have their space for working in and we can have ours.

I'm going to vote on September 12. I'm in New Territories East and I'm thinking that I will get together with some friends and split our vote between the 7.1 United Front and Long Hair. I think that the Legislative Council should have more different voices, so that they will reveal what's really going on in the government. With more variety, we'll hopefully know better what the government is up to.

I think that voter turnout will be quite high this year. If Tung Chee-hwa did a good job then people wouldn't be so motivated to vote, to see if there's a chance of changing things.