talk back

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 20 January, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 20 January, 2005, 12:00am

Q What do you think about the plan for a nudist camp in Sai Kung?

A plan for a nudist camp in Sai Kung is a great idea. Nudism is body art; there is nothing immoral to be ashamed of. It is something beautiful. Nowadays, the world has become so frigid, there is not enough love between people as we are all so busy with our own lives in an exciting city like Hong Kong.

It is high time for us to relax, escape from the world for a while, and get close to nature. Nudism also helps to break down the icy walls between people.

All of us have the right to enjoy our hobbies.

Swimmers can go swimming in different pools in different districts. Those who like to play tennis can play at many different clubs and organisations. Why can't nudists have the right to enjoy their hobby too? They are not doing anything evil. They will not do others any harm or shock them, as long as they are enjoying it in a camping area.

Many European countries have nudist camps. All this shows that nudist camps are a success. Other than giving a site for the citizens to relax, it will also stimulate local economies and tourism. Tourists may come and visit Hong Kong as they may be attracted to the nudist camp. With more tourists coming to Hong Kong, I am sure it will help boost our economy.

With all these benefits, I think the Hong Kong government should give people freedom to engage in nudism.

Name and address supplied

Social nudism has been evolving for a long time, dating back to ancient Egypt or, as some argue, to the Garden of Eden.

While the nudist or naturist movement has taken root in the western world, it has very little popularity and acceptance in the traditional Chinese community. Neither has it been adequately discussed in society.

In my opinion, it is unwise to establish a nudist camp anywhere in Hong Kong.

As the nudist group suggests, the proposed nudist camp will be a place for people to enjoy arts, as well as recreation. Ostensibly, 'pursuits of arts' may justify the move. However, different societies and individuals may have their own aesthetic or even ethical values to determine what belongs to the arts.

Along this line, a relevant question has to be asked: 'To what extent would the Hong Kong people accept nudity as a form of art?'

In fact, this represents the general challenge the nudists encounter in every corner of the world. Any consideration for official permission of mass nudity outside private places necessitates meticulous examination.

Another critical issue to be pondered is the legality of mass nudity in public. I wonder if setting up a nudist camp on an island in Sai Kung has any legal basis. Furthermore, this could lead to misgivings about the activities associated with mass nudity, such as photography or videoing. If the nudist camp is legalised, will the nudists' photos or videos be regulated under the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance, or exempted from it?

In 1958, the US Supreme Court ruled that nudist photos were not obscene and were permitted to travel through the mail system.

Of more concern is the involvement of children in mass nudity. The worry is not overstated as some families in western countries do treat nudist camps as family resorts, and these countries usually have legal control over the involvement of teens and pre-teens in nudist camps. These pivotal legal issues deserve much scrutiny.

It is also hard to prevent bad-intentioned people like paedophiles or pornographers from participating in the nudists' activities, even though the nudist group claims to impose strict, yet undisclosed, rules to block them (January 18, SCMP).

These people may conduct unauthorised photographing or videoing using sophisticated technology, and this would feed the growth of pornography in the territory.

Apart from legal issues, the social impact of mass nudity should not be ignored, especially for teenagers. Would the nudist camp be exploited as another easy conduit for pornography? Are there any psychological consequences on their values about sex? A nudist camp should not be allowed in Hong Kong.

Michael Leung, Sha Tin

It is a novel idea to have such a camp in Hong Kong. Indeed, there are already such camps in some European countries like France and Holland. It provides an alternative for a particular group of people to enjoy themselves, and Sai Kung is an ideal district to establish the nudist camp due to its tranquil setting and fantastic sea views.

If smoking is allowed in designated places in Hong Kong, I do not see any reason for not allowing such a camp to be set up.

Curtis Ho, Tsuen Wan

Q Is getting exercise fair justification for axing the Canton Road station?

I would like to rectify the wrong impression created by a report in the SCMP on the discussion regarding the Canton Road station for West Rail.

Your report suggests that Transport Secretary Sarah Liao Sau-tung is basing her decision not to go for a Canton Road station on the fact it only takes a few minutes to walk from Tsim Sha Tsui East to Canton Road and it is healthy for the travelling public, while also saving the public $2 billion.

What was not reported in the article was that the Canton Road alignment of the West Rail was a choice made by the KCRC to connect the New Territories with the busiest commercial district of TST, with a station planned for Canton Road to connect TST East and TST West.

Without this station, the distance between TST East station and the West Kowloon station is 1.7km. The walk between TST East and Canton Road - as indicated by a tunnel on the KCRC plan - is 600 metres, which will take more than 10 minutes.

According to international engineering standards, 500 metres is the maximum that pedestrians will tolerate. This is self-defeating and in my view, the secretary has failed to safeguard the public's interest.

Anywhere in the world, mass transit systems are meant to transport the largest number of passengers from suburban areas to city centres.

This is also the request of 12 district councils which represent the users of the East and West Rail.

The government's decision is therefore curious, to say the least, and blind and deaf to public and professional opinion.

Selina Chow, legislator and Liberal Party vice-chairman

On other matters...

I had almost given up on my 'crusade' against Cable TV, until I saw Garmen Chan's recent letter in Talkback. I thought it would do no harm to drop you a few lines.

The bee in my bonnet is the refusal of Cable TV to broadcast many programmes with the commentary in the original language. This is particularly prevalent in sports programmes such as soccer, tennis and snooker.

I live in the New World Apartments, Tsim Sha Tsui. The management has kindly reserved two channels for Cable Sports, one for the original commentary and the other for the Chinese-dubbed version. Both my VCR and TV sets have a Nicam facility, but the management point out that if both channels are broadcast with Chinese dubbing, they can do nothing about it.

The same problem occurs on the movie channels. An example was the popular English film Bend it like Beckham. I sent a letter of complaint on December 30, but a few days later, they again showed the film dubbed in Chinese. I know quite a few people who make the same complaint.

John Wilson, Tsim Sha Tsui

I refer to the article written by Flora Wu for CitySeen published in the South China Morning Post on January 7.

In the article, it was alleged that after Kelly Chen Wai-lam's performance at the Hong Kong Coliseum on January 3, she and other VIPs were escorted from the venue before the encore because a bomb threat had been received.

It was further alleged that 'if there had been an explosion, the police would have had a lot of explaining to do about why the 'special people' were notified'.

An anonymous bomb threat was indeed received during the performance and action was taken by police in accordance with well-established procedures agreed with the Hong Kong Coliseum.

A search of the Coliseum was undertaken by both police and Coliseum staff and, as no suspicious object was found, it was deemed unnecessary by police to evacuate either the performers, guests, staff or members of the audience.

As such, there is no question of preferential treatment being given by police when dealing with this, or indeed other, incidents of a similar nature at the Coliseum.

I trust the above clarifies the matter.

Ma Wai-luk, Hong Kong Police