PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 May, 2006, 12:00am

Q Should RTHK introduce more programming for minority groups?

I welcome RTHK's move to launch its first talk show on radio about gays and lesbians. As a public broadcaster, RTHK bears a responsibility for not only supplying general information, but also providing room for people to discuss and share their views on issues that the general public are not aware of, such as homosexuality and ethnicity.

As I see it, gay and lesbian issues are still a taboo in Hong Kong society, which is steeped in traditional Chinese values. Despite being an international city, many of us dare not touch on this sensitive topic.

I believe the programme can let audience members, who do not know much about gays and lesbians, explore the issue. May I assure Choi Chi-sum, general secretary of the Society for Truth and Light, that people will not become homosexuals after listening to the talk show, which is not advocating homosexuality.

Curtis Ho, Tsuen Wan

On other matters...

The letter published on May 1 from Dr Paul Yip, of the Jockey Club Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, regarding Simon Parry's article ('Suicide rate dips to lowest in two decades', April 26), raised some other issues that were indeed very constructive and went well beyond his main topic of suicide prevention.

Two important issues have arisen out of Dr Yip's comments to the Post: the level of comprehension and social perspective. If the one reporting on the information disseminated by Dr Yip has fully comprehended the message and associated data, the coverage would be more thorough and even more gripping when the reporter is as skilled as, in this case, Simon Parry, who I do not know personally.

It was comforting to read that the suicide rate in Hong Kong, one of the key social indicators for wellness, has progressively improved. In the article, Dr Yip was quoted: 'At present, our rate of 15.4 (per 100,000 people) is about 50 per cent higher than the UK and US,' but why only compare Hong Kong, a city, with countries? I would regard it to be more relevant and informative to compare data, if available, from London, New York, Tokyo and so on, where all have relatively similar cosmopolitan conditions.

In the article, it appeared that the statistics quoted would be the number of recorded fatalities but if this was the case, drawing a conclusion from such statistics could be misleading: the improved means of communication may have an influence on early discovery to enable the victims to be saved; advances in emergency medical care and response time to the scene can also have an influence on the outcome of the event.

I would strongly recommend Dr Yip include the number of attempted suicide cases in his study as well as separating medical-related cases from non-medical cases as these would contribute to a more realistic snapshot of the trend.

Alex Tam, Sai Kung

Having seen the recent promotions (in English) for the latest Disney film The Wild, we were looking forward to taking our daughter to see the film last weekend. A search of movie listings, however, revealed that of all the cinemas showing this film the only English version available was, and still is, UA Citygate in Tung Chung - not much help to us living in North Point.

Over Easter we tried to get to see Ice Age 2 and faced a similar problem. It took several attempts to get into Times Square, the only cinema in our area showing an English version, as it was fully booked. With the ready availability of pirated films, my five-year-old daughter, a child of the DVD age who actually enjoys going to the cinema, is being denied the opportunity to do so.

With other children's films being scheduled for the summer, could someone from the entertainment industry comment on whether it is now policy to show the latest children's films only in Cantonese.

Fiona Bishop, North Point