talk back

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 July, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 July, 2006, 12:00am

Q How can environmental awareness be improved?

No matter how dedicated the government has been to controlling air pollution, the poor environmental awareness and inconsiderate actions among drivers, especially truck drivers, means that the situation will not improve.

My neighbourhood is a hustle-bustle district with heavy traffic flow. During the day, when trucks are unloading goods, drivers keep the engines running, filling the air with fumes.

People have to cover their mouths with their hands to keep off the dusty air. Even when the traffic is not busy at night, some selfish drivers park their trucks on the roadside and take a rest without turning off the engine.

Vehicle emissions are a health threat to the residents in the area. Sometimes I feel like going over to the drivers and ordering them to switch off the engines. However, the law does not empower me to do so and I have never seen the police order the drivers to turn off engines when they park their vehicles on the roadside.

The fumes from vehicles, like cigarette smoke, poses a severe health risk. I sincerely hope that the government can be more proactive in dealing with this problem - as it is now doing with its anti-smoking campaign - and help us breathe fresher and cleaner air every day.

Name and address supplied

I absolutely see the need to do something about the horrible levels of pollution we are living with in Hong Kong and support any campaigns which address the issue. If three minutes of darkness on August 8 is going to draw attention to the problem and show the government that the people of Hong Kong want action to be taken, I am happy to turn my lights out.

However, asking people to turn their lights out at home is one thing, but surely the 'Lights Out' organisers cannot expect hospitals and other public buildings to turn their lights out, even just for three minutes.

Carole Lewis, Sai Ying Pun

On other matters ...

I totally agree with 'Name and Address supplied' in the Post of July 6, regarding conditions in Discovery Bay.

Why is it that Hong Kong Resort can build their golf course partially on public land without penalty, change their resort into a suburb without paying extra land charges, and now 'enhance' the hillside by the tunnel without submitting a visual impact report as prescribed by the government? What kind of special connection do they have with the government that we don't know about?

It is also interesting that in this so-called 'world city' Hong Kong Resort will always be in charge, because even if every property owner voted for change the company would still have the majority of the votes. Maybe the Post could investigate how this is possible in this day and age in Hong Kong?

Name and address supplied

Drug errors occur repeatedly in homes for the elderly. Some people have urged the homes to hire a pharmaceutical dispenser to reduce the risk, but this is fundamentally wrong.

The treatment process involves three different steps: prescription, dispensing and administration. Different professionals are involved in these steps. Doctors prescribe drugs to patients in a clinic. Patients collect drugs from a pharmacy. Pharmacists and dispensers scrutinise the prescription before they dispense drugs to patients.

For drug administration, it depends on circumstances. In the community, patients take the drugs on their own. In hospitals, nurses administer drugs to patients. But many homes for the elderly do not have qualified nursing staff to do this, so this step of drug administration should be strengthened.

Whether our system should employ more nursing staff in homes for the elderly or improve the quality of the health-care assistants who are currently doing this job needs further discussion.

However, the error does not arise from drug dispensing but it is from the process of drug administration.

So the call for hiring drug dispensers in the homes is inappropriate.

In fact, other health-care services in the homes for elderly should be improved such as infection control and wound care. What we need is better nursing care for the elderly, not a dispensing service at the bedside.

Name and address supplied

You claim that 21 per cent of people in Hong Kong felt extra stress because of bets placed during soccer's World Cup (Post, July 10).

Well that figure may well rise to 100 per cent when the public is told of the Jockey Club's behaviour during the past month or so.

Would the Jockey Club care to explain why the public has been taken for a ride during this World Cup in betting shops all over the city?

I shudder to think of the millions of dollars the Jockey Club has made on what is in effect a bookmaking scam repeated throughout the world in other gambling organisations -except, of course, illegal ones.

Yes that is right, only in illegal and underground gambling dens does this deception not take place and the poor Hong Kong punter deserves not only to get his money back but also to see severe action taken at the appropriate levels against the scam.

The trick lies in the 'all-up correct score' accumulator bet where you have the option on the ticket to place anything from $50 up to $100,000 on your prediction of the score in, for example, four games.

Depending on the odds in each game a calculator will tell you that you could win $10 million or more, depending on your stake. However, what you won't realise as you pay your money is that there is a maximum payout on this bet which is printed on the betting slip returned to you once your bet has been taken.

The maximum payout is $5 million. If the odds in the four games are all 15-1 then you need only $100 to win the maximum payout.

The Jockey Club, however, will accept bets of more than $100 all the way up to $100,000, in effect duping the customer of $90,900 as he will win no more than that of the $100 stake. This is disgusting and must be challenged. Does the Jockey Club not make enough money during this sporting event without tricking the public punter out of their hard earned money?

The same organisation's computer system automatically rejects a Mark Six ticket if you pick seven numbers in each of the four boxes available, so should the computer not do the same when too much money has been paid?

Stewart Montgomery, Sheung Shui