PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 December, 2006, 12:00am

Q Should organisations be stopped from chopping down any more trees?

I watched a TV news documentary over the weekend concerning the destruction of trees in Hong Kong and was very disturbed.

I do not have any expert knowledge on trees and environmental protection but I always love being in a green environment. I am lucky that the neighbourhood I am living in has quite a number of healthy trees. One of them even has squirrels living in it. With the increasing environmental awareness in Hong Kong, I would have thought it was commonsense that our trees should be well protected for the betterment of our air quality and overall environmental well-being.

When I watched the documentary, I was really furious and heartbroken to see how the members of the owners' committee of a Tuen Mun housing estate paid to have all the trees in their estate brutally severely pruned, leaving them standing there without a single leaf. I burst into tears. How can people be so ignorant and so cruel? The most outrageous part was when a spokesman of a nearby school praised the operation. He said that the school had initially been surrounded by trees.

After the trees were chopped, the name of the school can now be seen. So to him, it is more important to have the name of the school displayed than having the students surrounded by the nice, healthy trees. I think he should be ashamed of what he said. What can we expect from our next generation if the educational personnel have such a low level of environmental awareness?!

I also feel sorry for the residents of that Tuen Mun estate. They love their trees and objected to the owners' committee's decision to chop them. However, none of the government departments paid any attention to them and the district councillors were equally ignorant in supporting the destruction.

Mabel Tsang

I was saddened to realise that there has been massive cutting of trees in public estates for the sake of 'people's safety'. I got very frustrated when I heard the principal of a primary school say the cutting of trees around the school compound didn't do any harm to the environment as we could now see the campus 'better'. He had even written a letter of thanks to the authority. If a school principal thinks that way, how can we expect our next generation to protect the trees in our city?

Hong Kong provides us a very fine education system. I grew up in this education system, being told of the importance of afforestation instead of deforestation. We were told to plant more trees instead of cutting more trees. I don't see a reason why Hong Kong people don't see trees as something valuable, something we should take good care of.

Trees provide us with a green, fresh and clean environment. They are shelters. One single tree can function as 40 air conditioners. We need them.

Wake up, Hong Kong. Turn around and see how much green is left in our city. We are not vulnerable to these friendly old trees, but the trees are in danger just because of our selfishness. It takes another 20 years for a new trees to grow. Please save our trees before it is too late.

Vivian Ho, Hung Hom

Q How can animal welfare be improved?

On the evening of December 9 at about 9.50pm, my husband and I went to Causeway Bay and we parked our car on the second floor of the Park Lane Hotel car park. There was a seven-seat vehicle parked in the parking space No2059. The car's security alarm was buzzing, yet the alarm sound was quite unusual as if there were someone rocking inside the car. We approached the vehicle and saw there were four dogs (one big chow-chow and three medium-sized dogs) locked inside the car, with all the windows and doors locked tight. The dogs were barking frantically and banging their paws on the window.

We gathered that the owner of the dogs might have just left the car for a very short while, but when we came back to our car at about 11.50pm, that car was still there and so were the dogs, already locked up for at least two hours without fresh air, water and food. We waited next to the vehicle and looked for the staff at the car park. However there was no sign of any officer of the car park doing security checks despite the fact the alarm had been beeping for so long.

In this event I called 999 immediately and the operator told me they would send someone to the car park. After I hung up the phone, I saw the driver of the car with another male passenger walking towards the car with shopping bags.

They just opened the door and drove away as if nothing had happened.

I felt angry and deeply saddened by this incident.

Wendy Lam, Mid-Levels

On other matters...

Was it really necessary for pop star Jacky Cheung Hok-yau to take his maid to court over some purloined photos ('Maid kept photos as star 'souvenirs',' December 8)?

Shouldn't he have felt flattered to have a Filipino fan and just settled the matter privately, perhaps generously giving her one of his studio photos? Is he really so naive as to be able to say he had 'no idea' why the photos were taken?

It's equally hard to believe magistrate Winston Leung Wing-chung's statement that Cheung, being a celebrity, showed 'great courage' to testify in court. Pray, what danger to his life was Cheung facing from his domestic? Did he think her taking the photos suggested she was an axe murderer?

If he so guards his privacy, why did he look so cheerful stepping out of his limo to go to court, followed by his minders? Would it be because he welcomes any kind of publicity - perhaps to shore up a flagging career?

The whole farcical episode didn't deserve the space it was given in your paper.

Isabel Escoda, Lantau


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