Q What should be done for smooth enforcement of the smoking ban?
It seems futile for only 1,000 law enforcers in the welfare and police departments to ensure that most people will follow the ban. Given the ubiquity of video-taking mobile phones and the fact that most Hong Kong people abhor smoking and love money, why not set up an online database system or SMS system for people to send any videos or images of smokers puffing in public areas?
If this leads to successful charges, the reporters will get a considerable sum of money.
To make the punishment even more of a deterrent, why not post the video on the internet? Humiliation is more powerful than other kinds of punishment.
Leo Johnson, Tung Chung
On other matters ...
Didn't the inventors of the internet claim that it would continue functioning despite anything, even an atomic war?
If so, how come we're now cut off from the world because an earthquake damaged four undersea cables?
Ron Baker, Tsim Sha Tsui
The article 'Drunken wife batterer comes clean to help other abusers', (City, December 27) shows how awareness plus action through counselling intervention can go a long way in making a difference.
Not only has Ah Sing taken one of the most important steps in his life by taking responsibility for his negative and damaging behaviour, he is also willing to share his family's pain with the public to help others. This acknowledgment is a courageous and positive move. Greater awareness and understanding of our behaviour can make us better.
Knowing that abuse is wrong and doing nothing about it does not help, but seeking assistance from a professional counsellor can work wonders.
Even a single session with a professional counsellor can change how an abuser will respond to someone at home. One person can change the dynamics in a family, and positive change in society often starts with one person surviving a crisis, trauma or tragedy, and then moving on to make a huge difference in the lives of others.
By coming forward to volunteer for the new Batterer Intervention programme Ah Sing can change the outcome for his own family and create possibilities for many individuals and families in the future.
Andrea Gutwirth, executive director, SoulTalk Charity
I could not imagine how the place would be if Stanley Lipin's (Talkback, December 23) idea is put into action. It is undeniable that the Mid-Levels escalator is visited by tourists, but is it necessary for the escalator to be extended to The Peak? No.
Although the extension could reduce congestion of roads to The Peak and alleviate some environmental damage, the extension's construction will cause other environmental damage.
Even if the escalator is extended, could you imagine how this would affect the overall view of The Peak? The escalator would hardly be as picturesque as the Great Wall.
Also, this could deter hikers. People climb hills to enjoy nature and exercise. Once the escalator is extended, the lazier ones would take it rather than walk up footpaths.
To solve the problem of tourists being unable to find pathways to The Peak, why doesn't the Tourism Board erect signs on Conduit Road to guide them to the crossroads of Conduit and Hatton roads, where there is a walking path to the Peak? It takes less than 30 minutes to reach The Peak, and I think visitors would enjoy the journey.
Terris Lo, Mid-Levels
Exchange tours have become very popular activities for Hong Kong schools, but most are to more developed countries, such as Japan and the United Kingdom. How about an exchange or life-experience tour in developing and war-torn countries or to the remote regions of China? Our youngsters will surely get first-hand experiences of what plight and misery really are. Drawing a stark contrast with their cosy and comfortable lives in Hong Kong, they would realise how lucky and blessed they are.
In addition, the perseverance and the struggle for a proper life in those locales might make our spoiled youngsters ashamed of their laziness and mischief.
Steve Maxwell, Tung Chung
I am writing in response to 'Lotion Sickness' (Life, December 21). I think that there is a great need for mandatory disclosure about cosmetics and skincare products.
Whenever we flip open the magazines, we see lots of advertising for cosmetics and skincare products. Many products claim they are natural and that their ingredients are extracted from plants or herbs. However, these claims are often misleading. If consumers read the list of ingredients carefully, they will notice that nearly 99 per cent of the ingredients are chemicals. The list gives consumers a better understanding of the products. But not many brands print a list of ingredients on their packages.
Some people argue that even with the ingredients printed on packages, few consumers will understand them. It is true that few people know what the ingredients are, but with the widespread use of the internet, consumers can search for the information very easily. Also, there are more books on the market with detailed information of commonly found ingredients.
It would also help if the dates of production and expiry were printed on packets. Only a handful of brands include them on the packaging.
I hope that legislation requiring the disclosure of ingredients in cosmetics and skincare products will be made soon. It safeguards consumers' rights and their health.
Cheung Ko-chi, Tseung Kwan O