Talk back

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 February, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 February, 2007, 12:00am

Q What can be done to reduce food waste?

Perhaps Cynthia Liu (Talkback, February 23) is unaware of the very real dangers of taking food from a restaurant to be reheated later on.

There would be few restaurants in western countries that would allow this practice.

I do not blame the chef for not allowing Ms Liu to take the food away from his restaurant.

Many affluent Hong Kong people order more dishes than can be consumed.

Food attendants look at us strangely when we order just what we can eat - a small number of dishes compared to others.

Perhaps Ms Liu's daughter could share some of the large meals that her parents have ordered.

Food safety is certainly a message that we want to pass on to our children.

Lorraine Kennedy, Hung Hom

Q How can singles be helped to find their match?

I am almost 50 now and unfortunately have fallen into this 'singles' group for many years. I would say the demon within is too much of a perfectionist and egotist.

I have met many single ladies from time to time over the years. We all liked each other at first sight and dating followed - but their presence was too short.

My perspectives about them are getting more negative over time - they are often materialistic even though they are financially independent. I believe the materialistic type matches what may be called the taker-type character.

By contrast, I have some experience dating ladies from the medical profession. Most of them are of the giver-type character. I believe certain types go well together.

A social worker or a librarian may be a good match to a registered nurse or pharmacist; takers like lawyers may be the opposite of giver-types like doctors.

Also, one must discount something from the ageing self; that is lower the pride, reduce the demands of perfectionism and egotism.

Pang Chi-ming

Q How can environmental awareness be improved?

We refer to the letter from Doug Woodring in Talkback, February 17, regarding the introduction of KMB's new Euro IV buses.

Mr Woodring writes that KMB representatives recently said it would take two years to work out how to bring in new buses at the Euro IV standard. A little background is in order by way of clarification.

As Hong Kong's largest environment-friendly bus operator, KMB has three buses in its fleet equipped with Euro IV engines. The company has led the way by being the first company in Asia to introduce double-deck buses powered by Euro IV engines. In fact, the Euro IV engine has become standard in our specification for newly purchased buses.

Euro IV bus engines achieve reductions in emissions through the use of either selective catalytic reduction (SCR) or exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technologies.

We are currently evaluating the differences between the two engine types in terms of their actual on-road environmental effectiveness and engine performance, to confirm that both types of bus are able to comply with local operational and environmental requirements.

In the meantime, near Euro IV-standard emissions are achieved by an additional 616 buses in our fleet, which utilise the Euro III engine, coupled with an ERG device and a continuously regenerating trap.

KMB will continue to maintain its close contact with manufacturers and suppliers in terms of the development of different environment-friendly measures, including fuel-saving and emission-reduction devices, as well as alternative fuels and power sources.

Susanne Ho, KMB

Q What do you think of minibus services?

Minibus services provide a source of convenient, cheap, flexible and efficient transport for Hong Kong people.

They are much cheaper than taxis, while minibuses also cover as many remote places as the city's taxis do.

The passengers can get off the minibus at many places they want, in contrast to the fixed bus stations and MTR stations, so that passengers no longer need to walk a long way from stations to their destinations.

The routes of minibuses are so flexible that they can change routes according to the time and road conditions.

More minibuses will be in service during peak hours or the time when buses and MTR trains are out of service.

With such a particular mode of transport, Hong Kong people should take the greatest pride in having such an excellent kind of transport.

Davies Parker, Tung Chung

Q Do you feel the Town Planning Board takes heed of residents' opinions?

There is an urgent need to increase transparency in the Town Planning Board's public consultation process.

The public is inadequately informed of changes that may take place in an area.

In the case of the Hollywood Road Police Quarters site, the Town Planning Board endorsed a planning brief for high-density residential development in early February this year without actually informing and consulting the public.

The section 12A application made by members of the Central and Western District Concern Group to rezone the site to public open space and community use, while having a three-week public consultation period, was never clearly explained to local residents by the Town Planning Board.

It was only because of the concern group's own initiative to set up information counters in the area to explain to the public and collect signatures and comments that the residents finally had some idea about the real situation.

The 1,018 signatures and letters of comment they collected are a clear indication that residents in Central and Mid-Levels care about the environment, traffic conditions, lack of open space and heritage conservation in one of the most historic districts in Hong Kong.

Some residents expressed their anger at the government's continuous overdevelopment of the area at the expense of their quality of life.

Some visitors expressed hopes of heritage being better preserved in this city.

Children told us that they want a park.

Adults told us that they would not tolerate another walled development.

These people took their time, on Valentine's Day and during the Lunar New Year, to write letters of comments to the Town Planning Board.

Will the Town Planning Board take heed of these residents' opinions?

We will have an answer to that in mid-April when a Town Planning Board hearing is scheduled for this application.

Katty Law, Central

On other matters...

People in Hong Kong should stop making excuses for their own actions!

It's not the baby seats or seat belt that matters most; it is the way people drive!

All the airbags, seat belts, safety seats and other safety features in the world are not going to make any difference with the way most Hong Kong people drive.

And the so-called 'professional drivers' in this city are some of the worst.

Police are certainly to blame too, not just for not acting on/reinforcing the law and traffic rules, but also for blatantly ignoring the latter themselves.

Way too often one can see police vehicles speeding, changing lanes and turning without using their indicator lights and the driver often also talking on his mobile phone.

Let's go back to basics - proper education and proper role modelling.

Where to start?

Driving schools and role models.

Ken Chan, Tai Po

After reading the story 'Jusco Auntie Joins Bus Uncle' (LoDown, February 24), I went with interest to youtube to see the video in question.

Well, I was shocked by her cheekiness.

Her claims are absolutely preposterous and sheer nonsense, and are always delivered in a conspicuously provocative manner. If I were the salesman, I would have called security.

I want to say to her: Shame on you, Jusco Auntie!

Yan-ki Lai, Sai Kung

I refer to your February 23 report published in City, 'Extra funds for legal aid insufficient, lawyer says' (February 23).

Lawyers should be grateful for the proposed hourly fees, which effectively make them the only workers, after foreign domestic helpers, privileged to be covered by minimum wage protection in Hong Kong's so-called laissez faire economy.

Whereas the contribution of foreign domestic helpers is clear to all who can afford them, the same cannot be said about ambulance chasers.

Law and justice are not synonyms.

Justice is more often lost than found at the end of turgid legal advocacy.

Enacted by the legislature, which is comprised for the most part by lay people, simple laws are made unnecessarily complicated when they are misused by bewigged practitioners in our courts of law.

As Legal Aid is the most important provider of income and work experience for some lawyers, there is a risk that it may be misused as a specialised welfare department for the legal profession.

Under the overworked pretension of attorney-client privilege, the public could hardly assess whether we like or abhor the Legal Aid Department's operations.

The important question is not whether Legal Aid sufficiently pays lawyers who are otherwise unemployed, but whether Legal Aid deserves the public funds lavished on it.

For social justice, perhaps Legal Aid should pay some lawyer to initiate a judicial review on the constitutionality of the statutory court costs provision (Cap 4A, Order 62, Schedule 1).

That provision pays lawyers HK$3 a page for photocopied documents, whereas the court now charges HK$1 a page, and the public pays only 50 cents at photocopy machines inside, and much less if you are outside, Hong Kong's court buildings. As the law now provides, lawyers who cannot advocate may yet be paid quite well if they can manage to photocopy.

Cynthia Sze, Taikoo Shing