talk back

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 March, 2007, 12:00am

Q Should the ruling on the gay marriage programme be reversed?

The answer is yes. The Broadcasting Authority insists that the ruling on the gay marriage programme is correctly made, because it only talks about the pros of gay marriage.

However, if you have watched it, you should find that Hong Kong Connection - Gay Lovers is obviously not intended to be a programme for debate or controversy. There is one thing we should bear in mind: sexuality is not a matter of right or wrong, but a matter of majority or minority. Presenting two sides of a debate is not needed if it is merely showing the lives of minorities.

Moreover, some organisations which have a religious background agree with the Broadcasting Authority that this programme agitates for a homosexual lifestyle.

I believe this is outrageously wrong. This programme describes the difficulties that same-sex lovers face. How can it promote homosexuals by describing the hardship they face? This is obviously not a valid reason for giving a warning to RTHK.

This programme aims to provide the public with an opportunity to know more about the minorities in our society. Why should it be warned?

C. Lam, Tuen Mun

Q What do you think of the smoking ban?

The smoking ban does not appear to be doing its full job. The idea of the ban is to reduce the amount of smoking in public places around Hong Kong, but it has definitely not succeeded.

Before the ban, I did not really inhale all that much second-hand smoke around the city, except for the occasional night out.

While the ban has done a good job of eliminating smoking in most communal spaces, it has not done a good job of getting rid of it on the most communal place of all: the streets. I have inhaled more second-hand smoke by walking in the streets than I ever did by sitting in a restaurant.

Officials should delve a little deeper into this smoking ban. While the original ban is a step in the right direction, more action needs to be taken.

The first step is to take a poll on what people in Hong Kong think. This way officials can get an accurate account of what is going on and what the people need.

Amelia Smith, Tai Tam

Q What else can be done to reduce food waste?

We have read the news 'Diners threatened with fines over uneaten dishes', which appeared in City on February 21.

Food waste in Hong Kong seems to be much more serious than before. We cannot turn a blind eye. Restaurants, the public and the government should do something to reduce food waste.

First, restaurants can provide different quantities of food for customers to choose. Customers can order food according to how much they need. One who eats a little can pay less and the food waste problem will then be minimised.

Second, we can invoke a law to fine people who waste food.

Meanwhile, education is an important and long-term solution. The government should educate people that food is valuable. There are many people who do not have sufficient to eat, so we need to treasure food.

Catherine Chan ,Winnie Li , Jennie Chan and Matthew Leung, Yuen Long

On other matters...

I refer to your report 'Non-HK prostitutes may get free HIV tests' (City, March 13). I support the views of Democratic Party legislator Yeung Sum, while distancing myself from the patronising tone of what he is quoted as saying: '... even though they are sex workers they are human beings'. Of course they are, my friend.

But you are absolutely right that no matter where they come from or what their profession is, everything possible must be done to identify HIV-infected people and provide them with the means to stay healthy and the knowledge to avoid infecting others.

The cost of doing so is much lower than the cost of caring for those with advanced stages of HIV infection. On pure economic grounds, it could even be recommended that the entire population be screened for HIV at regular intervals.

Monthly figures of new HIV infection rates in Hong Kong are a cause of considerable concern and we must change our approach to this problem if we are to avoid further escalation.

Even with a budget surplus as enormous as ours, Hong Kong must intelligently and humanely review its priorities for spending on health care, including provision of free services for immigrants if to do so would save resources in the long run.

Dr Brian Jones, Pok Fu Lam

This part of the world continues to be in denial about the seriousness of Aids and HIV infection among its population.

I find it troubling that sex workers continue to be blamed, directly or indirectly. Although sex is the most common form of transmission in Hong Kong, the problem is relegated to the margins of society and identified as a problem among sex workers, 'Non-HK prostitutes may get free HIV tests'.

It certainly makes good sense to offer free HIV tests to whoever demands it, with full anonymity, but the problem is not solved by just this proposal.

The point to be made to the public is this: sex workers are only too happy to have safe sex with their clients using condoms, but some clients do not give them this choice. Instead, these clients take advantage of their stronger bargaining power to insist otherwise.

Such men should be the ones targeted in any public education. If they get infected, they bring the disease back to their wives or partners, or infect other sex workers who may not have the disease.

In addition, if the police, as reported, use the possession of condoms as evidence against sex workers, any attempt to improve preventative measures would be thwarted.

Evelyn Ng, Kowloon Tong

I read Mathew Scott's glowing review of Julia Migenes' show at the Cultural Centre ('Hallelujah to a night of diva-driven drama', March 12).

Migenes and her musicians were technically excellent, however I found her performance to be uninspiring, wooden and devoid of any passion.

It appeared to be meticulously rehearsed and lacked anything resembling spontaneity.

Overall, the show was embarrassingly awful and soulless, and we left at the half-way mark.

Carina Pico Martinez, Discovery Bay