The E-mail Forum
What do you think of the WWF's fish guide?
We all applaud the efforts of the WWF and the Post in publishing the recommendations list of the seafood items to avoid and those that are recommended. This should serve as a good guide for Hong Kong's seafood lovers to be more environmentally aware and help to preserve the species for future generations.
However, the placement of the leopard coral trout from Australia and the Chilean sea bass from South Georgia (Patagonian toothfish) on the 'recommended' list is unfortunate, as these species are overexploited except from those regions.
There is no foolproof way for the Hong Kong consumer to know the exact origins of what they get in the restaurant or fish market, knowing the tendencies of those in the business to make mistakes. By putting those species on the list actually may have the unfortunate effect of putting additional pressure on the species in other overexploited regions such as the leopard coral trout in Southeast Asia.
Until a responsible certification system can be introduced in Hong Kong, I would recommend that these species be placed on the 'avoid' list to protect them in the regions where they are vulnerable.
Zack Culvert, Wan Chai
How can Hong Kong better protect its heritage?
We note with regret that your article on March 26, 'Out with the Old' contains a number of errors. We write to set the record straight.
First, on Lee Tung Street, our redevelopment project has received majority support (72 per cent) among residents, as revealed by the findings of an opinion survey conducted by the Wan Chai District Council in 2004. Only 4 per cent would like the wedding card shops retained. This explains why we removed the 2,000-plus residents and shop operators amicably within three years.
Our 'bottom-up' community engagement approach has helped us present a project design that will greatly improve the environment, retain the present streetscape and help regenerate local economic vibrancy. The Wan Chai District Council has recently voted in support of early implementation of the project.
Second, on our Tai Yuen Street 'Toy Street'/Wan Chai Road project, we have never received a land-swap proposal from our joint-venture partner, Chinese Estates Holdings, to retain the old Wan Chai Market. Chinese Estates also has fulfilled its contractual obligation by payment of the premium for the site.
Third, on the Peel Street/Graham Street project, we have repeatedly said before, including in your Talkback column, that we will preserve the character of Graham Street as far as practicable.
We will not only preserve the street hawkers, but also will provide an 'old-shop street' where hopefully many of Hong Kong's well-known old-brand stores can operate. We will take advice on the way forward from a conservation panel comprising local residents, hawkers, district council members and heritage experts.
Fourth, on the Sai Yee Street project, we appreciate the conflicting views of residents and shop operators. We will do our best to preserve the character of 'Sneaker Street' and, wherever practicable, further enhance the economic and tourist activities of the area as redevelopment proceeds. Our recent community workshop was held for this very purpose. We will continue our dialogue with all concerned.
Fifth, on Kweilin Street, we have not received proposals to preserve the building at issue.
We are, however, considering a suggestion by the New Asia College of Chinese University, which ran classrooms in this building in the 1950s, for a commemorative plaque to be erected when the project is completed.
Finally, on the two shop operators at the Fuk Wing Street/Fuk Wa Street project, we had numerous talks with them on compensation for over two years, but to no avail, notwithstanding help offered by some Legislative Council and local district council members.
To delay the project any longer would not be in the public interest. We had to resort to compulsory acquisition under the Land Resumption Ordinance.
The eventual eviction was carried out following a court order. In fact, the two shop operators insisted on a total of HK$108.6 million as compensation for their shops measuring about 200 sq ft each. This would have set a record for local retail properties.
Paul S. W. Leung, director,
Urban Renewal Authority
Should the ruling on the gay marriage programme be reversed?
It seems there are some hiccups going around about marriage and such things. Let's face it: there are things some people cannot have - such as diabetics who cannot have sugar in their coffee - but they can have artificial sweeteners; colour-blind people cannot be pilots - but they can fly as passengers.
Homosexual couples cannot have children - two men can't produce a baby and neither can two women.
Marriage has a certain human and spiritual meaning at least in our traditional definitions. A legal union is not so different as to mean nothing similar - it just omits that part of procreation which is essential to the term of marriage.
There are a few more points that have come up here such as morals, but those are mostly just backward. We do not see infirmities or deficiencies as 'God's punishment' anymore, but recognise the existence of differences even in the same house or species.
Mind you: Truth is a hard nut.
J. Boost, Sai Kung
On other matters ...
Late in January, while tuning in for the late news on TVB, I caught the closing credits of Romeo Must Die.
The song being played while the credits rolled shocked me, as I heard 's***' and the 'n' word in the lyrics, and felt that TVB should have censored it. I wrote a complaint to the Broadcasting Authority, but its reply has left me mortified: since the expletives were uttered so late at night (almost midnight), it was acceptable as children were not being targeted.
Now, either I am old-fashioned, or the authority needs to rewrite its rules, but I believe using the 'n' word is never to be condoned, unless it is contextual. For the authority to say it was acceptable shows how out-of-touch its guidelines are. Or is it really acceptable in our community?
I would be interested in other readers letting me know if I am making a big brouhaha over what others may consider nothing.
G. Marques, Mei Foo Sun Chuen
To see a disgusting and shameful waste of energy and light pollution, just head anywhere in the vicinity of Tai Kok Tsui and you will not be able to miss the towering new Harbour Green (Sun Hung Kai Properties) residential development.
Every light on every floor of the five towers (about 40 floors each) is switched on at night, presumably to announce the completion of the project by creating a great wall of light, not to mention a whole lot of wasted energy. Not so 'harbour green' in my opinion.
E. Choo, Tai Kok Tsui