PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 May, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 May, 2007, 12:00am

Is the increase in ESF fees reasonable?

Clearly, I have to say it once more! My letters are aimed at not every expatriate, but those, Mr Dalton and possibly others excepted, who come here with children of kindergarten age.

Children of that age can learn a new language very easily. If you choose to educate them at an ESF school rather than a local school, that is your choice; but do not deny that you had an option! If you think local schools are an 'unrealistic option', it can only be because you want your children educated in English, or because you are not happy with the state schools in Hong Kong (if there is another reason please tell me).

The fact that my wife is Cantonese is irrelevant to our decision to send our children to a local primary school. In fact, my son is now attending an English-medium secondary school and we have similar plans for our daughter. As I retired over four years ago, this will be a substantial financial burden. I appeal to everyone who has heard the slightest complaint from me, regarding this, to immediately write to the SCMP, and please will the SCMP publish every letter that they receive as a result of this appeal.

Peter Robertson, Sai Kung

What do you think of the CU student journal's survey?

I am writing in response to the article entitled 'Academics hit out at censor's ruling' (City, May 16).

An issue published by the Student Press of Chinese University was classified as Category II (indecent) by the Obscene Articles Tribunal. However, the authority concerned could not tell the students which part of their school journal was obscene or indecent, and for what reasons.

This act has just violated freedom of publication in Hong Kong. Should the students responsible be prosecuted, rarely will there be any free press expressing people's feelings in Hong Kong, as everyone will fear being prosecuted.

I do not think the student journal is guilty of obscenity. It is just a poll done by the students in a bid to reflect what people know about sex. Some people have shared their sexual experiences in the school journal. I think the purpose of the students in doing this survey is to help people understand more about sex.

In the traditional view sex is a taboo subject, so, some naive people have misconceptions about sex and have unsafe sex. I think this journal can help people know more about this kind of knowledge.

Because of the above reasons, I think Chinese University should back its students in this incident. If it does not, the students may be kicked out of the school and lose their future. I hope the students will not plead guilty.

Rainy Lam, STFA Cheng Yu Tung Secondary School

The Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority apparently considers that time and the passage of generations reduce indecency. Does this mean that articles regarded as indecent in, say, 1950, can now be freely distributed? Will the future students of Chinese University, in another generation, be able to reprint the survey? Or is Tela desperately searching for a logical justification for its inconsistent decisions?

Allan Dyer, Wong Chuk Hang

As a member of society, I am writing to voice my intense concern at the publication of intimate topics in Chinese University's Student Press recently.

The journal's editorial board still refuses to apologise and finds their publication unproblematic. This worries me deeply as I found the attitude of the students very problematic.

Admittedly in a liberal society like Hong Kong, sexual issues are discussed more openly. But as university students who are ready to contribute to society, they should know well the different bottom lines of different people.

We are no longer kindergarten kids. Though freedom of press and speech is allowed, the journal's editorial board should be very careful, especially when handling such a sensitive issue.

The intention of the journal's editorial board to spark more open debate on sex is wonderful. Yet they did not complete the task correctly. In the end, many people found their publication immoral and offensive. I suppose being proficient in the use of language, the journalists should have more than enough ability to modify their words and deliver their message more politely.

While some say this is an example of free thinking, to me the students are abusing this freedom. As responsible journalists, they should be cautious with their publications.

University is the highest institution of education and should pursue integrity. This incident has disappointed the public. Such a distorted kind of reporting should be penalised. I urge the journal's editorial board, who are the future of our society, to apologise sincerely for the indecent publication of Student Press and please ensure the same will not happen again.

Cherrie Cheng, Tuen Mun

Should Queen's Pier be kept at its current site?

If Queen's Pier can stay where it belongs, within the City Hall complex as it was designed to be, then perhaps room could be made for a lake and fountain alongside it? It would not be such an anachronism then.

Guy Shirra, Sai Kung

On other matters...

Last month your newspaper printed an article touting the benefits of using compact fluorescent lights, otherwise known as energy-saving light bulbs.

While the energy-saving facts are now known, consumers should be put on notice that these light bulbs contain mercury, which is poisonous. Breathing in these mercury vapours from a broken light bulb can be fatal.

Furthermore, because of the mercury content, these energy-saving light bulbs must be disposed of as hazardous household waste - not in the regular household rubbish. If you break one of these bulbs, it should not be vacuumed.

Many of the so called energy-saving light bulbs sold in Hong Kong do not state on the packaging that the light bulb contains mercury, nor that they should be properly disposed of. Most people are probably unaware of the mercury and, considering the danger to children and households, not to mention the environment as a result of improper disposal, consumers should be notified.

Joan Tucker, Central