Statue Square ads - it's all about good taste
I refer to the letter ('Billboards help promote games', July 13) from Chris Choy, information officer for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD).
He was responding to letters regarding the billboards in Statue Square Garden and parks in Hong Kong, including my letter ('Renting out Statue Square dishonours fallen heroes', July 2).
I cannot accept the excuses for the commercialisation of Statue Square as being an important exercise in promoting the Asian Games planned for 2009 in Hong Kong.
The first thing any passer-by sees has nothing to do with the Asian Games and everything to do with the products being promoted by the commercial firms which have underwritten the dreadful displays.
If the government considers it so important and is truly anxious to promote the Asian Games in a place such as Statue Square, it should do so in a controlled, dignified and tasteful manner, showing that Hong Kong itself is backing and hosting the event.
Commercial firms which participate can do their own advertising in other areas but certainly not in parks which are for the common use and enjoyment of the Hong Kong public.
The LCSD is being totally insensitive in its use of video walls, in areas such as public parks.
They are landscaped so that the public may enjoy a bit of nature in the middle of the city, and also use the park for recreational purposes.
This area should not and must not be used as a backdrop for the so-called publicity exercise to promote LCSD events.
There is a proper time and place for everything.
What kind of an example is the LCSD setting in educating our youth and our population on standards of propriety?
Does the LCSD have no sense at all of what is appropriate, balanced and in good taste?
Nelly Fung, Repulse Bay
Do your own housework
Since my original letter was edited ('No superior work ethic', July 7) it's not surprising that your correspondents Fiona Mak ('Tasks not dirty and boring', July 10) and Walter Tseng ('Good deal for maids in HK', July 10) failed to understand my point.
I am not the one moaning about having to care for children or do household chores during my days off. I don't employ a live-in helper so I do my own cooking and cleaning without complaint. Still, I'd hardly call housework interesting.
My criticism was directed at those correspondents who seek to take out their frustrations at life on their domestic helpers, as if they are responsible for Hong Kong's cramped apartments, lengthy working hours and nightmarish school system.
I don't deny these problems are all cause for dissatisfaction but it is irrational and unfair to blame overseas helpers. Indeed, if those who have expressed envy of their domestic helpers had the chance to trade places for a few months, I doubt they'd have the courage to do it. Specifically, I was shocked by Pierce Lam's resentful view ('Spare a thought for diligent middle class', July 5) that Hong Kong's middle class had to look after their own children during their precious time off, the implication being that this was an unpleasant thing to do. Having children is a full-time job from which there is no respite and for which parents alone bear the ultimate responsibility.
I stand by my earlier opinion that it wouldn't kill you to do your own housework and be with your children after work. You may find it improves your family ties.
Debbie Barnes, The Peak
Members will be the losers
The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), representative of accountants in professional affairs, and Mandy Tam, representative of accountants on the Legislative Council, will meet in court for the judicial review over whether the HKICPA has to distribute Ms Tam's newsletter to her electorate at her own costs.
Sources say the HKICPA has hired a QC from London and a local senior counsel. Therefore, the legal cost must be considerable. It is a no-win case, and HKICPA members will be the biggest loser regardless of the outcome. If the HKICPA wins, it may further exercise its political prejudice against the members' elected Legco representatives in the future relying on the judicial review decision.
If it loses, members have to bear the legal costs.
In either case, accountants suffer.
The decision could be far-reaching for our constitutional system as it is concerned with communications between the elected Legco representative of a functional constituency and the organisation holding the details of the electorate.
R. Young, Kwun Tong
People ignore market risks
Whenever a new stock or some other kind of fund on the stock market is issued people fall over themselves to purchase them without considering the potential risk.
They strongly believe that the new stocks and funds are going to bring them a huge amount of profit.
What they ignore, however, is that the mainland economy has overheated and inflation is rampant. Another financial crisis is imminent, so we should be rational and take precautions against it.
Harvey Cheung, Sham Shui Po
Green paper not that difficult
I have read the green paper on democratic development.
I am not sure what the pan-democrats are complaining about when they say it is 'too complex'. Are they trying to insult the attention span of the Hong Kong people? If it is so complex, then imagine how complex it will be to study the platforms of all the chief executive candidates.
The reality is that democratic development is a complex process, and there is no easy way to boil it down to three simple models at this stage. I found the green paper quite liberal as it did offer proposals that didn't screen out quality democratic candidates. The key word here is quality. Nobody wants 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung as a chief executive candidate.
Alan Leong Kah-kit, however, is another story. He is a high- quality candidate and hopefully one day he will stand for election and all Hong Kong people will be able to vote.
Peter Call, Wan Chai
I note from the 'Industry Guide' on the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance, which came into effect on June 1, that telecoms watchdog Ofta has kindly rewritten the law for us.
Schedule 1 of the ordinance lists exemptions from the legislation. However, the 'Industry Guide' slips in an additional exemption for religious messages, more specifically 'religious messages which do not advertise, promote or offer any products, services, business opportunities or organisation'.
While Ofta has authority under section 29 of the ordinance to approve codes of practice, surely this does not give it the right to rewrite or supplement the legislation. Indeed, some might argue that religious propaganda is one of the oldest forms of spam and that tackling this is long overdue.
Perhaps Ofta would care to comment on this particular piece of creativity, and advise whether it has been influenced by any officials' personal religious leanings in adding this exemption to the code of practice?
Freddie Fumier, Stanley