PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 July, 2007, 12:00am

Are guidelines needed for work in hot weather?

Protecting workers from heatstroke is as important as protecting workers from construction accidents. Guidelines are certainly needed for work in hot weather.

Recent cases show that workers can easily suffer from heatstroke in the hot weather and this can even prove fatal.

Workers in Hong Kong are not getting enough protection. To prevent workers from suffering heatstroke, legislation is needed. This legislation should require employers to supply water and let employees take the necessary breaks.

The Shenzhen authorities have set a good example for us to follow.

That city's legislation bans outdoor work between noon and 3pm when the temperature hits 35 degrees Celsius. We should follow suit.

So Wai-yan, Kwung Tong

Do women need more rooms to feed their babies?

The government is encouraging women to feed their babies in a natural way since it can benefit both the mother and the baby. However, it is disappointing that so many public places lack facilities where a mother can breastfeed her baby.

You rarely find such rooms in modern shopping malls. This is ridiculous.

When I go out, it is not uncommon to see mothers feeding their babies with milk made from powder, because they do not want to have to breastfeed their baby in a toilet. It discourages mothers from breastfeeding. The government encourages mothers to breastfeed their babies, but it does not ensure that facilities exist for them to do so.

If we want our mothers and babies to be healthy, more facilities should be provided.

Wong Pui-yan, Yau Tong

While the government is encouraging mothers to breastfeed their infants, I am disappointed to see that it has not equipped public places with better breastfeeding facilities.

As an emphasis has been laid on the benefits of breastfeeding, many parents decide to do so.

However, there are just too few places available for mothers to feed their babies. This deters some from breastfeeding.

A relative breastfed her daughter. If she had to go out with the baby, she had to pump milk into a bottle that was kept in a thermal insulating bag.

In spite of this the temperature of the bottled milk dropped and the baby cried for a feed.

Breastfeeding rooms are essential in shopping malls and parks.

Eventually, I hope they will be also be available in restaurants.

Renata Chan Miu-ting, Kwun Tong

My son is now aged three. I breastfed him until he was 18 months old and I'm very happy I was able to do that.

I do agree there is a lack of facilities available to either breastfeed or express milk.

When I returned to work after three months, I expressed milk in a storage room at work and it wasn't always easy as it wasn't really designed for this.

I was very lucky to have very supportive colleagues.

Milk supply is closely under the influence of hormones, and breastfeeding or expressing milk if you're away from your baby for the day can be negatively influenced by the environment you are in.

If it is dirty, uncomfortable or unpleasant, or if you have to rush it is unlikely to work and unfortunately many women will eventually stop breastfeeding for these reasons.

Rooms adjacent to toilets, such as the baby-changing room in the IFC shopping mall, would be good.

Dedicated rooms such as the one available at Queen Mary Hospital's paediatrics department should be more widely available.

It has been shown that breastfeeding is immensely beneficial both for the mother and the baby's health. It is not only about convenience.

Nathalie Mauroo, Lantau

What do you think of the 2007 Hong Kong Book Fair?

I refer to Wong Yee-ho's negative (Talkback, July 27) view on the Hong Kong Book Fair.

She said she did not attend it. By not doing so, she let slip a chance to broaden her horizons.

I salute those diehard book fans who made the effort and attended.

There was so much on offer at the fair. There was a wide variety of books and you could exchange information with publishers if you were interested in finding out about publishing your own book.

I have found a new perspective on book and newspaper reading after attending the fair, and I found it a lot of fun.

Pang Chi-ming, Sheung Shui

Should we preserve the King of Kowloon's graffiti?

We should preserve the graffiti made by the 'King of Kowloon'.

Although the content of the graffiti made by Tsang Tsou-choi may not mean much to some Hong Kong citizens, it is part of our unique local culture.

What he did was part of our city and the life of our city.

However, he was not only appreciated in Hong Kong. People all over Europe also praised his calligraphy. That is why we should preserve this well-known artist's graffiti.

The graffiti, although it may not have brought any direct benefits to society, brought it no harm either, and is part of our collective memory. The calligraphy he put on walls, telephone boxes and pavements did nothing to hinder the development of our economy.

In fact, it brought business opportunities to some businesspeople who printed his work on their products. It would not cost a lot of money to preserve his work and display it for Hong Kong people to view.

Poon Tsz-hin, Tseung Kwan O

What do you think of the new style of funeral being offered by some hotels?

To me, the new style of funeral is a breakthrough, allowing us to see death from a different point of view.

It allows families of people with no religious beliefs to have an alternative way of saying farewell to their loved ones.

It is more like a sad 'celebration' than the more traditional funeral where everyone is grieving. These modern-style services make recovery from bereavement faster for a family.

At a traditional Chinese funeral, family members are supposed to cry their hearts out and this just prolongs one's pain.

However, with this new style of funeral, the pain of loss can be eased by sharing it with others and talking about the life of the deceased.

The family can even receive blessings from their friends. This helps to bring family members a sense of hope and joy. Can anyone think of a better way to remember someone?

Daphne Wong, Tsuen Wan

The influence of western culture has gradually become stronger in Hong Kong.

It is easy to see the signs. Ask a child on the street what they would prefer to eat, a hamburger or Chinese-style buns, and they will probably opt for the former.

Teenagers nowadays have also become devotees of western music. As people have been used to various forms of westernisation, it is assumed that they will also welcome these new styles of funeral.

However, I don't think this new idea will receive support from the majority of Hong Kong people.

The Taoist funeral is deeply entrenched in our history. It is a combination of Chinese religious beliefs and rituals. Most people believe that following the original style of funeral tightly shows filial piety and respect for the deceased. Therefore, many people might find the new style of funeral to be too informal and even impolite.

More importantly, most people who pass away are elderly. They are heavily influenced by traditional beliefs, handed down through generations.

Actually, the introduction of the new style of funeral is probably down to expatriates in Hong Kong and many of them will be in favour of it. However, it must not be seen as a replacement of the Taoist funeral as that represents our Chinese culture and our history.

Ho Hin-yui, Sau Mau Ping

I want my funeral to be a happy one and I am sure many readers want the same.

The new style of funeral is exactly what I would want. I hope all those people coming to my funeral will not feel sorrow. The traditional ceremony, which is filled with wailing, makes me feel uncomfortable. It is difficult for people not to cry in that atmosphere. I would prefer, at my funeral, that people recall my life in a happy way, rather than have my friends and relatives in tears.

Perhaps I like the new style funeral because I am open-minded and I do not come from any religious background. I just want to guarantee that the funeral will be casual and cosy.

In a broader sense, it creates a new business opportunity for hotels. Some companies could also survive by helping people arrange the ideal funeral.

I think this new style will probably be accepted by more people in the near future.

Cindy Leung Lai-ha, Ngau Tau Kok