• Thu
  • Aug 21, 2014
  • Updated: 7:51am

Talkback

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 August, 2007, 12:00am

Should there be public toilets in MTR stations?


MTR stations should have public toilets.


At the moment, passengers have to ask to use the staff toilets at MTR stations. This takes time and increases the workload of staff members.


The only other way is for passengers to pay to use the turnstiles to leave the station and find a toilet nearby. This will cost them money and waste their precious time.


As the number of passengers visiting the staff toilets is increasing, it is essential that public toilets are installed.


If the MTR Corporation is not convinced, it should put in toilets on a trial basis in some stations and see if there is a demand.


Jennifer Chu, Tseung Kwan O


Should vendors use string to tie crabs?


I think using string to tie crabs is a good idea, as it is light and the price of a crab is decided by weight. Using materials such as rubber bands would be more expensive.


If vendors are forced to use more expensive material, they might pass the increased cost on to the consumer.


Peter Wong Yee-ho, Kwun Tong


Do gifted pupils need legal protection?


There is quite a debate going on about gifted pupils and whether they should be given some legal protection.


I do not believe such protection is necessary.


While it is thought by some that this would enable them to achieve their full potential, I think it could make them feel isolated.


Being given a form of legal protection distinguishes them from the other children. This could make them feel stressed.


A gifted child who is shown too much protection might not perform that well academically. And if they did feel isolated, it might make it more difficult for them to get on with ordinary kids. The best thing would be to subsidise gifted children, not protect them.


Wong Ho-in, Kwun Tong


What do you think of pay-TV services?


Bruce Springsteen had no idea when he wrote the song 57 Channels (And Nothin' On) that he could have been referring to Now Broadband's sports channels.


Now TV has just put on seven Now Sports channels in addition to Star Sports and ESPN, and pay-TV channels such as ESPN Plus, Star Sports Plus, Star Sports HD, and the English Premier League (on demand) and the Uefa Champion's League (on demand).


That is fantastic if you are a football fan. There is only one problem: I hate football.


To each their own, I say. I am allowed to hate football as much as those who love the game. The problem is that the greatest tournament of the greatest sport on Earth - in my books - is coming up and guess what?


While Now Sports plays the same football match on all seven channels at precisely the same time (this happened just the other day), it is not going to be covering the Rugby World Cup.


Hong Kong has shown, by its love of the IRB Rugby Sevens tournament, that it enjoys rugby just as much as the next city, so why show the same football match on seven channels and no rugby?


The increase in fees associated with the addition of the sports channels should be reflected in an increase in the variety of sports available to watch. Does anyone agree?


Oh well, let's hope the anti-monopoly bill gets passed quickly.


David Baluk, Tuen Mun


Is a law needed to regulate charities?


I refer to the recent discussions on the review of administering charities.


The principal requirement for an organisation to qualify as charitable is that it does not distribute its profits to its members, and its directors do not draw any salary.


However, there are always ways to circumvent this rule, such as hiring a chief executive officer at an exorbitant cost, outsourcing work, or obtaining goods or services from people who are closely connected with or related to top management.


Once a Section 88 tax exemption is granted by the Inland Revenue Department, it seems little more is done to monitor a charity's operations.


In a typical 'charity' ball screened on television, the lion's share of the money made by the event will probably go to the venue where it is held such as a hotel, the singers and other performers, and the organisers.


Little is left over to help those who are in real need.


I propose that to be accountable to kind-hearted donors, an audited account of income and expenditure should be provided to the tax department for any public fund-raising event, with a copy made available for public inspection within 14 days of the event.


A pro forma summary analysis of percentage of net income that really goes to charity, as against total expenditure for the event, should also be appended.


On a similar note, the compensation of all directors, and say the top five salary-earners of the charity, as well as perks paid to employees, should be available for public inspection.


The tax department should reserve the right to revoke any exemption status of any organisation failing in its promise to help the needy.


That said, there are indeed organisations that are genuinely devoted to charity, whose board members are vigilant against any misspending.


Leo Lok, Central


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