What do you think of pay-TV services?
Pay-TV services in Hong Kong provide a variety of programmes such as sports, soap operas and 24-hour news at an extremely low price.
Some people have been very critical of pay-TV. However, I think it offers an alternative form of entertainment for Hongkongers.
Before pay-TV, we had only four channels - two in English and two in Chinese. They were limited in what they could show. With pay-TV, we have a lot more to choose from.
The existence of these channels has meant keen competition and so the four free television channels have improved. Pay- and free-TV companies have found ways to adapt and survive. This has happened with one pay-TV provider, even when it has lost out on covering a major sporting event to a competitor.
Kong Yuen-ying, Ngau Chi Wan
Should there be public toilets in MTR stations?
I had not heard of anyone complaining about the lack of toilets in the MTR since the service started in 1979. However, there is now a demand for toilets and I agree that it puts added pressure on employees - who are there to ensure the efficient transport of commuters - to show people to the staff toilets.
I believe the demand for public toilets in MTR stations stems from the new extension lines that have been built over the years. This means that some commuters are now on the trains for longer periods.
Some East Rail stations have public toilets, but I do not think there is enough room at the existing MTR stations for such facilities.
I have seen mobile toilets, which are widely used on construction sites and in parks. Installing these toilets might provide a temporary solution that the MTR could consider.
In addition, the MTR could have maps in its stations showing commuters the locations of the nearest public toilets.
For example, at Tin Hau station, the closest facilities would be at Victoria Park, and at Wan Chai station, they would be at Southorn Playground.
Pang Chi-ming, Sheung Shui
The absence of public toilets in MTR stations is inconvenient for passengers. It can be especially bad for children and the elderly.
On occasions, I have seen children urinating in a corner of an underground station. Very few people are aware that staff toilets are available for members of the public if it is an emergency.
If there are public toilets in at least some MTR stations, it will reduce the workload on MTR staff.
Chan Wai-shun, Kwun Tong
Since the MTR Corporation made it public that staff toilets can be used by passengers in an emergency, the demand for these facilities has risen.
However, a staff member has to accompany the passenger to the toilets and wait outside. This takes employees away from their normal duties and means the quality of other customer services may be affected.
Hiring more employees may not solve the problem.
Since there is increasing demand for these services, the MTR Corp should install public toilets. It would be more convenient for passengers.
I know from personal experience after having to rush to toilets in a nearby shopping mall. Under the present arrangements, it must be quite embarrassing to ask an MTR employee to walk you to the staff toilets.
Fong Hau-ling, Tseung Kwan O
Should vendors use string to
Using string may not the best method to reduce the problem of underweight crabs, since the thickness of the string and the amount used could cause problems for consumers.
Even though nylon string is light, if a lot of it is used, it could add to the weight of the crab.
I think the best way to get rid of the problem of underweight crabs being sold is to use rubber bands to tie their pincers shut.
This would be a cost-saving measure and less non-recyclable material would be used.
Wong Kwai-ching, Lam Tin
Mainland wholesalers should use string to tie the crabs. Most crabs are tied up with heavy weeds soaked with water when they are imported from the mainland.
We claim we are being cheated by vendors in Hong Kong, but they are also being cheated by the wholesalers.
Clearly, these mainland wholesalers are the ones who are at the root of the problem.
They sell vast quantities of crabs, so using string to tie the crabs would not hurt them as much as the Hong Kong vendors, who are struggling to make a profit.
Cindy Leung Lai-ha, Kwun Tong
On other matters ...
Had Bruce Propert (Talkback, August 27) written his letter about taxi drivers 10 to 15 years ago, I would have understood and sympathised with him.
Unfortunately, he did not say to where he was trying to get, where he was going from, and more importantly, how many times he has had this problem.
It has been many years since I had a problem getting a taxi from Central or Wan Chai to the New Territories.
Further, I would like to add that I had very few problems with taxi drivers in the 15 years that I have lived in Hong Kong, far fewer than my share if certain correspondents are to be believed.
Also, in those 15 years, there has been a noticeable improvement in the standard of English spoken by taxi drivers. Although this is an advantage to expatriates who, like myself, have not learned Cantonese, we should not expect it as our right.
While there are, no doubt, some rogue taxi drivers, just as there are rogue lawyers, doctors and policemen, I have found most Hong Kong taxi drivers courteous, helpful and efficient.
I have, however, had more than my fair share of problems with taxi drivers in both Sydney (Mr Propert's home town) and Adelaide.
In England, many years ago, I worked for a brewery. In that trade there is a saying, which my experience proved to be true: '90 per dent of the ullage comes from 10 per cent of the customers' ('ullage' is the term used in the industry for the beer returned to the brewery by unhappy pub managers and owners).
A similar rule could be applied to the relationship between supplier and customer in many service industries: think about it.
Peter Robertson, Sai Kung