Talkback | South China Morning Post
  • Sun
  • Feb 1, 2015
  • Updated: 1:08pm


PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 September, 2007, 12:00am

Do you think bank branches are too cold?

For bank staff wearing heavy suits, the cold temperature is fine. However, for customers who come in wearing casual and light clothes, it is too cold.

The government has suggested the optimum indoor temperature be about 25.5 degrees Celsius, but in some banks, it is closer to 23 degrees.

The banks probably do not worry about their energy bills, as it is a small sum compared with their total revenue. However, the banks should consider what effect they are having on global warming.

Banks always claim to be customer-oriented. But can we really believe this when the customers are freezing? The banks should make their branches less cold and relax the dress code for staff so they can wear lighter clothes.

If banks take the first step, it will set a good example for other companies. And if more people adhered to the government's recommended indoor temperature, Hong Kong could become an environmentally friendly city.

Wong Tsz-kin, Tsuen Wan

The temperatures in banks are unacceptably low. They should allow their staff to wear short-sleeved shirts instead of adjusting the room temperature.

Keeping a low indoor temperature is not good for staff or customers. It also means banks are using more energy and harming our planet.

For the sake of staff and the Earth, please keep the room temperature at 25.5 degrees Celsius.

Wong Pui-yan, Yau Tong

It is good to see the public is now more aware of the environmental problems people are causing and taking initiatives, for example encouraging people to turn up air-conditioners and wear casual clothes at work.

However, I think some green groups might be getting too absorbed over temperatures in working environments. Take, for example, the survey by Green Sense ('Bank air-cons too cold, say greens', August 31), which found temperatures in banks were 'lower than necessary'.

Looking at the Green Sense data, I think it is reasonable for banks to set the temperature lower than the recommended level.

Many people come in and out of banks and the only way to improve the ventilation in such places is to turn down the air conditioners, otherwise, people are more prone to catch contagious diseases, such as flu.

It is different for people in their own homes. I would suggest opening windows and not switching on air-cons, no matter how hot it gets. If every household followed suit, energy could be saved.

Moreover, breathing fresh air and sweating are good for our health.

For the sake of the environment and our health, don't be tempted to turn on air-cons at home.

Cheung Ko-chi, Tseung Kwan O

Most of the bank branches I have visited in Hong Kong are not really that cold.

In recent years, environmental groups have been urging offices and shopping malls to adjust their temperatures to around 25 degrees Celsius. This initiative has actually been working quite well, and most of us are able to work and shop in a comfortable environment. However, there will always be black sheep, and we have to identify them. Although it is not difficult to see why environmental groups are criticising bank branches, certain things have to be taken into account.

It is understandable that banks switched to colder temperatures. We have had several weeks of sizzling temperatures, and it has been particularly difficult in congested areas.

In such places as Central and Causeway Bay, banks get crowded and it is their responsibility to maintain good ventilation.

Customers may be in the bank for just a short period and the bank has to ensure they feel comfortable.

Borromeo Li Ka-kit, Kwun Tong

Should there be more help services for the elderly?

The problem of Hong Kong's ageing population is getting more serious and services available to the elderly should be enhanced as that population increases. This should be done without delay, because the services currently available are insufficient to meet demand.

More elderly people have found themselves abandoned by younger relatives and have found themselves homeless. In such situations, the government has no choice but to look after them. As this problem is getting more serious, there is a greater need to build more homes for the elderly and employ more helpers to care for them.

Even old people who have their own accommodation may need help, especially if they get sick and are living alone.

The government must ensure resources are available, not just to answer their physical needs, but to help them with any psychological problems they may have.

The elderly have served our society during their working lives and now it is time to give them something in return.

Cheng Ka-lee, Yau Tong

On other matters ...

Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong is right when he says security at Hong Kong's Olympic Games venues needs to improve ('Games protection will be improved, security chief says', August 25). But that doesn't mean we need more security measures.

The issue many people seemed to have with the equestrian test (at Sha Tin and Sheung Shui) was that the rigmarole to get into the grounds was just too much.

The fact that some naughty reporters thought they could make a name for themselves by sneaking in knives and getting into places without the necessary passes was just foul play on their part.

Journalists had to submit applications and photographs to gain accreditation for the event, and the security services had ample opportunity to screen them and ensure they were not terrorists.

If anything, the security measures were overzealous and a nuisance. Take, for instance, the rule that no drinks could be taken into the grounds.

I was not allowed to take soft-packed vitamin gel in because it might be 'a water bomb'. Cans and bottles I can understand, alcoholic beverages, certainly, but light-packed gel is just silly.

Security staff would not even allow me to sip it in front of them. What is going to happen with things like babies' bottles, suntan lotions or the myriad other cosmetic and comfort things Joe Public carries?

Oddly enough, a can of highly flammable spray deodorant that happened to be in my bag was passed without comment.

Mr Lee says he will draw on experience from Hong Kong's hosting of the World Trade Organisation event. But the Olympic Games is not the WTO. You don't want to encourage spectators to attend a WTO meeting.

Sporting events are not generally focal points for protesters, and officials should ensure the public is not put off by their heavy handedness.

Hong Kong is going to get one shot at doing this right. Do we want to be remembered as a police state or for a great sporting event?

Susan Ramsay, Tseung Kwan O


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