How should we tackle teenage drug abuse?
Drugs can sometimes be seen as a kind of 'forbidden fruit' for youth because of their increasing desire to try new things and search for excitement. This is why we at Kely Support Group feel that simply telling teenagers not to use drugs will not work. In fact, it may even make it more interesting for them and feed into their need to search for that new kick.
Kely has brought harm-reduction services to Hong Kong youth for 16 years and we have been successful in doing so because of our innovative approach by adopting a preventive focus on knowledge, attitude and skills.
By increasing their knowledge we eliminate misconceptions about drugs and drug use. The next step is to build a positive and healthy attitude towards life by introducing peer support and refusal skills so that youths can also support each other in life.
For more information on our services, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 25216890.
Barbara Jansen, youth services co-ordinator, Kely Support Group
How can swimming safety be improved?
I was in Shek O one summer, on a day when the waves were high and the red flag was hoisted. Yet, still, there were those who ignored the warnings and continued surfing. I was there for about an hour and I saw three or four of these people being rescued by the lifeguards.
It was almost as if there was some competition going on between the swimmers and the lifeguards. Swimmers plunged into the swirling waves and just waved their hands when they needed help. They seemed to be very casual about the whole thing. And yet they were putting their own lives at risk and the lives of those lifeguards who had to go into the sea to rescue them.
Who will compensate the families of the lifeguards if they drown? Isn't there a law which forbids people swimming when it is that dangerous? After all, we arrest those individuals who climb up our skyscrapers, after their descent, and charge them with social disorder.
If people go into the sea when the weather is really bad, they should be similarly charged and fined HK$2,000 for a first offence.
Ting Lee, Causeway Bay
On other matters ...
The whole point of M. Lee's letter (Talkback, September 29) concerning the delayed Oasis Hong Kong Airlines flight from London in mid-August was simply that she was upset that the flight was delayed.
The fact that her mother is disabled, that her 'family members' live a long distance from Gatwick airport, her children had to go to school the next day, etc, may make her feel like a victim but frankly it is irrelevant.
Even if the aircraft had arrived on time, M. Lee's children would still have been sleepy at their desks because they would have had to have been in school the next day at 1am (London time).
Returning to the point, all airlines have delays and while nobody likes them I would far rather be on the ground when the aircraft had a problem which is then diagnosed and fixed than in the air.
Concerning M. Lee's treatment by Oasis, my family and I were on that same flight. Oasis put us up in the Hilton Hotel at Gatwick with vouchers to buy far more than we could possibly have eaten and drunk, provided a full breakfast the following morning and had us on our way back to Hong Kong very soon after that.
My question to M. Lee concerning her experience is why it has taken six weeks to work herself up into such a frenzy before writing to your newspaper.
Oasis acted very professionally that day from an aviation and a customer service point of view - I'll happily fly with them again and, no, I don't have any affiliation with Oasis or any other airline.
J. Alaster, Pok Fu Lam
Having also flown with Oasis Hong Kong Airlines many times since their launch last year, I felt I had to comment on my experiences.
I, like M. Lee (Talkback, September 29), was surprised to receive an e-mail from the chief executive after my first trip and I also responded very favourably to Steve Miller about my flight. Since then I have used Oasis to ferry my children back and forth from the UK and have nothing but praise for the service.
My 16-year-old son recently returned to the UK for knee surgery and after informing Mr Miller of this I was delighted to receive a reassuring e-mail informing me that they would look after him. He was given a more comfortable seat with more leg room on both the outgoing and inbound flights at no extra cost.
I will continue to support Oasis by recommending them to my family and friends.
Gill Bredbury, Tung Chung
I refer to the complaint letter by M. Lee (Talkback, September 29), against Oasis Hong Kong Airlines.
I would not recommend this airline to any of my friends or acquaintances.
Last year I wrote a letter, 'The long way round', regarding the story, 'Russians clear Oasis for one-off overflight' (October 27). I wrote a second letter, 'Hidden cost of budget airline', regarding the report, 'Flat tyre takes wind out of Oasis flight' (April 8).
Although I have travelled extensively by air for the past four decades, I will not use any budget airline in any country.
Steve Miller, the chief executive of Oasis, should have immediately apologised to M. Lee and offered compensation for the inconvenience caused to your correspondent.
Eugene Li , Deep Water Bay