PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 October, 2007, 12:00am

Are you happy with your work-life balance?

Hong Kong people openly boast about how hard they work.

We are probably the hardest-working people on Earth.

One of the reasons for this is that most Hong Kong people spend a lot of their leisure time shopping. If we want our precious designer-label goods, we must work hard and do overtime when necessary.

I am very happy with my work-life balance. I am more than willing to do overtime.

This kind of attitude helps you keep your job, builds a rapport with your colleagues, increases your chance of promotion and, most importantly, leads to you earning more money so you can afford to buy those designer goods.

After all, we need these goods in our lives to make us feel better about ourselves.

Hard work never hurt anyone.

Candy Yu Dan-ho, Causeway Bay

What can be done to attract more backpackers?

When will the Tourism Board understand that not every traveller in the world wants to go shopping at some new, glamorous designer mall?

It is the old Hong Kong, not the new, that is repeatedly stated as what the backpacking-style travellers want.

For example, when I first came to Hong Kong in 1999, I visited no shopping malls, only old markets such as the Temple Street night market.

Now that I have lived in Hong Kong for several years, I still do not go to shopping malls.

There is nothing in any of the malls throughout this city that I have not seen or cannot buy in any other mall in any other country.

How many consultations does it take to understand that more luxury malls in an already saturated market is not what the average traveller wants?

Since 1999, I have witnessed so much destruction of what was once quaint, interesting and distinctly unique about this city, all in the name of economic 'revitalisation'.

Will tourists want to take pictures of a new Gucci or Dolce & Gabanna store?

If the Tourism Board is sincere about wanting Hong Kong to be attractive to all visitors, then drop the tasteless developers and hire someone to pick up the trash - promote what belongs to Hong Kong, not what comes from overseas designer labels.

James Warren, Tsz Wan Shan

What can be done to reduce domestic violence?

Domestic violence has become a serious problem in Hong Kong.

The murder-suicide in Tin Shui Wai on October 14 highlighted this problem. The police have seen an increase in the number of domestic violence reports. This is a warning that we are facing a problem with damaged relationships within families.

This problem usually comes about through a lack of communication between family members. In a normal family, people share their problems and show mutual support.

To help deal with this problem, the government should train and recruit more social workers and clinical psychologists.

If it does not, the problem of domestic violence will only get worse.

This is a critical time with regard to this problem and we can all lend a helping hand to aid victims of domestic abuse.

Gustav Tang Man-fai, Mong Kok

The murder-suicide tragedy in Tin Shui Wai on October 14 showed that in Hong Kong we can no longer neglect the problem of domestic violence.

Action has to be taken, as soon as possible, to deal with this problem.

The most common problem that triggers such incidents in a family is poverty.

Many residents in Tin Shui Wai are immigrants from the mainland. They have low education levels and few work skills, so they find themselves on very low incomes. This lack of money puts tremendous pressure on a family.

At the end of a long and demanding working day, parents may be too tired to talk to their children. This can aggravate relations between children and parents and, if the situation escalates, it can lead to violence.

Help must be made available to these families.

At the moment there are not enough social workers and those working in Tin Shui Wai have massive caseloads. Also, some problem families may not realise they have a problem and that help is available.

Social workers need to be able to identify at-risk families so they can be helped.

I also believe there are not enough facilities in this district.

The government should build more hospitals and libraries.

Lau Tin-ying, Mong Kok

On other matters...

With reference to the comments of Gordon Truscott (Talkback, October 20), we apologise for the inconvenience caused to him when he could not board the first available Light Rail vehicle.

I hope his wait for the next vehicle was not too long as most of the Light Rail routes operate at a seven- to eight-minute interval during off-peak hours.

We also hope Mr Truscott can understand that like other public transport carriers, Light Rail operates in accordance with a fixed timetable made known to the travelling public.

If a fully-loaded vehicle was allowed to leave a terminus early, this would upset the timetable and cause inconvenience to other passengers who intended to board at intermediate stops.

We take note of Mr Truscott's comment on the availability of a single bench at some Light Rail stops.

While every effort is made to provide more benches, we hope your correspondent will understand that our efforts in this regard are hampered by the narrow width of the stops because of the need to share road space with other vehicles.

Regarding his comment on West Rail Tin Shui Wai station, it is an open-air platform with canopies in place to protect passengers from getting wet during boarding and alighting.

These canopies are installed at a height above the overhead cable so it is possible for a platform floor to become wet during persistent and heavy rain.

When this happens, we deploy extra staff to mop the floor and put up notices advising passengers to be careful of the wet floor.

Ida Leung, senior public affairs manager, Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation