AS Watson


PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 December, 2007, 12:00am


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Will you be upgrading to receive digital TV signals?

The march of technology, especially information technology, is relentless. Whether it is the internet, Wi-fi, or mobile phones, we all keep buying the equipment.

I remember the days of listening to the radio. My family could not afford to buy one, because sets were still expensive. We would borrow one, or go somewhere to listen to it. We bought one once they became cheaper.

The same thing happened with the advent of television, especially colour TVs. They were expensive at first, but now, every household has one.

The progress of technology and digital high-definition TVs will bring benefits economically.

They will help businesses and individuals.

But the march of progress always leaves people behind. People on low incomes cannot afford to purchase the new technology.

Because of this, I think the government should provide a longer transition period with analogue and digital TV signals being made available to this group of people. Alternatively, it should offer subsidies to people on low incomes so they can pay for the upgrade.

I am excited by these technological developments and I will upgrade, but I will do it when I can afford to.

Thomas Yeo, Tuen Mun

I think digital television is part of the evolution of our society. People will enjoy a higher-quality picture on their television screens and reception problems will be solved.

It will enable broadcasters to explore more business opportunities and test out new services on the digital platform. Therefore, I welcome digital TV. I think it is good news for the city's residents.

Tang Kwan-yi, Tin Shui Wai

Should ParknShop have stuck to its 'no plastic bag' campaign?

It's never easy to be a pioneer.

ParknShop appeared to be acting as a vehicle for change on the issue of environmental protection, with its decision to stop giving out free plastic bags to customers unless they paid 20 HK cents for each one on a voluntarily basis.

However, it was criticised over alleged lack of transparency in the handling of the 20-cent contributions.

It is such a pity that it decided to scrap the policy after only five days. Many of us were left disappointed by this decision.

This farce revealed a key problem regarding environmental protection in the city, which is that not enough people here have a strong sense of the need for waste reduction.

There is no eagerness on the part of city residents to clean up our act. We have still a long way to go before we take up the environmental challenges in a serious manner.

What ParknShop must now do is seek the opinions of its customers on this matter and learn from the mistakes it made with this campaign.

I hope that in future we will see more effective campaigns being launched on environmental issues, not just by ParknShop, but by groups from other sectors of society.

Felix Ho Lut-him, Kwun Tong

It was indeed disappointing that ParknShop's 'no plastic bags' policy should be abandoned after only five days of operation.

The U-turn was a too-drastic decision to take and calls into question the original intentions behind what seemed to be an ambitious policy.

ParknShop chiefs talked of scrapping the policy because the supermarket was facing severe criticism, but this seems to be an excuse, because it was surely inevitable that there would be critics.

They should have sat down and come up with a well-thought-out plan before launching the scheme. They should have looked at all the angles, including the feasibility of such a scheme.

But once they had made their decision, they should have remained steadfast and stuck to it, in spite of the opposition.

ParknShop says it will give out only biodegradable plastic bags; this is definitely not enough in terms of environmental protection.

Supermarkets have been handing out plastic bags for decades and shoppers have become accustomed to this.

When there is a sudden change of policy, it is difficult to change the ingrained habits of shoppers so quickly.

A company such as ParknShop should exercise its corporate social responsibility and play an active role in environmental protection.

All in all, this policy is a good start.

Katie Tam, Ngau Chi Wan

I think it would have been good for ParknShop to have stuck with its 'no plastic bag' campaign. I believe the 20-cent scheme could have helped reduce waste.

While the new policy drew a lot of critics, I think many people supported it, since they want to protect the Earth and support environmental protection measures. They want a better environment for their children.

The 'no plastic bag' campaign sent a message to the public about the importance of environmental protection.

Hongkongers use too many plastic bags and a charge scheme would have helped cut use by shoppers.

Some countries, such as Ireland and Denmark, have successfully introduced a plastic-bag charge.

Winny Li Wai-yu, Tin Shui Wai

On other matters ...

As predictable as night follows day, with the onset of the strong monsoon winds on Wednesday and Thursday nights, down came the large-area scaffolding of a building site ('Kowloon road closed after wind brings down bamboo poles', November 28).

This is years after a similar occurrence caused much more widespread traffic jams across the territory, ending up with the transport chief being made the scapegoat.

Must we continue to accept these as inevitable occurrences? Or, as some bureaucrats like to explain failings away, call it an 'isolated incident'. No.

Quite apart from traffic jams, we are risking life and limb to tolerate them.

This is not good governance. What can and should we do? Now, there's nothing wrong with the old-fashioned bamboo scaffolding.

It is the netting, made compulsory in recent years, which is causing a sail effect that can pull down scaffolding.

Either the netting must be taken down each time strong winds are forecast or the netting must be designed so it will tear away in smaller pieces without taking the scaffolding with it.

Peter Lok, Chai Wan