Unimpressed by adoptive parents' explanation
I feel sad and disgusted with the Poeterays for giving up their daughter after seven years ('Couple give up child adopted 7 years ago', December 9).
Their excuse is fear of bonding, and that this was a medical condition? Their daughter was four months old, there is no way that she would have been born with this so-called medical condition.
As an adoptive person myself, I can't imagine being given up after seven years, unless of course you aren't being nurtured or loved equally. Then of course you know no different. It's strange how social welfare workers have assessed that she is happy now since she parted with the family. What kind of love - or lack of - was she given?
When you hear about cases like this, it makes you wonder about what kind of world we live in.
Thank god there are plenty of decent families, like my own that would never have considered this an option. Despite all the ups and downs that normal youngsters go through themselves, I am glad my family didn't give up on me, otherwise I would have more serious abandonment issues that anyone could ever imagine.
It sounds like the Poeterays have done her a favour and she can find a family who will truly love her for keeps.
Michelle Temple, Mid-Levels
HK needs more space for recreation
I write regarding the outline zoning plan modification application of the piece of land outside Great Eagle Centre, in Wan Chai.
This piece of land will be emptied to facilitate the construction of the Exhibition MTR station on the Sha Tin-Central Link and the planned North Island Line. The government has decided to change the land use type from comprehensive development area to government/institute and community, to accommodate the reconstructed Harbour Road sports complex and the transport interchange. The MTR Corporation has said this land is better suited for commercial development. I am glad that the government disagrees.
We need more recreational land use in land-thirsty Hong Kong, where land is mostly occupied by commercial and residential blocks. This can improve the quality of life where I think people are rather overly money-orientated, and also the nearby environment can be improved. What the MTRC wants to do will further reduce the amount of recreational land use.
Also, further construction of commercial buildings there will further worsen several environmental and socio-economic problems, namely the prevalent problem of 'screen buildings', traffic congestion and railway capacity deficit. The air quality in the area will be affected. The Central-Wan Chai bypass, the Sha Tin-Central Link and the North Island Line were planned to improve congestion problems and further construction in the vicinity is not suitable.
I hope that the MTRC will understand the problems that arise from station property development. Furthermore, I suggest the government will review land use at new stations to prevent any more 'screen buildings' from springing up. The MTRC and the government should also give up the ideology of 'railway for money'.
The starting point of constructing railways should be serving people, not the company itself.
Raphael Mak, Mid-Levels
Sevens tickets fiasco was inexcusable
Your report ('Sevens tickets lucky for some, many miss out', December 9), failed to portray the shocking and undignified scenes at the Hong Kong Stadium on Saturday morning.
The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union, its executive director Allan Payne and the government should be reprimanded for not ensuring fair, safe or even sanitary conditions for the many people who queued overnight to buy tickets, despite the high level of public demand and limited supply being known well in advance. More than 4,000 Hong Kong people and international visitors were stripped of their pride, self respect and common decency in an experience that benefited few and belittled all in the pursuit of a Sevens ticket.
The overcrowding, lack of sanitation, queue jumping, and shambolic organisation by officials presented horrifying scenes that were typical of New Orleans' Superdome during hurricane Katrina. Officials were even unable to accurately gauge the 2,500 mark to inform latecomers that there was no point in waiting further.
For up to 12 hours, with stadium toilets locked, men, women and children were forced to relieve themselves against a wall or in the stadium surrounds.
The HKRFU must explain why this dreadful state of affairs was allowed to exist and why they did not make suitable arrangements to prevent it happening.
E. Clare, Wan Chai
Sex education should start early
Sex education is substandard in Hong Kong. This is partly because of Chinese traditional values where we do not feel free to talk about sex.
Parents are reluctant to broach the subject with their children and teenagers, in turn, will not ask their parents when they are confused about it. Because they are not properly educated on the subject, some teenagers develop a casual, flippant and immature attitude to sex.
Some teenagers might obtain their only knowledge of sex from newspapers, films or comics, but this will not give them a rounded and mature understanding
Sex education should start before the teenage years. Young people must learn about the proper protection and learn to treat sex seriously. Parents and teachers should be responsible for teaching their children the correct values. Young people must be made to understand about the problems teenage pregnancies can bring. They must learn to appreciate that they are responsible for their own actions and learn self control.
Melody Chan, Sau Mau Ping
City with a heart
Community spirit for Tin Shui Wai residents was evident last Sunday when 30,000 gifts were distributed at an event held by Yuen Long District Sports Association and South China Athletic Association football team.
In all, 10,000 people turned up for a fun day with an array of sponsors providing activities and handouts. This is the kind of initiative that often goes unheralded but shows that Hong Kong has a heart.
Vincent Heywood, Kowloon City
Scrap plastic bags
In the interests of environmental protection it needed a large organisation like ParknShop to take a first step with its [now scrapped] 'no plastic bags' policy.
As one of the major supermarket chains in Hong Kong, ParknShop plays the role of a leader in the retail industry. It must give out tens of thousands of plastic bags every day, and so other firms follow suit.
It is powerful enough to do more than it is doing in this regard and make a difference by halting the distribution of plastic bags.
Of course, it would have to find some environmentally-friendly bag to replace it. In this regard, it could co-operate with the manufacturers of these bags to arrive at the best solution. It would ensure these bags were available in its stores, with discounts on offer, to act as an incentive and encourage people to buy them.
I think this would be better than asking customers to pay 20 cents for a plastic bag.
Michael Lo, Kwun Tong