Should Happy Valley be added to the new MTR line?
I am disappointed to know the government is inclined to omit Wan Chai and Happy Valley stations from the South Island Line.
The government thinks a Happy Valley station will only serve the public when there are horse races or events at the Hong Kong Stadium, and construction may influence the tranquillity of the area. However, these arguments do not persuade me.
According to district councillor Stephen Ng Kam-chun, a survey conducted in June shows that only 20 per cent of residents object to having a station at Happy Valley.
This means that the majority of residents are not opposed to a station.
The voices for a station at Happy Valley are definitely loud and clear, but the officials pretend not to hear.
The quiet environment of Happy Valley will be affected during the construction of the station, but we should consider the long-term effect to the community.
After all, thanks to the station, residents will no longer have to suffer from chronic traffic jams.
It is claimed that the latest proposal, without Happy Valley, will provide faster and easier access to the south side of Hong Kong Island. However, including Wan Chai and Happy Valley will only add about three minutes in travelling time. This time difference is not so important.
Avoiding traffic congestion is what matters.
Besides, Wan Chai will ease the overload of Admiralty. Everyone who goes to work via Admiralty knows that the station platforms are full during rush hours.
If the new line brings more people into Admiralty station the situation may become chaotic. I do not want to make this political, but it seems the government is falling in line with what Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said in his policy address.
I do not think it would be an astute decision to reduce the scale of the South Island Line.
Horace Lee, Sha Tin
Is the Sevens ticketing system fair to everyone?
Kevin McBarron (Talkback, December 19) is missing the point by a wide margin. The focus of most of your correspondents' ire has been the ludicrous arrangements for selling Rugby Sevens tickets put in place at the Hong Kong Stadium on December 8.
The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union (HKRFU) has been criticised, quite justifiably, for its failure to devise a system that would minimise discomfort for those queuing and prevent queue jumping.
Curiously, the HKRFU has yet to respond to its critics.
Regarding Mr McBarron's suggestion that we should all join a rugby club in order to get tickets, perhaps he would explain what would happen if 20,000 more Hong Kong rugby fans did so in time for the 2009 Sevens event. Would this guarantee us all a ticket?
Besides, why should anyone have to pay a club membership fee just to be able to secure a ticket?
By buying a ticket, merchandise, food and drinks, we are already supporting Hong Kong rugby quite vigorously, as the HKRFU's accountant can attest.
I have been doing so every year since 1979 but that didn't get me a ticket this year.
It's time the HKRFU reviewed its ticket allocation policy.
Perhaps it can start by halving the number of corporate sponsors' boxes and doubling their cost.
This would not only release more tickets for local sale but might also encourage box holders to allocate their tickets to those with some interest in the game.
Raymond Day, Discovery Bay
What do you think about sex education in Hong Kong?
Given some recent tragedies, it is clear that the problem of teenage pregnancy is getting worse.
Statistics show that the number of cases of teenage pregnancy is stable so, on the surface, it would appear that the problem has not got worse. However, these statistics do not reveal the number of underage abortions, so we are not seeing the full picture.
Teenagers have easy access to information about sex. They can simply surf the internet.
They may try to satisfy their curiosity in an unhealthy manner.
There is all sorts of material on the internet, some of it immoral. As a result, teenagers may develop an improper attitude towards sex.
At present, sex education is not a compulsory subject on the school curriculum.
This part of the curriculum was drafted 10 years ago and has not been modified since. Though pupils acquire some basic knowledge of sex in schools, there is little room for discussion of controversial issues such as teenage pregnancy. Schools are a place for instilling knowledge to students and, of course, sex should be counted as an essential subject, so that teenagers can learn to protect themselves from unplanned pregnancies or sexually transmitted diseases. However, the fact is that sexual matters are not openly discussed in classrooms.
Another problem is the passive attitude of parents towards the subject of sex. Parents are generally too shy to talk about sexual matters with their children. They see sex as a taboo subject.
More teaching resources must be allocated in schools so that teenagers can acquire a better understanding of sex.
Schools can also look for help from the organisations such as Mother's Choice. They can co-operate with each other, holding talks on how to use a condom and the consequences of teenage pregnancy.
A healthy knowledge of sex can be gradually instilled in young people in stages. For example, at primary school, pupils can be given a basic knowledge of sex.
Then, in secondary school, a platform should be provided for students to discuss controversial issues such as abortion. This would enable teenagers to develop a positive attitude towards sex.
Moreover, as parents play a significant role in guiding teenagers, they should be more open-minded when discussing sexual matters.
It is normal for teenagers to be interested in sex and parents should accept this and help their children arrive at a better understanding of sex.
Carol Wu Shuk-ming, Sham Shui Po
Should shark's fin be dropped from all menus?
Because the economy is booming and stock prices are surging, people are getting wealthier and have more money to spend on luxury goods.
Therefore, there is a growing demand for shark's fin dishes.
However, when people consume these dishes, do they think of the species of shark that face extinction, thereby causing an ecological imbalance? This, in turn, will harm the marine environment.
I believe shark's fin should be dropped from all menus, but there should be a probation period. Companies should drop shark's fin from their banquet menus, but this should be phased out. There could also be promotions to raise the awareness of customers about why the ban is necessary.
So Wai-yan Kwun Tong