• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 7:32am

Talkback

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 December, 2007, 12:00am

What do you feel about the smoking ban after a year?

Given the prevalence of restaurants that either choose not to obey the law or have been granted the 2009 waiver by misrepresenting the degree to which their establishment is a bar, it's hard to notice that much has changed.

And what about queues and footpaths? Given the close quarters imposed by our cramped streets, it is easy to find oneself trapped while waiting in line for a taxi or simply trying to advance on a slow-moving pavement. The body of evidence challenging the old assumption that outdoor second-hand smoke is not a health hazard continues to mount.

And that's for normal cities. In anything-but-normal Hong Kong, with so many tall buildings erected without consideration of city air flow, the dissipation of toxins takes a lot longer.

The Sunday Morning Post reminded readers of Hong Kong's low rank in Mercer Human Resource Consulting's international quality of living survey, compared with Singapore's top-50 position ('HK vs Lion City: not just a numbers game', December 23).

Sadly, smoking is an area in which Hong Kong is on the back end of social progress. It is not surprising, given the lack of consideration people show each other here, that our smokers still think their right to light up supersedes others' right to healthier air.

Aided by spineless restaurateurs and impotent government regulators, they'll see to it that Hong Kong, as a place to live, maintains the unpleasant rank.

Gary Brand, Mid-Levels

Is the Sevens ticketing system fair to everybody?

It was really disappointing to see that an even lower allocation of tickets for the Rugby Sevens was made to the public in Hong Kong than for last year, leaving many local fans disappointed and without tickets again. It is a very unfair restriction, as is the fact that the Hong Kong public has only one day on which to buy their ticket each year, whereas fans from outside Hong Kong will have many more opportunities to acquire a ticket.

If the only way to ensure a ticket is to join a rugby club then that amounts to an effective surcharge on the ticket, which would not be payable by supporters from outside Hong Kong - equally unfair.

It can be no coincidence that the recent restrictions and difficulties in getting a ticket for the Rugby Sevens have come hand in hand with the grotesque corporatisation of the event. Last year I heard somebody call the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens 'the best corporate networking event in Asia'.

Fantastic. Our once great sporting occasion reduced to a 'corporate networking event'. Having sold out the genuine rugby fans to narrow corporate interests, the net result has been to begin the destruction of the sense of atmosphere that once made the Rugby Sevens what it was. By way of example, now, instead of loud rock anthems at half time we have to endure those tedious corporate adverts, helping to dissolve the special character of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens even further.

I also wonder about the future of rugby in Hong Kong. When I was younger I was inspired to play sport by being able to see professionals play the sports I loved. If local fans can't get tickets to see the rugby, how will we inspire the next generation of players or improve the standard of local rugby?

S. Davies, Happy Valley

Should concerts be held at Hong Kong Stadium?

Hong Kong Stadium is the main sports venue of Hong Kong. It is a perfect place for football matches, the Rugby Sevens or other charity and special events because it has a large capacity. However, I do not think it is a wise idea to hold concerts at Hong Kong Stadium.

Because it is an open-air venue, there have been noise complaints from residents of the tower blocks surrounding the stadium. Concerts are generally performed at night and the noise disturbs these residents. Also, there might be a problem with light pollution, as concerts often have a lot of pollution.

Tso Nim-yan, Yuen Long

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