Talkback

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 March, 2008, 12:00am

Should a height limit be imposed in Happy Valley?

It is reasonable to impose a height limit in Happy Valley, but there should be co-ordination between the government and the Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital.

I can understand the purpose behind the height limit and it is environmentally friendly, but there should be some leniency given to the hospital because of the urgent demand for hospital beds.

Patient numbers are increasing substantially and so the hospital must expand capacity.

Another 38-storey block next to the Li Shu Fan Block is going to be finished. I believe the hospital's plans for further expansion are acceptable because, with two blocks, I do not think there will be a problem with the 'wall effect'. There are already so many high-rises in the area that I do not think it will make that big a difference.

However, I do think a height restriction should be imposed on future residential developments.

It is difficult to strike a balance between development needs and the environment, but the government has to deal with this issue conscientiously and flexibly, while at the same time fulfilling the pledges it has made.

Stephen Leung Ho-keung, Tsuen Wan

Is closing schools the right move amid the present flu outbreak?

It was with stunned amazement that I read that some headmasters, teachers and other individuals complained that closing schools because of the flu outbreak was very inconvenient.

Given the prevalence of flu outbreaks in Hong Kong, any action that safeguards our children can only be applauded.

Furthermore, let us take this opportunity to enforce our hygiene laws, which are still being flouted by a large portion of the population.

Stephen Anderson, Macau

On other matters...

I was deeply distressed to learn about what happened at the start of the Action Asia Sai Kung race last Sunday.

As I understand it - even though all necessary permits for the race were applied for and received, with the exception of provision for tents - staff from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) stepped in five minutes before the race and began to tell race organisers they had to remove the tents.

While this may well be an administrative oversight on the part of the organisers, it was absolutely unnecessary to jeopardise the safety of racers by not permitting the race organiser or the van to leave the area once the race started.

As I understand it, there were no complaints made by the public regarding the tents and I think the whole thing was handled in a poor manner by the AFCD.

Action Asia does a great job of promoting conservation, love of the outdoors and support for the environment.

I would have expected AFCD officials to have handled this matter in a more professional way.

I hope the staff at Action Asia will continue to do their fine job of putting on first-class athletics events for the public, despite the unnecessary stress caused by the weekend encounter with AFCD staff.

Patricia Bowmer, Mid-Levels

I would like to express my sympathies with Action Asia Events and regret over the actions taken by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department at the race in Sai Kung on Sunday.

One of the department's roles is to protect our country parks. However, it undermined an event that actually aims to protect Hong Kong's environment and the public's health through sports.

If AFCD officials are so concerned about protecting the environment and removing things, I recommend they start by patrolling and cleaning up the barbecue areas on the road from Sai Kung. You see these areas covered by non-recyclable litter such as plastic bags and plastic mugs.

To maintain the natural treasures of Hong Kong while promoting the city as the real 'Asia's world city', the AFCD needs to help organisations like Action Asia Events. I urge officials, please work with them, not against them.

Jorge Oltra, Tsim Sha Tsui

Hats off to Tseung Kwan O's branch of Taste for providing the ultimate in east-meets-west experiences.

To the tune of peaceful piped music, I passed through the store's tranquil fresh fruit and vegetable section and its myriad smiling faces into the austerity of the more local-style wet market.

Peace and tranquillity were shattered by sushi chefs sharpening knives to such effect it sounded like a steel factory, a meat-prepper hacking away at something in one corner while staff hollered across the counters to each other, and supervised pots of boiling broth that smelled unpleasant. At the cooked meat counter I watched a bemused westerner finally give up and storm away. Evidently she had failed to make her intentions known to the hapless member of staff attempting to serve her.

In the dry goods section I asked a member of staff for crackers, which I must have been, and got a shrug of the shoulders and a blank face in response.

At the checkout I had to wait while a shopper scrutinised her receipt then proceeded to argue over the cost of her three purchases.

Next up, to add to my torment, was a man who paid for his HK$23 purchase by credit card. Isn't it time a HK$50 or HK$100 minimum purchase was implemented in supermarkets?

Finally, having had to pack my own recyclable bags, I left the store on the back of a mixed experience, but grateful for the swift implementation of the recent tax cuts.

My better quality, cheaper red wine would go down well with my breaded cuttlefish lips.

Roger Shuttleworth, Tseung Kwan O