PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 March, 2008, 12:00am

Should the sex trade be legalised?

In the past few decades, the operations of sex workers have created many problems for nearby residents.

These residents have had their lives disrupted. Some of them have been mistaken for prostitutes and this has led to them being victims of sexual harassment over a long time.

It must be frustrating for residents when they see no improvement in this state of affairs in the areas where they live.

Also with an increase in the number of sex workers, we are now getting websites where prostitutes advertise their services. These websites encourage more people to get involved in jobs related to what the sex workers do.

Not only does prostitution encourage immorality, it adversely affects the harmony and social cohesion of our society.

Also, their customers can often be bad-tempered and violent. Arguments can break out between the prostitutes and their clients, forcing the police to intervene. This places an unnecessary burden on police officers.

I hope the government will take action to solve this problem in our society.

Henry Hui, Ma On Shan

Is a ban on food and drink in a public space fair?

I think it is fair to ban food and drink in public spaces because it is very unpleasant when you go there to find leftover food or packaging.

For example, you want to sit down, but find that someone has left a sweet wrapper that has stuck to the seat.

I think the same rule on public transport has to apply in public spaces. If, for example, a passenger with a hot drink is on a bus and the driver suddenly brakes, the drink could spill on to another passenger, and that is dangerous. In this respect, we should consider the feelings of others.

Let us ensure that everyone can enjoy these public spaces.

Jamie Chi, Sau Mau Ping

On other matters ...

The Urban Renewal Authority wants to adopt vertical planting as the redevelopment feature in its revival projects ('Renewal projects to get green walls', March 25).

Its officials opine that the pilot project in Vision City, Tsuen Wan, where a green wall has been installed has been a great success. However, I would question whether this view is correct.

The purpose of installing vertical planting is to soften the impact of the concrete-jungle look of a building.

In other words, this kind of treatment is mainly for the sake of appearances.

Green walls do little to reduce the 'heat-island effect'. In fact, they create more maintenance problems and place a burden on the developer.

Ultimately, the maintenance costs will be transferred to the tenants or the purchasers. So if the authority has cited Vision City's project as a successful example, perhaps it should explain in greater detail its definition of success.

The urban green wall is a hot topic around the world and many new technologies are being developed.

However, this is not what I expect of the authority or the role it should be playing. Green walls at best can only be seen as part of an architectural gimmick.

However, the role of the authority is to review the complex urban-regeneration projects, take into account the relevant social issues and try to balance the old and new elements in development plans. In this area, the authority is underperforming.

It should, therefore, be examining its shortcomings, rather than looking at gimmicks such as green walls.

H. C. Bee, Ho Man Tin

There have been a number of cases of animal cruelty in the news recently.

I am particularly concerned when I read about allegations of young people being involved. After all, they are supposed to be the future pillars of society.

I think these incidents show that the moral education and guidance that these youngsters are being given is insufficient.

Too many young people drop out of school and stop studying. These teenagers are often unemployed and mix with peers who lead them astray.

The concerned authorities should have more outreach programmes so they can talk to teens and give them the necessary counselling. In some cases, that counselling should be compulsory.

Also, any young people found guilty of animal cruelty should be forced to work in animal-care centres, such as the one run by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This can help them reflect on what they have done.

The problem of animal cruelty is not one we can ignore because all lives are precious.

Candy Lam, Kwun Tong

I would like to know what government department gave the green light to the 60-metre-tall advertisement showing a nearly naked guy on a building in Central.

People come from all over the world to take pictures of Hong Kong's skyline and in the middle of those pictures will be a guy and all his manliness.

If there is one department in Hong Kong that is out of touch, or poorly managed, it is the one that regulates signage around town. In recent years, I have seen some gaudy and outrageously large signs going up.

There also seems to be no oversight as to what is printed. Some of the images around town amount to what I would call soft porn.

Maybe advertisers are not confident with their product so they have to shock us into noticing it.

Bigger is not better, at least not in signs. Image is everything, and maybe there need to be stricter rules on signage, or we risk becoming just one giant advertising billboard.

Craig Gibson, Sha Tin

I was surprised by the letters from Ian McBain and Stephen Chow complaining about an advertisement in Central (Talkback, March 17). I don't recall seeing any objections from them about the countless advertisements showing lingerie-clad women that can be seen plastered all over town. To my mind, the Ritz-Carlton has never looked better.

A. Cable, Cheung Chau

Over the years, public space in Times Square has been used by private enterprises for exhibitions and other activities on a regular basis.

I would like to know, from the relevant government department, if those organisations paid rent and if it was collected by the government. If not, then who collected it?

Tony Yuen, Coquitlam, British Columbia