PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 May, 2008, 12:00am

What do you think of the Mong Kok development plan?

The development plan for Mong Kok will definitely transform the old district into a modern community.

This part of Hong Kong has seen a number of changes over the past 50 years. The old buildings, the narrow streets and the elderly residents are an integral part of the city's history. Many residents have fond memories of the times they have spent there.

Some feel that if old buildings are torn down, something will be lost forever ('Group attacks high-rise plan for Mong Kok', May 19). However, I think that modern buildings and old alleys in an area can co-exist. I hope that the Urban Renewal Authority's development plan shows the two sides of Mong Kok, the old and the new.

Lee Ka-ming , Tsing Yi

How do you feel about the economy?

I do not have much confidence in the economy, in Hong Kong or globally.

The subprime mortgage crisis has affected markets throughout the world, in particular in the US.

This had a knock-on effect in Hong Kong because the Hong Kong dollar is linked to the US dollar.

I believe the inflation problem will persist until the new year.

This means we still have a long way to go before the Hong Kong economy becomes stable.

Therefore, there is little that makes me confident about the economy.

Sun Pui-wa, Sham Shui Po

What do you think of the food labelling proposals?

I think the proposed food labelling law will enable consumers to know more about the contents of the food they intend to purchase. For instance, a label will tell them what nutrients a product contains.

The proposed law will also help people who are allergic to some kinds of food, such as prawns, crabs and peanuts.

I do not know if everyone will benefit from the new law. Whatever law is finally enacted, it cannot be foolproof. For example, natural foods may have similar nutrients, but they will not be identical.

Also, some manufacturers may continue to provide incorrect and misleading data on the labels of the food they produce.

Cynthia Chang, Sau Mau Ping

On other matters ...

Some of your correspondents have suggested that Times Square management should not allow public or charity events to be held on the piazza, because they infringe the public's right of passage. I do not understand the reasoning behind such an argument.

I do not see how a community or charity event, which is open to all members of the public, can be seen as infringing the public's right of passage.

I was in complete support of Times Square management's decision to allow a timely live broadcast by a local radio station at the piazza last Saturday.

Radio presenters were able to interact with members of the public during a rally to raise money for the Sichuan earthquake.

In fact, it would be infringing public rights if such events could not be staged.

Why would anyone feel inconvenienced if they could not walk swiftly through the piazza just because people are there to join in national mourning, as was the case on Monday during the three minutes' silence for the victims of the earthquake?

W. M. Cho, Lantau

Although the Legislative Council election campaign does not get under way until the middle of July, already the barriers on our pavements are filling up with candidates' banners.

With the appalling pollution we suffer on our streets, why are ventilation and air flow being blocked in this manner?

For the past four years the sight of a legislator on our streets was as rare as spotting a black-faced spoonbill. Why then should the public be assaulted by their images everywhere for months to come? In the interests of good street management, could Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Stephen Lam Sui-lung please monitor proceedings to ensure that electioneering is conducted within the time frame of the election process?

Candy Tam, Wan Chai

I went with my class on a field trip to see the Ting Kok mangrove swamps. It was a valuable experience and caused me to reflect about daily life in Hong Kong and how we affect the environment.

Mangrove forests are among the most threatened habitats in the world, yet their plight attracts little public attention.

Mangroves in Hong Kong are under serious threat because of urbanisation and water, noise and air pollution. Lakes and streams are being polluted by household, agricultural and industrial waste, and this affects living organisms in mangroves. Some waste alters salt levels and industrial chemicals and agricultural pesticides poison the mangroves.

Consequently, the ecological balance of the mangrove swamps is being upset. Also, reclamation has led to the loss of some coastal wetlands, including mangroves, which used to flourish in Sha Tin and Tai Po.

Some people still see mangrove swamps as wasteland, without realising how important they are to the ecosystem. The full environmental value of mangroves must be recognised, and education is the key here. One way of helping people to appreciate the importance of mangroves is to arrange eco-tours. If more of us understand the ecological importance of mangroves, the swamps have a better chance of being protected.

Candy Lam, Kwun Tong