• Mon
  • Dec 29, 2014
  • Updated: 9:03am

Talkback

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 June, 2008, 12:00am

Should the nurses' quarters at Queen Mary Hospital be preserved?

It has been argued that the nurses' quarters at Queen Mary Hospital - which is classified as 'stripped classicism' - should only be retained if the particular style is found to be rare in Hong Kong.

Also, questions have been raised about whether or not the building is linked to any famous people or has important stories attached to it.

I am not sure if such criteria form part of the heritage assessment principle, but I frankly think this is a dubious rationale.

We should think carefully about what to do with this building.

There are many great buildings in the world that have been retained simply for their artistic and architectural value. They symbolise an innovative effort or are visually appealing.

With some buildings it might be difficult to track down important stories behind the facade, let alone find out if any famous people were attached to it.

Of course, buildings with significant histories should be retained, but this criteria should not be the norm.

What if the old Bank of China building had no significant stories to tell outside of its function as a bank? Would that have been reason enough to demolish it?

What about the pleasure it has brought for all these years to Hongkongers because of its simple geometric form.

H. C. Bee, Kowloon Tong

Should person-to-person calls be regulated?

I believe there should be some form of regulation.

Thanks to technological advances it is now much more convenient to send a text message or make a call.

Also, companies use these forms of communication now to promote their products to the public.

I am sure we have all received these unsolicited and unwelcome messages. Such calls are time-wasting and you incur high roaming costs. I know of people who have received large monthly phone bills because of unsolicited calls.

I hope the government can get around to regulating person-to-person calls as soon as possible.

Lo Wing-sze, Kowloon City

There must be some regulation of these kind of calls.

The companies that object to any form of regulation should think about why the public disapproves of telemarketing so much.

To start with, we often don't know how they got our phone number. When I get one of these calls I feel as if my privacy is being invaded.

One technique when they call is to pretend they met you somewhere before, to try to stop you from hanging up. Minutes are wasted before you realise the true nature of the call.

Sometimes the telemarketing pitch is dishonest. Those doing this are skilled at their job. They may mislead a consumer without actually breaking the law.

Whenever I receive one of these calls, I feel that I am under pressure to make a purchase. I think some people find it difficult to think clearly. They buy something and then regret it afterwards.

If they do not get what they want, the telemarketers will often become rude. This happened to me on one occasion when I refused to divulge personal information.

Person-to-person calls are annoying, even more so than SMS or pre-recorded calls. They must be regulated.

Tsang Man-yin, Kwun Tong

How can the city be more friendly to the disabled?

There appear to be a lot of facilities in Hong Kong that are designed to help the disabled - traffic lights that beep when it is safe for them to cross the road and handrails everywhere.

These are not acts of charity by wealthy people. They are there thanks to the government, which has done a fine job of providing facilities that help people with a disability get around town.

However, there is something lacking. You seldom see Hong Kong citizens displaying acts of kindness towards the disabled.

It seems that many of us do not seem to even notice people with disabilities are in this city.

When we see them in the street, we often turn away and walk past them quickly. We do not think of offering a helping hand.

It does not matter how many facilities the administration builds. If Hong Kong citizens cannot show some compassion for the disabled, then many of them will continue to feel that they are being treated like second-class citizens.

We should make an effort to get to know disabled people and not ignore them or their needs.

Water Hui Wing-yan, Tsuen Wan

What do you think of the ferry fare rise?

New World First Ferry has been losing money for a number of years and during this time fuel prices have been steadily increasing.

Although it is disappointing that the fare has to increase, it seems inevitable that it had to happen.

Wai Lai Ti-lai, Lantau

On other matters...

I refer to the letter from Hongkong Post (Talkback, May 15), in reply to my letter (Talkback, May 6) about the 'loss of a Speedpost item'.

It is heartening to hear that Hongkong Post only loses 0.02 per cent of all Speedpost items, but how exactly is this supposed to make me happy?

The loss of my Speedpost item has cost me HK$14,000.

I would have thought that losing 460 packages a year (from outgoing Speedpost alone) would be a matter of concern and would elicit some interest from Hongkong Post.

All these items are going missing, items which the post office has accepted to take into its temporary custody.

Instead of congratulating itself on the figure of 0.02 per cent, it should be trying to find out why so many packages are being lost and who is responsible.

M. Parker, Sai Kung

I recently bought a packet of First Choice spaghetti from a branch of Wellcome. I was amazed to see that the 500g packet had in fact merely 395g of spaghetti.

I immediately wrote to the store and was even more appalled by their handling of the situation. I took the trouble of returning the product and writing countless e-mails to follow up the issue.

After three weeks I was sent a curt e-mail to apologise for the 20-plus per cent less spaghetti that I was sold, and offered a 'generous' compensation of a cash voucher of HK$50 for my trouble.

I urge consumers to be vigilant of such errors.

Zenobia Bhappoo, Lantau

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