PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 February, 2009, 12:00am

What do you think of the plan for an HK branch of the Shaolin Monastery?

I refer to the report ('Temple waits on approval of land', February 21).

The mainland's Shaolin Temple [in Henan], where kung fu is practised, enjoys wide acclaim internationally and locally. Kung fu's popularity has spread throughout the world, and an increasing number of people visit the mainland to learn this form of martial arts.

The Henan monastery is not always convenient for tourists to visit. It would be much easier for them to visit a monastery in Hong Kong. Also, there is a need for Hong Kong to diversify its tourist attractions.

A Shaolin monastery in the city will definitely attract more fans of this martial art to visit. Hong Kong could become an international kung fu hub.

Hongkongers will also want to go to the monastery, as they will have read about the Shaolin priests in many of the martial arts novels written by Louis Cha Leung-yung and other famous writers.

Hong Kong people would flock to this monastery if it was built.

Michael Leung Chung-hong,

Sham Shui Po

Should the penalty for drink-driving be increased?

The ongoing debate on increasing the penalties for drink-driving has raised issues like why people still drink and drive, sometimes causing fatal accidents.

Some people have argued that 10 years' imprisonment [for people found guilty of dangerous driving causing death] is already a tough sentence for drink-drivers. Try telling that to the victim's family.

I do not understand why people think there is a problem with having a much tougher penalty.

Whether or not there is a fatality, a convicted drink-driver should not be allowed to escape a custodial sentence.

The rationale is simple enough: there is simply no excuse or defence for drink-driving.

For some serious charges such as murder or manslaughter, the defendant might successfully argue self-defence or say it was an accident. None of these defences can apply to a drink-driver.

The secretary for justice has said that a charge of manslaughter is an option open to prosecutors ('Drink-drivers who kill could get life in jail', February 22). But they rarely choose this option.

Maybe some people feel that a much tougher sentence should not be imposed.

Surely the most important thing is to protect likely victims of drink-drivers.

Perhaps there is a feeling that there has been sufficient discussion, but I doubt some of the suggestions I have heard would deter potential drink-drivers.

We need drastic and effective measures in the form of life imprisonment for anyone caught drink-driving.

Let us set aside any sympathies we might have for drink-drivers. What we need is to prevent fatalities as a consequence of drink-driving incidents.

The responsibility now lies with the government and our legislators. They need to be reminded that they have a duty to act.

It is not good enough to talk about a consensus in society in order to accept the current ineffective rules and penalties.

It is time to get really tough with drink-drivers.

H. C. Bee, Kowloon Tong

What do you think of the revised law on sales tactics?

I appreciate the Trade Descriptions Ordinance Amendment, because I believe it will benefit Hong Kong's economy in the long run ('Rapid-response teams to aid victims of scams', February 24).

Hong Kong has long been renowned for its diversity and the quality of its shopping.

It has an international reputation as a shopping paradise.

Sadly, this reputation is still occasionally marred by television and newspaper reports of scandals and scams. These can scare away customers, especially tourists, and harm the image of Hong Kong.

Customers will enjoy better protection under the revised law and this can help restore people's faith in Hong Kong, attract more shoppers and, therefore, help the economy.

Moreover, the ordinance should cover all kinds of trades, not just valuable goods.

Once found guilty, dishonest retailers should be severely punished to deter unscrupulous trade practices.

Stephen Leung Ho-keung, Kwai Chung

What do you think of the 'no plastic bags' campaign?

Under this campaign, which I object to, people will not be provided with plastic bags unless they ask for them ('Shops to stop handing out plastic bags next month', February 19).

This new measure could lead to another serious problem.

Without free bags from supermarkets and shops participating in the campaign, people who are used to being given plastic bags after making their purchases will be forced to buy extra refuse bags and that is wasteful. I understand the purpose behind this campaign, but I do not see it working.

People generally use the plastic bags they are given as bags for their domestic refuse and I do not think the use of bags in this way is wasteful.

Imagine the situation we would face if no supermarkets or other stores gave out bags that could be used as bags for refuse. I think there should have been far more discussion before this campaign was announced.

We should continue with something similar to the No Plastic Bag Day so that people can gradually get into the habit of using their own bags. But we should not abruptly cut off the supply of plastic bags.

Jason Chu Hung-shing, Lai Chi Kok

On other matters ...

Computers have become an integral part of our lives. You can find them in schools, libraries and even in MTR stations.

If students use computers wisely, they can be a useful tool for study.

For example, you can get an enormous amount of information from the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, no matter what subject you are studying.

This is useful for pupils if they cannot understand something they have read in a textbook. It is worth going online before trying to get an explanation from your teacher.

However, too often young people use their computers for recreation. I think they have to learn to use their time wisely when online, to get the maximum benefits.

David Chan, Sheung Shui