PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 March, 2009, 12:00am

What do you think of the heritage gradings?

The government has asked the general public to provide input regarding which buildings or urban features should be listed in order to be preserved under legislation ('Public to grade 1,400 sites', March 20).

This is an important move and most Hongkongers should be encouraged to give their opinions.

If the administration had put forward this initiative earlier, we might have been able to save the Star Ferry pier.

We should not miss the opportunity we have been given.

However, there are still no proper channels for heritage preservation to be controlled through legislation, and this must be resolved by the government and the Development Bureau.

A unique city like Hong Kong needs to make innovative decisions in the areas of urban design and preservation.

Having buildings listed is a step in the right direction.

H. C. Bee, Kowloon Tong

How can children be better protected from gambling?

Parents and schools have a role to play in educating children about gambling, and the role of parents is far more influential.

Parents need to be good role models to discourage their children from gambling and help them to appreciate that when they grow up they should have a strong sense of the value of hard-earned money.

However, if parents gamble then their children may also start gambling.

If parents believe in the concept of making easy money from betting, children may try to imitate them.

Schools should try to encourage their pupils to develop a sensible attitude towards gambling.

They could invite people who suffered because they had a gambling problem to share their experiences with students.

The government should also ensure that experienced social workers are available to help students who have a gambling problem, so that there is less pressure on teachers.

Candy Tsz Yan, Lower Wong Tai Sin

Is Hong Kong lagging behind

in sexual equality?

There has been much controversy over the issue of sexual equality. Despite Hong Kong's status as a modern city, there is unequal treatment of women, such as lower pay and poorer conditions.

So, I think Hong Kong is lagging behind in gender equality.

Chinese culture emphasises that a woman's duty is to take care of the family, while a man's duty is to work. This is a deeply ingrained facet of our society.

Although more people accept that women can work, they are also expected to look after the children and do housework. Therefore, women in Hong Kong face great pressure, especially those from low-income families, as they not only need to take care of the family, but also need to earn a living.

Domestic violence is also caused by sexual inequality. When women cannot cope with the stress, a family tragedy can happen, as it did in Tin Shui Wai.

The mother left a suicide note saying that she was unhappy and under immense pressure.

Then she threw her two children, aged nine and 12, from their 24th-floor flat before leaping to her death in October 2007.

Some men believe that because men have a higher status than women they can beat their wives or partners. This is sexual inequality.

Many people think women should not take some jobs such as in the construction sector.

Some employers will not hire women since their physical appearance seems not as strong as men.

In short, gender stereotyping affects the status of women in Hong Kong society. Women still face unequal treatment although there are laws to protect them from discrimination.

Annabelle Chau, Tin Shui Wai

What do you think of the proposed typhoon gradings?

I strongly concur with the new typhoon grading system.

First, the old typhoon system is confusing and unable to raise the awareness of Hongkongers.

In the past, the terms tropical storm, tropical cyclone, strong tropical storm and typhoon were used in ascending order. And there were further divisions, defining the level of typhoon.

I think the system meant that some young people did not fully appreciate the danger they faced from the storm. In the past, sometimes people have gone swimming even when typhoon signals are hoisted.

The emergency services then had to be called out to rescue them.

The new typhoon system will help Hongkongers have a better understanding of tropical cyclones.

Most Hongkongers lead such hectic lives they do not have time to work out what the present system means.

Hopefully, with the new categories of typhoon, severe typhoon and super typhoon they will have a clearer idea of the strength of a particular storm and the potential hazards they face.

Lee Ho-yin, Sha Tin

What do you think of the

widening of Hiram's Highway?

It might seem as though widening Hiram's Highway is the best way to minimise the number of accidents that occur on this road.

I think there are advantages and disadvantages to this scheme.

If the highway is widened, there would be less congestion. This may lessen the traffic risk. Traffic flow would improve between Sai Kung and urban areas, which might attract visitors and more investment.

On the downside, there would be environmental damage. Some features of the Sai Kung area that make it so attractive would be destroyed.

Germain Ma, Sha Tin

On other matters...

Hong Kong is famous for its harbour view at night, and this has always been a major draw for tourists.

Therefore, I am concerned about the MTR Corp's proposal for a cross-border railway terminus within the West Kowloon Cultural District ('Explanation sought over plan to sacrifice seafront to terminus', March 19).

I can appreciate that this terminus can improve accessibility for passengers and is economically sustainable.

However, the siting of the terminus, which will 'take up a large portion of seafront', could have an adverse effect on the tourist industry.

Jacky Kwok Hon-cheung, Sha Tin