PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 March, 2009, 12:00am

Democrats must not interfere in Macau affairs

I fail to see why the 'democrats' cannot understand why some of their number have not been allowed entry to Macau.

These people made known that the reason for their planned visit to Macau was specifically to stage protests against certain security laws.

These laws were enacted by the legislature in Macau and are applicable only within Macau.

This is, therefore, a matter for the people of the Macau SAR and does not affect Hong Kong or its residents.

Hong Kong people have no right to cause a disturbance in Macau and threaten a breach of law and order, with the consequent need for the deployment of resources and resultant cost, to uphold the law, ensure crowd control and avoid traffic disruption.

Therefore, if people have advertised it is their intention to visit Macau solely to cause a disturbance over something that is not their concern, it is then surely the duty of the persons responsible for law and order to avoid this situation if they can.

This seems a very good reason to bar the entry of such people.

The only action that the Hong Kong government ought to take is to apologise for not taking action to prevent these people heading to our sister SAR when they already knew of their intentions.

In addition, these people have been highly vocal with regard to Beijing saying that the mainland should not interfere in our internal Hong Kong affairs, which we are all interested in.

By the same token, they should avoid interfering in mainland affairs which is something that they have frequently done.

They should be aware of the history of the country and be sensitive to the desire of the central authorities to maintain security against influences that may lead to serious social disturbances.

Such disturbances jeopardise people's livelihood and cause financial turmoil.

Robin Radcliffe, Causeway Bay

FCC's dark day for free speech

I refer to Frank Ching's Observer column ('Disturbing signs in FCC controversy', March 24) and it reminds me of the situation where RTHK broadcast the programme Gay Lovers and the controversy that followed.

It seemed the problem was the RTHK-produced programme was biased towards homosexuality and did not include opposing views. Freedom of speech/expression won out in the end.

Why does every broadcast or article need to present space for 'opposing views'?

When a director or writer takes up an issue, they choose how to present it. They take a stance and present it as completely as possible. When people write a book or are asked to speak to a group, they too have an opinion to give. They don't need to tell all sides of an issue. They have the freedom to give facts that support their position.

The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Hong Kong should have the freedom to invite any speaker it chooses, without inviting the central government to send a representative to present the state's version of the issue. The intention of Kate Saunders' presentation, 'A Great Mountain Burned by Fire: Reflections on New Expression of Dissent and the Crisis in Tibet' is not to debate both sides of the Tibet issue but to share her opinion with her willing audience. Now, with the postponement of the talk ('FCC Tibet talk Beijing 'didn't like' is put off', March 18) it seems like the final product will be a debate.

Hong Kong can be proud of its past exercise of freedom of speech. The FCC is effectively relinquishing that freedom to Beijing.

Brian Compton, Kowloon Tong

Scheme about opportunity

A lot of people, especially university graduates, have said that the wage level for the internship scheme announced in the budget, is too low. A level of HK$4,000 is not enough for those graduates who have to support their families.

Yet, there's more to the internship than earning money. It will help the graduates learn interpersonal skills and give them work experience. Why should the firm helping them get that experience pay them a high salary? It is unfair to blame the government for not caring about our youngsters. Each undergraduate is subsidised to the tune of almost HK$20,000 in tuition fees by the administration. The internship subsidy is another supportive measure during these hard times.

The Labour Department also has the youth work experience and training scheme, whose trainees also receive a subsidy of HK$4,000. What needs to change at a time when we face a serious economic slump is the arrogant attitude of some graduates. Young people should welcome this internship scheme.

Alex Lau, Sha Tin

Seafront MTR waste of site

The MTR Corporation wants to build a cross-border railway terminus on the seafront at West Kowloon Cultural District.

I appreciate that when a district is being developed, it is important to have an efficient public transport system so that people can access it. But we have to consider what the aim of this district is - the promotion of arts and culture in Hong Kong.

If the MTR station cuts off a large part of the seafront then people expecting to enjoy such culture will be deprived of also having the sea view. Being able to enjoy the seafront creates the sort of peaceful environment that enables people to get the most out of cultural activities.

One of the possible solutions is that we can relocate the terminus away from the waterfront to another part of West Kowloon Cultural District or an area nearby.

Jonathon Lau Chun-yin, Tsuen Wan

Why not tax light bulbs?

Despite being relatively energy-consuming, incandescent light bulbs are still needed until LEDs are economically feasible.

Currently, the best places to use incandescents is where immediate lighting is required, for example stairways, or where it is turned on and off frequently (for example, the toilet). Thus, incandescents have some advantages over compact fluorescents.

While I do understand the aim of a ban [on incandescent light bulbs] is to reduce energy consumption, another effective way would be to make it mandatory to raise the prices (or simply add a government fee, such as the tobacco tax) of the incandescents to a level equivalent to the compact fluorescents.

This method would drive more people to use compact fluorescents while incandescents are still available. Would the Environmental Protection Department care to comment?

Samuel Chan, Sha Tin

Triad menace

Triad gangs have long been a problem in our society. The number of youngsters joining triads has increased.

Often young people from problem families are attracted. Some teenagers leave home after having arguments with their parents. They may join a triad gang as an act of rebellion against their parents. It is difficult to stop youngsters joining these gangs, but there are things we can do. Parents have to maintain the lines of communication with their children so that conflict and misunderstandings can be avoided.

Students also have to take responsibility for their own actions and spurn approaches from triad members.

Cheung Wing-sze, Fanling