PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 April, 2009, 12:00am

How should the Cheung Chau cinema be saved?

I refer to the report ('Island's historic theatre decays as family tries to find a buyer', April 15) about the plight of the last remaining cinema on Cheung Chau which has partly collapsed since it closed in the mid-1990s and was left to rot.

Sadly this is a scenario for most of the old buildings on Cheung Chau where the landlords leave them to get into a dangerous state so they can pull them down and build.

There has been not one gesture of support for local culture with any intelligence or sensitivity from the government. All one has here is a misreading of Cheung Chau.

Right now the Housing Department is building a hideous square that will sport municipal arches welcoming you to Cheung Chau and the beach, followed by sculptures so unsightly that one wonders what is going to happen in West Kowloon.

The culture of the outlying islands has been abused by government agencies, as has happened with the Hong Kong and Kowloon urban cultures.

Examples can be seen of that attitude with the Cheung Chau, Mui Wo and Peng Chau markets.

The street furniture and other aspects of the markets are the same.

Officials come up with cheap solutions all the time and the bun festival has been neutered out of all recognition. What is needed is for the government to think through its strategies and come up with the right solutions.

For example, the government owns the Fong Bin Hospital, the original Cheung Chau residents' association in the 18th century. A plaque to commemorate that lies cracked and forgotten.

The building is about to collapse and yet it contains marvellous relics of Cheung Chau's past.

This could be the foundation for a Cheung Chau museum and culture centre. It would be the beginning of an understanding after all the misunderstandings.

Robert O'Brien, Cheung Chau

Should adult and young drug users be treated by the same centre?

Although there is a risk that adults may have a negative effect on innocent teenagers, I think the two groups should be treated in the same centre ('Plan to put adult and young drug users under same roof', April 27).

The adult users will be able to share their experiences of fighting their addiction with the young people.

They have more experience of life and can explain what made them start taking drugs when they were young. Also, these adults may have a more paternal attitude towards the young people.

Some youngsters feel alienated from their families and friends and this can lead to them taking drugs. It will help if in the treatment centres they meet adults who actually show that they care.

This may help them re-establish a relationship with their families and give them more support in their battle to fight their addiction.

I think young addicts might easily come into conflict with each other. But they are less likely to quarrel with the older addicts.

If there is less conflict this will enable them to concentrate more on the detoxification process.

Gladys Ho Lai-chu, Tsuen Wan

I think young drug users should be treated separately.

There has been a heated debate about drug abuse in our society. During this debate, the focus has switched from adults to students, especially secondary school students. On the internet, there are many videos showing teenagers taking drugs in public areas and even at school.

Some of these young people are eventually arrested and the main question is how do we deal with these young drug addicts.

In the past, drug use among young people was not a serious problem and so there were not many treatment centres for them. The reasons adults abuse drugs are different from teenagers.

With the former group it often comes down to psychological pressure. They believe that drugs can make them relax and help them to forget their problems. They may have had a drug habit for several years.

However, young people may be influenced by their relationship with friends and family. Some of them, when they start, may mistakenly think it is a fun thing to do. Others may feel sad.

In a drug rehabilitation centre, adult users usually require medicine and long-term counselling. Teenagers are looking for someone to take care of them.

Clearly, adult and teenage users require different treatment. Therefore, they should be separated so that the treatment they receive is effective.

Also there is the problem of the generation gap. Young people will want to make friends and share their experiences with people of the same age. This will help them turn over a new leaf.

It is just not appropriate to put the two age groups together. We should allocate people to separate centres according to their age.

Roger Wong Chi-foon, Shek Kip Mei

Do you think electronic textbooks are a good idea?

I do not think the electronic textbooks are a good idea ('Portable learning devices could spell end of heavy school bags', April 24).

Children from low-income families would not be able to afford these notebooks. Also, I am concerned about the health implications of using computers for long periods.

Also, pupils will eventually have to replace these computers or get them repaired when something goes wrong and their families will incur additional costs.

Tsao Po-yee, Sha Tin

On other matters ...

I am wondering if someone in authority at Now TV can explain its recent decision to suddenly start charging viewers for the Australia Network channel.

A recent call to the hotline was of no use as the operators only repeat the corporate line. We know that Now is not charged by Australia Network.

As an Australian living in Hong Kong, this channel enables us to keep up with Australian news, sport and drama programmes unavailable on other networks.

From a cynical point of view it appears that Now is taking advantage of Australian expatriates' love of sport and assuming we will pay for something that has previously been free.

If this is Now TV's response to the slowing economy, I am going to cancel my contract and go to i-Cable.

Sue Burgess, Mid-Levels


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