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  • Oct 24, 2014
  • Updated: 3:52pm

Talkback

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 July, 2009, 12:00am
 

What do you think of this year's book fair?

This year's book fair has not been dominated by literature or the fact that it is its 20th anniversary.

Instead, most attention has been paid to the 'pseudo-models' and their photo albums, and to some singers and their promotions, staged to boost their fame.

This seems to be the main theme of the fair, rather than it being a place to appreciate literary works.

Fans queue outside and keep shouting their idols' names, and this affects the mood of other people attending the fair.

The photo albums with pictures on the front showing models in bikinis can be seen by children.

Is it really appropriate for the models to be allowed to sell their books at this event?

If you are willing to search, you can find genuine books at the fair with touching articles and adventure stories.

These literary works share one thing in common and that is the great effort expended by the authors.

Iris Chung Ka-wing, Ngau Chi Wan

I feel thrilled whenever I go to the book fair. I see crowds of people looking for and reading books.

I can really feel the enthusiasm for books.

However, I have noticed changes and seen many people going not because of books, but because of the celebrities who are there, promoting their own books which are full of pictures. It is photos these fans care about, not words.

The pseudo-models' books apparently have very few words.

It is obvious that we need to stipulate the definition of 'book'. Everyone has a right to free expression, but it should not be abused.

The fair's organisers, the Trade Development Council, should set up some regulations and decide what books can be put on sale at the fair.

Material that is essentially sexual should not be promoted at the fair. Its main aim should be to put educational books on display.

I hope the council and the government will take action.

Jesse Lau, Mong Kok

I agree with those who argue that the pseudo-models should be banned from the book fair.

I think they are ruining the atmosphere of the book fair.

The purpose of the fair is to encourage people to read more books and therefore acquire more knowledge.

These pseudo-models and their books give the impression to young people that you do not need to study to earn money.

These women are entitled to have their books published.

However, it is inappropriate for these books to be sold at the fair.

Niki Yu, Kwun Tong

Should the drug rehab centre get the Mui Wo premises?

I was dismayed to read that the government was still considering using the premises of the former Mui Wo secondary school as a drug rehabilitation centre ('Mu Wo 'only option' for drug rehab site', July 22).

Please can someone explain why the government is ignoring the needs of the growing number of children in Mui Wo and south Lantau?

Why has there been so little evidence of due process in the government's decision making? Why are the other sites proposed for the Christian Zheng Sheng College considered unsuitable? Why does Zheng Sheng take priority over major local problems?

The current proposal by the government and Zheng Sheng to take over the Mui Wo school denies the children of south Lantau the right to study in their own district and condemns them to hours of costly travelling and needless separation from their families and community. Where is the justice in that?

We hear much about the need to give the young people at the drug rehabilitation centre a second chance. But why must this mean denying a first chance to the children of south Lantau?

Philip Snow, Lantau

Should patients be charged for ambulance services?

The government is going to consult the public about the implementation of charges for ambulance services.

The driving force behind the plan is the fact that more than 40 per cent of ambulance trips this year were unnecessary.

These trips included, for example, a patient who had sustained only a minor injury and another who wanted a free ride to hospital.

Clearly, ambulances making pointless trips can put people at risk during an emergency.

I think that if a charge is imposed, it will stop a lot of people from calling an ambulance unnecessarily.

However, if a fee is introduced, patients who are in a critical condition should not be charged.

People on low incomes and the elderly might object if the charge is too high, therefore HK$20 to HK$30 a trip would be reasonable.

R. Hau, Kowloon Bay

On other matters...

I agree with P.A. Crush (Talkback, July 21) when he points a finger at the leadership of the police force.

I have every respect for our police, but they have to take their lead from above when it comes to enforcing some of our very clear regulations.

My car's speedometer suggests a top speed of 260km/h. However, I will never experience even half that.

My car also has a cruise control, which I use on every stretch of clear road, of which there are a number in Hong Kong. It is not difficult.

The only time I did not set it was at the end of a taxing day when, with my mind elsewhere, I accelerated up to the giddying speed of 90km/h along the Island Eastern Corridor.

There was a flash from a pole and a few days later I received a speeding ticket. It was my fault. I broke the law and I paid the penalty.

Speed cameras and all the related signage have been installed on many of our roads, presumably at considerable expense. And my recent experience shows that they do indeed work. But for the vast majority of the time they are turned off.

What on earth is the point of that? In my hometown of Blackpool in England the traffic moves along at the legal speed. Why is that? Because the speed cameras are permanently activated and everybody knows this.

It is not magic - it is simply flicking a switch. But in Hong Kong it seems that one is only expected to obey the law part of the time.

Meanwhile, I get flashed by aggressive drivers and overtaken on both sides by people who are impatient to break the law - and they get away with it.

Robert Nield, Clear Water Bay

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