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PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 September, 2009, 12:00am
 

How should decisions on arts and cultural issues be made?

I refer to the report ('Arts policy should be dictated by 'professionals, not the people',' August 24).

Arts Centre chairwoman Cissy Pao Watari said that art 'is created for the people, but the decisions about art should be made by professionals instead of through a democratic process'.

She was speaking after it was revealed that a sculpture to be placed in Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront has been delayed for more than four years due to the bureaucratic process ('Four years on, sculpture still just a notion', August 24).

It takes times for viewers to learn what the arts are all about. We should leave decisions on the arts to the professionals, not a vote. In a city where increasing auditing means we place less trust in our professionals, the arts should be left completely to the professionals.

The same should apply to architecture.

H. C. Bee, Kowloon Tong

Is enough being done to improve minibus safety?

People have become increasingly concerned about recent road traffic accidents which have resulted in the loss of lives.

The government has been looking into ways to curb this problem.

One measure to be implemented is the installation of speed limiters on minibuses. I think this is a sensible approach and it will reduce the incidence of accidents.

Minibus drivers have been accused of reckless driving habits. They drive at high speeds so they can save time and earn more money. If they are going too fast, it is difficult for them to stop and avoid an accident.

With the speed limiters installed, they will have time to react when they experience a problem on the road and the reckless driving habits of some can be curbed.

This whole issue has raised public awareness about road safety issues. Minibuses have been seen as the chief culprits, so officials started with them. However, next they should turn their attention to private cars and introduce the same policy regarding speed limiters.

I think most motorists would welcome a speed limiter rule as it would deter them from driving too fast, and we will see fewer accidents.

Tony Tang, Choi Wan

The suggestion that speed limiters on minibuses are a cure-all for the numerous accidents that have occurred recently is short-sighted.

If the speed limiter is set to 80km/h, the driver can still speed by driving up to 80km/h in a 50km/h or 30km/h zone.

The answer is tougher penalties and stricter enforcement, especially more police patrolling the roads 24 hours a day and more radar-camera combinations visibly in use at perceived black spots.

I am also horrified by the comments of a spokesman for the Public Omnibus Operators Association on buses ('Speed limiters urged after fatal crash', August 29). Aaron Yeung Wai-hung said: 'It would be difficult if the government required us to retrofit seat belts in the old models because some of them were not designed to withstand the impact.'

Why are these unsafe vehicles allowed on our roads?

Between reckless drivers and unfit vehicles, I am going to seek out alternative modes of transport.

Steve Schechter, Sai Kung

Should seat belts and speed limiters be made compulsory on buses and coaches?

Given the number of accidents on our roads, it is clear seat belts should be fitted on coaches and buses.

Accidents will happen on our roads, but at least we must do our best to reduce casualty levels. A seat belt gives some protection to passengers and may prevent some of them from sustaining more serious injuries. For example, someone who was asleep on impact.

I think speed limiters can be especially effective at night because drivers' awareness is reduced at night.

However, the cost of installing seat belts and speed limiters is quite high. It would be unfair to require bus companies to install them in all their vehicles as the older models may not be on our roads for much longer. Officials should discuss this matter with the management of bus firms. If necessary, it should be willing to provide subsidies.

Janet Lok, Mong Kok

Should Central Market be preserved?

Central is a high-density population area given that there are so many high-rises because it is the location of Hong Kong's central business district.

This leads to serious traffic congestion throughout the day. People living and working there have to put up with poor air quality.

To mitigate the situation, development of the area should be carefully planned. Now, the historic Central Market could face redevelopment. There is a proposal to build a 160-metre tall commercial building on the site. The government should thoroughly consider the historical value of the market.

It is 'the last piece of 1930s Bauhaus architecture in the city after Wan Chai Market was partially demolished for a high-rise'. ('Activists try again to save Central Market', September 1).

Our chief executive has pledged to develop culture and creative industries, as one of the six pillars [to turn Hong Kong into a knowledge-based city]. For that reason, I think the market building should be preserved.

I do hope the government will consider all the relevant factors and realise that the market building is an asset to this city.

R. Hau, Kowloon Bay

Should youngsters be banned from internet cafes?

I do not see any point in banning under-16s from internet cafes.

There are so many places where youngsters can go, such as a karaoke bar, if they want to abuse drugs.

An internet cafe is not the only venue for them. Therefore, it would not be realistic to ban youngsters from internet cafes. Given that the majority of young people using these cafes do not take drugs, they would feel they were being treated unfairly. I cannot see the point in pushing forward with this proposal.

If the government wants to solve the drug abuse problem among teenagers, it should find other ways.

Cheng Ngai-mau, Kowloon Tong

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