PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 September, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 September, 2009, 12:00am

Should the drug-rehab school get the Mui Wo premises?

If you compare the comments of those who support the Christian Zheng Sheng College's move to the vacant Mui Wo secondary school site to those who do not, there is a marked difference.

Supporters of the site's use for local education have justified their arguments with research from years of campaigning.

They have offered data that supports student numbers, provided information on educational models that would support a new and successful school and have canvassed parents, exposing a real demand for a local school.

Conversely, supporters of the Zheng Sheng have shown no such justification. 'I believe this is right', 'I can see no reason why not', 'good work should be rewarded' are phrases that have been used and reused with no supporting information. Perhaps this is no surprise since many individuals had not even heard of the Mui Wo secondary school until June this year.

Betty Lin's letter (Talkback, September 18) is such an example. Ms Lin said that if there was a demand for local education in south Lantau then the government should open a new school for the residents while giving the existing site to the Zheng Sheng College.

Ms Lin fails to realise that there are no schools to reopen or suitable sites to develop in Mui Wo. Even if there were sites that could be developed, ignoring the huge environmental damage, the costs and development time are prohibitive. The previous school took four years to construct, at a price of HK$24 million, HK$2 million of which was raised by the local community.

Will the taxpayer provide such a sum again and is it fair to ask the local community to pay a second time and wait another four years for their educational needs to be met?

Surely, anyone with good sense realises that a move by the Zheng Sheng College to an alternative site in south Lantau, using the revenue from the sale of their vacant property in Cheung Chau for development, would be a more effective model than the construction of a new school for the local community of south Lantau?

Marc Francis, Lantau

What do you think of the revisions to the drug-testing scheme?

The government is introducing this scheme to try to curb increasing drug use in schools. Young people who really need help will be able to get it.

However, I have doubts about the scheme being able to achieve its original goals.

I think some students will feel marginalised as a result of the test and may start skipping lessons. This will make it more difficult to help them. Also, students can refuse to take the test and this makes it more difficult to find the ones who really need help.

I believe most secondary school pupils know that drugs are bad for them. But I feel the scheme will fail to teach them important lessons about life and about how they have to act responsibly.

The scheme needs more planning and sufficient back-up resources before it is implemented.

Ophelia Cheng, Kwun Tong

What do you think of the Seaview Building proposals?

Among the suggestions for what to do with the Seaview Building is a car museum. Why not a watch museum or a handbag and shoe museum?

If people really want to look at expensive cars in Repulse Bay they can go next door to the Maybach dealership, another colossal example of how a beautiful old building was used without any consideration for public facilities.

What should be done with the Seaview Building is indeed, as some other writers have already remarked, something that serves many people. We should have a cultural complex, some exhibition space, plus maybe a small museum focusing on Hong Kong history and a small theatre. There should be one or two medium-priced restaurants, with outside dining.

I suppose this is too complicated and too much to ask for.

Sandra Hulac, Central

Do you think speed cameras are needed on steep roads?

There is no need to have speed cameras on such roads. The presence of these cameras will not make the roads safer and for some vehicles they might present an obstruction.

As you reported, each camera costs HK$245,000 ('Speed camera 'a joke' in traffic jam black spot', September 7).

The installation and annual maintenance costs are also expensive.

This is a waste of taxpayers' money as most drivers watch their speed on steep roads.

Few accidents on such roads are caused by cars going too fast.

Therefore I cannot see why there is any need to install a speed-enforcement camera on Old Peak Road.

Shirley Chu Wai-shan, Sha Tin

Should the South Island Line be put underground?

In response to the article about the MTR South Island Line ('Holy men join growing row over MTR viaduct', September 21), it is evident that if this line was to be built underground instead of the proposed viaduct option, it would not generate too much displeasure.

But the government has apparently ruled out the underground option, arguing it would delay the completion of the line.

However, an independent engineering study shows that the underground option will not delay the completion date. On the contrary, there are fewer uncertainties and therefore risks of delay with this option than with a viaduct.

Certainly, an underground option would be more costly and neither the government nor the MTR Corporation want to invest more than is necessary. But, is choosing the cheapest option and reaping massive rewards in the future at the expense of the Hong Kong people acceptable?

The current government's track record proves that it is not too concerned about public opinion and is more inclined to follow its own agenda when it comes to redevelopment and new transport routes. It also shows a lack of sensitivity and real apathy in bettering this so-called world-class city.

Should this plight once again go unheard and should the Southern District just learn to live with this unsightly MTR line forever? Or will the Hong Kong government wake up and finally start listening to its people?

The underground option is a much better, cleaner, safer and just plain smarter solution. So why is the government choosing not to pursue it?

Sophie Rey, Southern District