PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 August, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 August, 2010, 12:00am

No exemptions in consumer law

The aim of expanding the consumer protection law is to penalise businesses that mislead or unfairly treat people.

One issue is whether professions such as doctors and lawyers should be excluded from the expanded law.

Such special treatment runs counter to the purpose of the law. It also violates the basis of fairness - which is essential for a harmonious society - and underestimates professionals' ability.

Exempting some professions would weaken the law.

It is also not fair to people with other careers. They will question why they are not eligible for special protection.

The consultation services provided by doctors, lawyers, estate agents and other regulated professionals are vital to our daily lives. Their services should be of a better quality than those provided by others. For instance, if a doctor prescribes the wrong medication, the patient may face disastrous health problems.

I think it is important to expand the scope of the law. Constraints placed upon professions will make people upgrade their services.

Including all professions in the expanded law promotes fairness in our cosmopolitan city. I urge the government to seriously consider the issue.

Lam Kit-yan, Diamond Hill

Energy-saving bulbs

I would like to express my concern on the topic of using energy-saving light bulbs to replace traditional incandescent ones.

The Hong Kong government is encouraging us to use energy-saving bulbs to reduce carbon emissions, but some organisations argue the widespread use of compact fluorescent light bulbs would cause other serious problems.

Although more efficient, such bulbs contain a toxic chemical - mercury. When we throw them away, the mercury will leak into the soil, affecting the ecosystem in the surrounding area. Should we continue to use them or the traditional ones?

Saving energy and reducing carbon emissions are the most important steps we can take. So, we should continue to use energy-saving bulbs until we find an alternative. LED lights, for example, could be more widely used.

The government should build a chemical waste treatment centre to deal with the mercury from disposed bulbs. It could encourage people to discard used bulbs in collection boxes, so the mercury can be recycled efficiently and will not pose a threat to the environment. The centre could also treat other toxic chemical waste.

Ho Ka-ming, Ju Ching Chu Secondary School (Tuen Mun)

Save the city's image

A string of scandals has undermined Hong Kong's image as a tourist paradise. Amateur videos clearly show the rude behaviour of local tour guides. Every visitor now knows a tour guide will pressure them to buy things or even resort to threats.

While these scandals definitely tarnish the city's image, they also show oversight of the industry is failing. Obviously, there are loopholes in the law, which many unscrupulous tour guides exploit to make profits.

Shouldn't the government take action as soon as possible rather than simply condemning offenders? We must take action to solve the problem.

Michelle Chan Yin-ching

Study in silence

A new problem has arisen in study areas. In the past, mobile phones and computers were luxury items for teenagers. But in this day and age, almost every student has a mobile phone and some own a notebook computer.

These devices are affecting the peaceful environment of study rooms. Anyone who spends a few hours in a study room will eventually hear a mobile ring.

The first time it rings, I can forgive the person for being careless. But when the same tone rings and rings again, that shows the person has deliberately decided not to use the silent mode.

Even if the person leaves the place to talk, the ringtone has already disturbed others' concentration. Such selfish behaviour is truly annoying.

Then there is the notebook. Once, a person sitting next to me used his notebook to watch a movie without wearing headphones. The sound just came blaring out and distracted me from my work. I would like to remind all students not to be selfish at common study areas.

Zoie Tsang