PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 August, 2011, 12:00am


Jobs help ease social pressures

The riots in London were deplorable and saddening.

One wonders what people who are not in education, employment and training and living on Euro65 (HK$827) a week think about being lectured by English Premier League footballers on Euro100,000 a week.

Recently I met three ex-pupils of mine who were keen, hard-working boys at school. Now 27, they are pleasant university graduates, but unemployed. I wonder, and worry, how they fill their days.

One of the main differences between London and Hong Kong (which I am visiting) is that London, even though it has a lower population density, always feels overcrowded.

There never seem to be enough people around to help, hence the queues, stress and impatience.

Hong Kong is crowded but does not feel overcrowded. There are always plenty of people to assist on the MTR, at bus stations, in shops, in the parks, on the ferries, at the post office and in the cinema.

Therefore overcrowding, queues and the concomitant stress and impatience are rare. More people gainfully employed seems to produce a calmer society.

Frank Jacobs, London, England

Public care's loss is private sector's gain

I found the feature 'Doctors divided' (August 2) deeply disturbing. I am not a doctor but have been a patient in both public and private health systems.

I am worldly enough to know that there are some inherent conflicts of interest in medicine in the private sector; how can you reconcile humanity and compassion for others with making as much money as you can for yourself? The latter is the main reason for business.

There is only one group of people in Hong Kong who will benefit if the Hospital Authority begins to crumble - private doctors.

The Hospital Authority wants to bring in 20 'foreign' doctors to help in a manpower crisis that was forced on the authority by the government.

Many of these 'foreign' doctors will be residents of Hong Kong who went to medical schools overseas. They will have undertaken three years of post-registration training and have passed a professional postgraduate exam that was recognised by the Medical Council as a quotable qualification.

These doctors would be mainly placed in the sectors that are under the most severe manpower constraints; medicine is really hard hit and patient care is suffering. And none of them would be in training positions.

For Dr Samuel Kwok and Dr Choi Kin to raise concerns over standards and patient safety is a complete red herring.

Also, how can the current composition of the council work for the public interest when it is dominated by doctors?

Health matters are too important to be regulated by a self- interested professional group. The council is out of date and out of touch and at least half its members should be non-doctors.

The people of Hong Kong cannot be held to ransom by the greed and selfishness of a minority of doctors who only see the money in medicine, not the humanity.

Sara Lai, Lam Tin

Library a modern monstrosity

The builders of Hong Kong's Central Library should be ashamed of themselves.

If there was a prize for the worst-designed modern building in Hong Kong, the ghastly exterior of the Central Library overlooking Victoria Park in Causeway Bay would get it.

There is a horrible mismatch of styles, with poorly executed classical features interposed with huge sheets of glass, and some parts of the walls erratically covered with ugly concrete.

It looks like a bomb has hit it and this is the patched-up remains.

And yet the front is plastered by what looks to be the logo of the Freemasons, with their set square and compasses.

Rather than boasting of their association with or design of this modern monstrosity, the masons (whether free or not) should be ashamed of themselves for erecting such a mess.

Rob Leung, Wan Chai

Please leave 'traditional' hawkers be

I don't really agree with the idea of giving out licences to hawkers who make their living from traditional craftsmanship.

It is pretty hard to determine who is actually engaged in traditional crafts, as it varies according to the point of view.

People argue that trying to regulate hawkers could improve the hygiene and cleanliness of the streets.

But there haven't been reports of craftsmen or artists polluting the environment or blocking the road.

I think it would be fine if we just left them as they are and let traditional arts develop themselves instead of interfering with them without any convincing reasons.

Ho Yin Lok, Yuen Long

The myth of 'long life' light bulbs

I wish to challenge one of the claims made in your lead article ('Swift action vital on new light bulbs', August 16).

You state that energy-saving bulbs 'last longer'.

In my experience, this is simply not true.

I am now on my third energy-saving bulb in the main bathroom in less than five years and the same goes for the kitchen, too.

Previously I had tungsten bulbs, which lasted for several years before they burnt out.

This claim of 'long life' is a myth created by the bulb manufacturers.

It is possible that a bulb could be constructed to have an almost endless life, but where would that leave the maker's continuing sales?

Until the suppliers in Hong Kong start selling only bulbs with a guaranteed life of, say, at least five years, I suggest the public object to any attempts to make them compulsory.

Peter Crush, Sha Tin

Red lights all round to stop road tragedy

I refer to the article about the deadly accident in Tuen Mun ('Death for driver in 'red light gamble'', August 10). Speeding over a traffic light as it is turning red is not the only reason for such tragic accidents.

When traffic lights in the city change, there is almost no time when the lights in all directions are red. Even at pedestrian crossings, there are just a few seconds between the light for the cars going red and the one for pedestrians going green. There should be a 'safety time' when they are all red so crossings and inter- sections can be fully cleared.

Given the notorious impatience of Hong Kong citizens, more deadly accidents can be foreseen at traffic lights.

Bob Tan, Tuen Mun