PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 August, 2011, 12:00am


Door incident on MTR explained

I refer to the letter by J. Wilson ('MTR must issue safety clarification', August 23) and the report ('MTR says Shenzhen travellers at fault', August 6) regarding the train service of the Shenzhen Metro Longhua Line. I would like to take this opportunity to explain the case.

Safety is always our highest priority in railway operations. The MTR Corporation has adopted the highest safety standards in the operation of the Shenzhen Metro Longhua Line.

With regard to the train door incidents that happened in June and July on the Longhua Line, our general manager Adi Lau explained to the media on August 5 that they were attributed to the closing force level of train doors and technical variance of the train door sensor.

The cause was unrelated to passenger behaviour, as was suggested in your report.

When the Longhua Line came into full operation in mid-June, there were a few short delays caused by doors that did not close properly during peak hours.

The reason was that train doors were sensitive to pressure from crowded cabins.

Remedial measures were immediately taken by increasing the closing force of train doors from 150 to 200 newtons, and the situation largely improved after the adjustment.

Another train door incident mentioned in your August 6 report occurred on July 25.

One train door opened about 10cm for one second when the train was travelling between Civic Center station and Convention and Exhibition Center station.

The train door self-protection mechanism was immediately activated, the door closed and the emergency brake was applied immediately, resulting in a one-minute service delay.

An investigation carried out right after the incident quickly identified the cause as being a technical variance of the sensor in that particular train door.

The variance was immediately calibrated while comprehensive check-ups and fine-tuning of all train doors were subsequently conducted.

Findings of the investigations together with follow-up and preventive measures were clearly addressed to the public through our press releases of June 27 and July 28.

I would like to reassure your readers that we are always monitoring the operation of the Longhua Line with prudence and the highest international benchmarks in order to provide safe, reliable and comfortable metro services to our passengers.

Joyce Zhao, acting public relations manager, MTR (Shenzhen)

Adjust the arrangement for payment

I refer to the letter by D. K. Patel on the arrangements for the HK$6,000 handout to permanent residents ('Handout account rule unfair', August 26).

I am facing the same problem, as both my wife and I have joint accounts, and do not intend now to go to a bank and open separate accounts, just for this HK$6,000.

When drafting its policy, the government should have thought about how to pay this sum to Hong Kong citizens.

I would suggest that officials look into the matter and revise collection instructions as Mr Patel said.

My wife and I are senior citizens, and I am sure that there will be quite a few Hong Kong residents in the same position as we are.

Rattan Mangharam, Mid-Levels

Future still bright for Apple

Many people will have been shocked by the news that Steve Jobs was resigning as chief executive of Apple.

There is no doubt that the world was changed because of what he did. Apple products have had an impact across the globe. I am sure that most of us still remember the long queues outside Apple stores when the sale of the brilliant white iPad2 was launched.

Apple products have proved so popular over the last decade because they suit people's needs. They have such amazing applications. It is so simple to connect to Wi-Fi and the success of these apps is the reason that Apple has been so successful and achieved such dominance.

Some people expressed concern that the departure of Mr Jobs might lead to a crisis at Apple. But I think the company will continue to do well.

With new CEO Tim Cook, Apple can feel confident about the future.

Amanda Siu, Kwai Chung

Church has done a lot of good things

Michael Jenkins accused the Catholic Church of demanding 'money every week from its congregation' ('Church that cares a lot about money', August 24).

There is a church that makes such demands but it is not the Catholic Church.

Making a donation, by definition, is a voluntary act. It is a choice people make. Believing in God or belonging to any belief system is also a choice.

When people make unfounded accusations against the Catholic Church, it may be because they are misinformed.

I agree with Mr Jenkins that God does know if someone was praying from a shack or a palace. God also knows if we are judging others, especially the church and its leaders.

It is wrong to suggest that Pope Benedict might not have studied the 'corrupt, immoral, unethical lives of many of his predecessors or the history of the Inquisition'.

He is by far the most scholarly of all the popes.

As an ordinary Catholic I know of this history, so I am sure the pope does as well.

I wonder if Mr Jenkins has read of the good things that have been done over the centuries by the Catholic Church to help people. That should be seen in contrast to and compared with the bad.

Of course you will see negative stories in the press, but that is because the media prefers to report bad news.

There are thousands of books and websites to be found which have chronicled the good things done by the Catholic Church. I would urge Mr Jenkins to read some of them. We have to accept that no church is perfect.

Aissa Montecillo, Tai Tam

Decision to give plastic bags wrong

The enactment of the Product Eco-responsibility Ordinance (Cap. 603) has provided a legal basis for implementing producer responsibility schemes in Hong Kong.

The environmental levy on plastic shopping bags was the first scheme to be implemented under the ordinance with the objective of reducing the indiscriminate use of plastic shopping bags.

While the secretary for the environment was delighted that the levy scheme had successfully transformed the public's shopping habits and, with the use of fewer plastic shopping bags, few of us has observed a countervailing force inside the government structure.

When the secretary was calling on the public to support the levy scheme, the Housing Department distributed plastic refuse bags, free of charge, to public housing tenants.

There are about 650,000 families living in public housing in Hong Kong.

Taxpayers are virtually subsidising the use of plastic bags through the Housing Department.

This is definitely against the principle of producer responsibility and against the government's emphasis on environmental protection for sustainable development.

Apparently, there are some co-ordination problems within our government structure.

J. Tse, Sha Tin

Students were entitled to be angry

The visit to the University of Hong Kong by Vice-Premier Li Keqiang angered HKU students.

I agree with those who claimed their freedom of expression was suppressed.

One student who was locked up was very upset and when I saw him on television I could understand this distress. He had the courage to express his views and should not have been treated in this way.

Police had allocated a designated area for protesters, but it was some distance from the main building being visited by the vice-premier so he would not have seen the protests.

These protesting students are future pillars of society.

I am sure they had no militant intentions.

Hong Kong is not under the direct control of the central government and our society still embraces the principles of equality and fairness.

Everyone is entitled to voice their opinions and these voices should not be suppressed. If they are, there could be serious consequences.

Amy Hui Sha-yim, Kowloon City