PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 January, 2012, 12:00am


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Power firms should give information

All countries are suffering from the effects of inflation.

The prices of commodities just keep going up in all areas. It affects everything from food to property. However, in Hong Kong, for most of us, salaries are not increasing by that much.

Some people are cutting back in order to deal with soaring prices, but you cannot avoid life's daily necessities.

Transportation, electricity, gas and water are necessities and citizens cannot avoid the costs.

Local companies also have to deal with the effects of inflation and both power firms, CLP Power and Hongkong Electric, have proposed increasing their tariffs.

It has been argued that they must accept corporate social responsibility and keep price hikes within a reasonable limit. They were criticised for the size of the increases and under public pressure agreed to reduce them. It would appear that the original high sums were just introduced as a kind of bargaining tool.

The problem that we do not really know to what extent inflation is affecting these companies. Were the tariff hikes a response to inflation rate or just a way of generating more revenue for future development? Therefore, I think it would be a good idea for lawmakers to have access to sensitive information on the tariffs of the these two firms.

W. H. Chan, Kwun Tong

Harassment and rape rife in nation

I am shocked by the naivete displayed by N. K. Rathi ('Women are respected in India', January 15)', which wrongly criticises Amrit Dhillon for her article ('Rape claims expose true shame of male bigotry', January 9).

Your correspondent claims that research 'shows that cases of rapes or molestation of women could have been minimised had victims dressed modestly'.

I am sure there is no verifiable research of this sort, just the contrary. Google the words harassment, women and dress and you stumble on any number of articles based on research done by respectable social scientists eloquently showing that the way women dress has no relation to their exposure to unwanted attention and worse.

As an Indian male who has stood waiting for buses almost every day for more than a decade in New Delhi, I have noticed any number of instances of very modestly-dressed women being ogled at and occasionally, 'eve teased' - an Indian euphemism for harassment. Inside buses they are subjected to visual rape and given that the buses are crowded one can only imagine the other indignities they suffer.

Whatever the Hindu scriptures N. K. Rathi extols might say, the reality in India is that harassment, violent attacks and rape are rife. It adds insult to injury to suggest the victims invite such treatment by the way they dress.

Incidentally, this letter shortly after listening to an excellent report on the BBC on this very subject, which ended with the words, 'You can wear a trench coat and be covered from head to toe in the depths of an Indian summer but a man with indecent intentions will still try his best to ruin your day.'

N. Jayaram, Kennedy Town

Hospital has responded to criticism

I refer to the report from the Surgical Outcomes Monitoring and Improvement Programme ('Yan Chai again tops hospital death list', January 15).

Speaking as a possible favourable statistic I concur with the report which noted 'a significant improvement' in the performance of Tuen Mun Hospital.

I underwent major surgery there and have nothing but praise for the surgical team, the nurses and ancillary staff who attended to me. They were a model of professional dedication.

Also, while communication in English was sometimes less than could be desired, I was pleasantly surprised to discover in the hospital's X-Ray department two young expatriate radiologists who comforted me in distinctly native English accents.

It seems that Tuen Mun Hospital has responded very constructively in diverse ways to its former negative status report.

Carlton Pujadas, Tin Shui Wai

Students feeling the exam strain

The Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exam will be held in March.

Some surveys have shown that many students are under a lot of pressure. They feel anxious because this exam is so important. It will determine whether or not they gain entry to a university.

I think teachers and parents need to recognise this and pay more attention to students. If they see signs of stress in any youngsters they should be on hand to help them cope.

The problems teenagers may also be made worse because some parents expectations of their children are too high.

Chareen Ma, Sha Tin

Genuine fans are left out in the cold

Charles Robertson (no relation) was spot-on in his condemnation of the fiasco of the sale of Rugby Sevens tickets to the public on January 14 ('Ticket sale online was chaotic', January 18). But my experience probably better illustrates his point.

Like him, I was online from 10am, and for more than two hours kept getting the 'Site unavailable' or 'Try again later' messages.

Then, at 12.20pm, I managed to get to the purchasing webpage, unable to believe my luck. I followed the instructions, requesting two tickets, and finally got to the 'Press to confirm' stage.

I pressed to confirm, waited for the Cityline response, and up came a message that the server had failed. I tried again, and got to the purchasing website again. However, this time, when I got to the selection of number of tickets and selected '2', the system told me that I had exceeded the allocation for one purchaser which, I think quite reasonably, led me to believe that my previous purchase had been successful. But, as I later found out in a phone call to Cityline, it was not.

The greatest frustration is that many people who have no interest whatsoever in rugby receive complimentary tickets and turn up only for the finals, if at all. The Hong Kong Rugby Football Union must show more respect to its real local supporters by: Allocating more tickets to its local supporters;

Devising a fairer method of ticket allocation; and

Encouraging corporate purchasers to donate unused tickets on Friday and Saturday to true rugby fans.

Peter Robertson, Sai Kung

Pregnancy tests at immigration

In my passport picture I have contact lenses on but when travelling I usually wear spectacles.

Every time the immigration officers ask me to remove the glasses as they compare my face to my passport picture.

A few times I have been asked to remove a hat also.

Hong Kong immigration officers complain that it is difficult to spot the pregnant mainland mothers sneaking into Hong Kong to give birth, especially now when everybody is wearing thick winter clothes.

How difficult and time-consuming could it really be to ask the women to open their coats or lift their pullovers so the officers can see if they appear to be pregnant?

And for those quite obviously look pregnant, but claim they are just overweight, a quick pregnancy test in the toilets under the supervision of a female immigration officer would surely confirm their condition.

Even if hundreds of these urine pregnancy tests are needed, surely the cost is still less than what Hong Kong now has to shell out for the emergency deliveries.

Nina Cheung, Sha Tin

Bold rats highlight problem

Pause at a busy traffic junction around 6 in the evening at Po Kong Village Road, Wong Tai Sin and you are likely to see a number of rats (often around 10) across the road at Fung Tak Park.

They are eating refuse in the overflowing bins and this is something you can see every day. They appear to show no fear of humans.

You even see them crossing the road.

During the day they often stick to bushes and hedges, but in the evening they head for the park. My mother saw a mouse there when walking with my daughter, this time at around 5pm and she was terrified.

Is this presence of vermin confined to Wong Tai Sin or are there problems with rat infestations in other parts of Hong Kong?

I have seen rats on a path close to newly-constructed blocks of private apartments.

I have talked about this with friends and it appears what I have witnessed is only the tip of the iceberg.

Surely it is important for officials to identify if there is a rat problem and get to the root of it.

I have lived in this district for almost 30 years and the problem with rats has never been this bad.

When I used to walk to and from primary and secondary school as a student I seldom saw a rat.

Teresa Ho, Wong Tai Sin