Letters to the Editor, December 4, 2012
Health benefits of breast milk are obvious
A full-page advert from the manufacturers of formula milk states we should "Help Mothers Make the Right Choice" (November 23) by allowing formula companies to continue promoting their products in Hong Kong.
The companies claim the implementation of a Hong Kong code on the marketing of breast milk substitutes would prevent them providing the "right information" to pregnant women and new mothers. This is absurd. For decades, the formula companies have made false claims about their products and neglected to mention the health risks associated with formula feeding.
A study by the University of Hong Kong in the journal Epidemiology (2010) showed formula-fed infants were at increased risk of hospitalisation for infection when compared to exclusively breastfed babies. The increase in risk was 96 per cent for gastrointestinal infection, 56 per cent for respiratory infection, and 64 per cent for any infection.
Formula feeding is also associated with an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, obesity and certain childhood cancers. It contains no immunological factors to help babies fend off germs in their immediate environment. These well documented facts are never mentioned by the formula companies.
They do not care about giving good information; they just want to sell their products.
Under the provisions of the proposed Hong Kong code, mothers who need or wish to formula feed will still be able to get correct information about their feeding choices from a qualified medical professional.
Maggie Holmes, Happy Valley
MTR Corp must install more cameras
Many women have been victims of sexual harassment on MTR trains and at stations.
There is clearly a need for the MTR Corporation to install more surveillance cameras at its stations to curb perverts.
Women wearing skirts are at high risk. Having more closed-circuit television cameras can help to prevent crime and make female passengers feel safer.
If peeping Toms know that more cameras have been installed and that it would be easier for them to be caught, this could act as a deterrent and discourage them from harassing women.
It would also help police in the detection of other crimes on the MTR network, such as theft.
The MTR Corp carries huge numbers of passengers every day. It has a duty to ensure they can enjoy their journeys in comfort and safety.
Angel Cheung Kin-yi, Sha Tin
Stop focusing on trivialities in Legco
When can we have a vote of no confidence in our representatives in Legco?
They persist in playing silly games with the chief executive instead of addressing the things that matter, such as awful air pollution, rather than trivialities of unauthorised structures. They should be thankful we have Leung Chun-ying and not Henry Tang Ying-yen.
Hong Kong is ready for democracy but our so-called politicians are not; they need to grow up.
David Chappell, Lamma
Where are our visionary politicians?
Many thanks to Alex Lo's My Take column ("Little hope for progress without vision", November 26).
He ends by saying that if "only we could produce a new breed of competent - dare I dream - visionary politicians".
Dream on. At the moment, we are in a nightmare created by people who are interested only in dragging down the only person who for years has provided some vision for Hong Kong and is now chief executive. This incessant pursuit of "illegal structures", which nobody used to notice, is a measure of their myopic incompetence.
Leading the pack are a set of lawyers which, at first, is puzzling but, when we realise that our law is based upon precedent which is totally rooted in the past, one can appreciate that thinking about the future is not a quality in which they are educated.
There must, by now, be some pretty restless people in the Civic and Democratic parties.
Oh that they would leave the past behind and get together to create what we thought we were once getting - the dream outlined by Alex Lo.
S.P. Li, Lantau
Do not make passengers pay for losses
KMB wants to raise fares by 8.5 per cent because, it says, of some operating difficulties.
The managing director said the firm lost "HK$12.5 million in the first six months of the year" mainly because of increasing oil prices and decreasing passenger numbers ("KMB wants to raise fares by 8.5pc", November 30).
However, I would question if it is reasonable for the company to pass on the financial burden it faces in the form of fare rises to the public.
It has called for high hikes in the past, which have been cut by the government, and even with higher fares, it has not solved the problems that it faces.
The company has to ask why it does not have many passengers. Many of its routes suffer from low patronage and I think there are a number of reasons for this.
I find that the frequency of buses is unreliable. I have experienced having to wait for a bus for anything between 10 minutes and one hour. This is a fast-paced city and people want a fixed timetable.
KMB could set up a system that exists in parts of Europe, where an electronic board at the main stop lists the arrival time of each bus route.
Also, if KMB has low patronage on some routes, then it could introduce more single-decker buses.
It would be better to do this than cut a route in a low-density area where people rely on buses to get to and from work.
Moreover, I believe the Roadshow television system that it has on its buses is very profitable and KMB should include that when talking about its annual revenue.
Given that that is a profitable part of the company's business, it should not be trying to get more money from passengers.
The managing director of KMB has to take responsibility for the problems the company is experiencing.
It annoys me when I see big companies trying to get more money from customers instead of looking at solutions to deal with revenue problems.
Anna Chu,Kwun Tong
Education can help in fight against Aids
December 1 was World Aids Day.
It gave people an opportunity on this day to think seriously about the issues related to Aids and do something to help prevent its spread.
In recent years, there has been a steady rise in the number of HIV-infected cases and Aids cases in Hong Kong. This is indeed a worrying trend.
Perhaps people have now lowered their guard against Aids and not given adequate thought to the importance of practising safe sex.
Even now, some people still hold the misconception that Aids is restricted only to homosexuals and the disease has nothing to do with heterosexuals.
Their ignorance and inadequate knowledge about Aids and safe sex practices mean that not only are they risking being infected with HIV, but they also risk infecting their sexual partners.
I believe the government has to address this problem by educating the public, especially young people, about the importance of practising safe sex and other Aids-related issues.
If the public is adequately equipped with sound knowledge about safe sex practices, the battle against HIV infection and Aids will be already half won and there will be a steady decline in the number of HIV infection cases and Aids sufferers in future.
To prevent the spread of Aids, everyone of us has a role to play.
Godwin Wong Yan-ho, Tsuen Wan
Why natural beach is so much better
I agree with Alex Tang Hin-lung ("Closer study of artificial beach needed", November 27), who has condemned the decision by the government to build a beach at Lung Mei, Tai Po.
Many people are angry that the officials have rejected calls for a detailed feasibility study to be carried out into the project.
I can understand the administration's desire to initiate projects which can lead to economic growth in a part of Hong Kong and the artificial beach could boost tourism in the Tai Po area. But people are now becoming more aware of the importance of protecting and preserving natural habitats.
The government should recognise its role of striking a balance between conservation and economic growth. I don't think it is worth sacrificing a natural habitat for monetary gain.
Lung Mei is already a natural beach. Why does the government have to ship in all this sand and build an artificial one?
It claims it will relocate marine life during the construction period, but I do not think all creatures will easily adapt to their new environment. I think the whole idea is ridiculous.
Tiffany Tsang Chor-yin, Sheung Shui