What do you think of pay-TV services?
I refer to the letter from Elgen Kua of ESPN Star Sports (Talkback, September 22), commenting on my letter of September 17.
I will not argue over the date of my unfortunate experience. From Elgen Kua's description it was very likely September 2.
What I do remember clearly was that when the billiards finally finished, Star Sports ran a full segment of adverts and joined the MotoGP race at 8.10pm (not 8pm), several laps into the main event.
One of the star riders, Valentino Rossi, had already dropped out of the race by then. Star Sports made no apology, nor did it attempt to bring viewers up to date, or to rebroadcast the event later.
The MotoGP broadcast was scheduled as a four-hour event and I saw less than 50 minutes.
Star Sports could have shown the main race from the beginning. The fact is it does not care. Why is the Guinness nine-ball final more important than MotoGP, which was in the middle of a tense championship tussle? Let me guess - advertising revenue?
PCCW contacted me after my last letter and were most apologetic - it seems that it is at the mercy of Star Sports. I reminded them that I have no contract with Star Sports. I pay Now TV (which has the exclusive contract with Star Sports in Hong Kong) for programmes advertised and I expect to see those programmes. As I said, I think it ironic that those who do not pay a subscription but visit a bar can watch these events when I cannot.
By the way, one last response to Elgen Kua - I did visit your website to check schedule details several times during the Guinness nine-ball on September 2. It indicated that the MotoGP was already showing.
Paul Deakin, Quarry Bay
Will you ride the Ngong Ping 360 cable car in the future?
Despite all the problems encountered and mistakes made in the operation of the cable car, the public should not focus on the past, but be optimistic over the reopening of the attraction.
Both the government and the company are trying hard to fix the problems. Expectations were high, which was why so many people were disappointed with the problems the cable car experienced.
I believe things will improve under the MTR Corporation, once all the potential problems have been examined.
I will ride on the cable car when it reopens.
Andy Seto, North Point
On other matters ...
Your reader, Nigel Francis, described his less than happy experience amending his address for record purposes when renewing his pleasure vessel licence at our Central Marine Office recently (Talkback, September 18).
We regret any inconvenience caused to Mr Francis and in order to assist those of your readers needing to license their pleasure vessel, I would like to offer the following guidance.
All documentation requirements were recently simplified as part of the introduction of the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance. The forms that must be completed are now accompanied by notes to guide those using them.
Regarding the application for renewal of a pleasure vessel operating licence, the forms are available at our marine offices and are also provided on the Marine Department webpage for download (http://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/forms/home.html#localvess ).
Pleasure vessel owners with a busy schedule need not visit our marine offices to make licence renewal applications, but can submit them by post. The approved licence will be sent to the registered address of the owner or can be collected by a person authorised to do so by the owner.
Looking to the future, our department intends to provide local vessel owners with the option of making most of the necessary transactions through the internet, as part of our e-business programme.
F. L. Cheuk, senior marine officer/licensing and port formalities, for director of marine
There has been plenty of discussion in these columns about how the government has failed Hong Kong with regards to the preservation of heritage sites. However, the government's town planning policies do not fail the people of this city on just these grounds.
My mother is currently in the Tung Wah group of hospitals' rehabilitation complex in Aberdeen. This complex provides rehabilitation services for elderly people with visual impairment, a mental handicap or a physical disability. The facilities are excellent and the staff are wonderful.
However, the complex is located beside a 'prime' parcel of land about to be auctioned off by the government. It fills me with dread to think of the impact that will have on the hundreds who work and reside at the complex. Noisy (and dangerous) construction activity and increased density is bound to diminish the quality of life there.
When it comes to town planning, the government cannot see beyond dollar signs. If Hong Kong is to become a truly sophisticated world-class city, the government must exercise more sensitivity to the needs of local communities and build a framework where Hong Kong people can live (very closely) together in a harmonious way.
The work of the complex is a real achievement for Hong Kong, in a fast-paced environment that tends to leave the old and weak behind. It provides outstanding services to the community. Please, let's make sure it has some peace and quiet.
Dianna Chan, Aberdeen