Happy families key to tackling drug abuse
As an organisation that provides preventive drug education to prevent substance abuse, Life Education Activity Programme (LEAP) agrees with Tina Lam Hiu-man ('Education can curb drug use', March 11) and Mario Leung Ka-on ('Get to bottom of drug scourge', March 12) on the need for parent education and for helping the future pillars of society.
A happy family is the solid foundation in children's healthy development. Teaching children the difference between right and wrong should not be left just to the schools but should be a joint effort between the family, school and community.
Ms Lam said that 'what the children really need is to have meaningful communication with their mother and their father', and 'the government should allocate more resources to parental education'.
LEAP offers education programmes for parents that promote better communication between parents and their children.
We help equip parents with knowledge on improving parental skills and also on drugs.
Only by knowing the dangers of drugs can parents be in a position to help the positive development of their children and help prevent drug abuse in the family. Mr Leung said 'we have to find effective ways to help our troubled teenagers'.
Engaging children in a positive lifestyle is an important path and the essence goes back to the importance of preventive education from a young age.
Such education should comprise both knowledge and skills to help develop young people's critical thinking and point them to the way of making responsible choices.
LEAP is one of several agencies in Hong Kong that offers preventive education to young people and their families.
We are encouraged by the government's decision to make more resources available in the fight against drugs and would advocate that more should be provided for education for the young and their parents.
Constance Ching, chief executive officer, Life Education Activity Programme
Look at reasons for by-election
Beijing has expressed concern over the upcoming Legco by-elections, or de facto referendum.
Beijing has said that they are unconstitutional, given that some people have talked about seeking genuine universal suffrage and abolishing the functional constituencies.
I do not agree with those critics who argue that it represents a challenge to the central government's authority. The pan-democrats are using the by-election to publicise their democratic aspirations.
They want to see a more democratic society and feel the central government has neglected the feelings of Hongkongers regarding the elections for the chief executive in 2017 and Legco in 2020.
Instead of discussing whether or not these by-elections are unconstitutional, Beijing should start thinking seriously about the demands by Hong Kong people for genuine democracy.
Hazel Chan, Shau Kei Wan
KMB monitors bus adverts
We refer to the letter from Yip Kim-ming ('More adverts on KMB buses', March 6) regarding KMB's bus stop announcement system.
Advertising on this system aims to generate non-coin-box revenue, which can help stabilise bus fares if there is uncertainty in the operating environment.
It has been approved by the Transport Department.
KMB strictly observes the rules set down by the department regarding advertising on the system. '
The guidelines require that the advertising element should only be added on average once for every five stop announcements that are broadcast.
KMB is mindful of passenger comfort, so, in line with our previous practice, the bus stop announcement system will not be broadcast on the upper deck if Multi-media On-board is in place, nor will it be broadcast in the silent zone, which is located on the right band side of the lower deck. Since the launch of the advertising service, KMB has assigned additional staff to monitor and measure the volume of this system on buses on a daily basis, to ensure that it is maintained at a normal level.
KMB will continue to closely monitor the operation of the system and make sure the advertising element complies with the rules and guidelines of the Transport Department.
If passengers have any concerns about a particular KMB bus, they can take down the licence number and call our customer service hotline on 2745-4466 so that we can make follow-up checks.
Susanne Ho, head of corporate communications department, Kowloon Motor Bus Company
Lack of internet a real setback
I refer to the letter by S. Liang ('No subsidies for entertainment', March 15) questioning the government's decision to give subsidies to students from low-income families.
Many poor families cannot afford internet services. They cannot even pay for a computer. This creates difficulties for students who need to access the internet for their schoolwork. This can include doing different projects and group assignments.
The present online services provided at government-run facilities are inadequate. It is often difficult to book the time you need.
Besides, school computer rooms are only open for a relatively short period.
Students may have a lot of homework and yet cannot get the use they need of a computer after school hours.
Internet subsidies will give students more time to do their schoolwork online.
It will be more convenient for them to do that work at home.
It would make no sense to remove this subsidy as poor students would lose their chance to have more study time on the internet.
Rico Wong, Sha Tin
Leeway for HOS pet owners
While many people believe in the adage 'a dog is a man's best friend', I appreciate that in apartment blocks they can cause a nuisance to neighbours. There can also be environmental hygiene problems.
It is for these reasons that the government has banned people from keeping dogs in Home Ownership Scheme apartments.
However, an increasing number of Hongkongers want to keep dogs. For some of them the pet is regarded as part of their family. They act responsibly, by exercising the dogs at designated parks and promenades, although they argue that there are not enough parks for them in the city. At home they try to keep their pets as quiet as possible.
This should not be difficult provided the animal gets sufficient exercise.
Given that the situation has changed since the dog ban was imposed, it is time for officials to reconsider the policy.
As long as owners have satisfied the requirements of keeping a pet in a responsible manner (such as ensuring the dog is vaccinated and has an ID microchip inserted), they should be allowed to keep pets at home.
R. Hau, Kowloon Bay
Another blight in progress
I agree with Markus Shaw ('Lung Wo Road is just another monument to 'concrete coalition'', March 4).
This new road cuts a scar across the valuable harbourfront land and presents yet another people-barrier infrastructure between the city and the harbour.
I appreciate the comments by C. K. Hon, the project manager for Hong Kong Island, for the Civil Engineering and Development Department, that this is still a work in progress ('New road has helped to ease congestion', March 11).
However, casual observation indicates that aesthetic considerations are low on the list of engineering priorities.
By trenching the carriageways and giving them a wide landscaped separation, this road would have been far less obstructive and obtrusive.
It is good that civil engineers are proud of their work but I think the majority of the population would prefer roads that are designed to be less visually and audibly prominent.
Roger Emmerton, Wan Chai
Forecasts are improving
I refer to the letter by Connie Wan ('Colder days', March 11).
Ms Wan correctly pointed out a deviation of the forecast maximum temperature for February 16 from the actual temperature.
The Observatory has been enhancing its forecasting over the years.
As of 2009, the proportion of accurate forecasts as verified by objective means was 90 per cent.
Nonetheless, there is still room for improvement in one out of 10 weather forecasts.
Please be assured of our commitment on continuous improvement.
Edwin Lai Sau-tak, Hong Kong Observatory
Two weeks ago WWF organised the screening of a controversial film, End of the Line, about the consequences of overfishing.
To my surprise this screening was open only to guests of WWF and not for the general public.
I made inquiries to both the Science Museum and to WWF and was told it was for invited guests.
Could WWF please explain why a film that the general public could benefit from was screened only for an exclusive audience when it is the public that needs to be educated on this critical subject?
Jan Bochenski, Tai Tam