Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more

talk back


Q What kind of development is appropriate for Lantau?

Hong Kong's coastal areas, home to many old villages, should not be urbanised, but kept as collective memories of the city's past. Tourists can visit them to find out how small fishing villages develop into a cosmopolitan city. The government should also promote Hong Kong's unique past rather than simply concentrate on making Hong Kong a cyber-city.

The opening of Disneyland is coming soon. Surely it will be the most popular scenic spot in Hong Kong when it does. People who live in Hong Kong's urban areas need room to relax. We already have plenty of urban facilities but lack a place for leisure. I hope the government can take these points into consideration.

Tony Kwan, Shamshuipo

Q Do you think anti-spam legislation would hurt businesses?

While many reader's letters and column pages in the South China Morning Post are devoted to the topic of e-mail spamming, no mention has been made of Hong Kong's No1 postal 'spammer', Hongkong Post. I cannot be the only citizen who objects to the stream of often quite voluminous 'spam' mail that appears in my postbox. Most of this unsolicited mail is stamped with the post office's special delivery insignia.

I have complained on a number of occasions to both the General Post Office and my local one, and each time I have been assured that no more unwanted mailings will appear in my box. This promise has not been kept.

The post office is taking advantage of its right of entry to managed blocks to send unsolicited mail to unwilling recipients on a daily basis.

Apart from legitimate objections to this type of mail, and the large amount of waste paper it generates, recipients should also be concerned about the security problem it creates.

When residents are away from home the fact is openly advertised by the large amount of mail overflowing in the mailbox. This is in spite of the fact that they may have paid all bills and rerouted any expected mail. Would-be burglars are spared the effort of checking out the premises.

It is high time that residents are allowed to regain control of their own mailboxes. Opt-out stickers should be provided to those who do not want any form of unsolicited mail spam in their mailbox.

I look forward to some comment from the postmaster general on this issue.

Mary Melville, Tsim Sha Tsui

On other matters ...

Several days ago, I returned from Europe using different airline members of the oneworld alliance. My husband and I had several pieces of luggage to check in as we were travelling back from holiday and were in business class. Three of our bags arrived but one smaller one was missing. I reported the missing item to the relevant airline counter after landing in Hong Kong. The bag was recovered and sent to my home a day later.

However, I noticed the lock to the small suitcase had been skilfully broken, presumably using a sharp industrial cutter. A personal computer and a digital camcorder were missing along with some memory sticks. A pearl necklace was also gone, but non-valuable clothing was left behind.

Naturally I called the airline and asked about compensation. The airline said it would repair my suitcase but according to the very fine print on the airline ticket, it was not responsible for any valuables as we had no proof these were actually in the suitcase.

On further questioning the staff, I was told such situations happened often, a frank admission that alarmed me terribly. Of course, as a mere consumer, I cannot fight against an airline with tremendous legal resources in a battle I would definitely lose.

But if such events happen all the time, why did the ground staff of the very reputable oneworld alliance never tell passengers to take precautions, so these items would instead be hand-carried all the way?

The reason I did not take them as carry-on luggage was because I needed to change planes several times before coming back to Hong Kong and I wanted to travel lightly.

Even tobacco companies must issue warnings to smokers about their products' hazards. Why shouldn't a responsible airline give such advice to passengers?

I checked with many of my friends and they tell me my experience is not rare and all one can do is to quietly suffer losses.

I want to alert all readers who have perhaps been aggrieved by a similar incident. I want to see whether airlines will actually warn their passengers about this situation.

Amy Chang Tsang, Mid-Levels

Since the festive holiday season is upon us one would have thought the local television stations would have made an effort to entertain us. Well think again. From Friday to Sunday we have nothing but repeats, sports programmes and cooking shows!

Isn't it time the government made the stations live up to their licensing requirement to provide entertainment.

By that I do not mean endless infotainment documentaries which they repeat, sometimes within weeks.

It was only a few years ago that every evening we had a new film or a great series. Now viewers must wait until midnight before anything halfway decent comes on, as it is considered too risque.

Even in the nanny state of Singapore, people have better television programming. What a reputation for Hong Kong - we are more prudish than even Singapore and must watch regurgitated documentaries and useless cooking shows.

Spice up your holidays with endless wildlife documentaries? Surely it is time for a change!

Name and address supplied