Intimidating minority not democracy
It does not look as though our new chief executive will get the honeymoon period most leaders enjoy when they start their first term.
On his very first full day in the job, at a district symposium in Tuen Mun, Leung Chun-ying was confronted by protesters ('Leung is forced to flee meeting', July 3) and prevented from leaving the venue for almost an hour. He eventually departed under police escort.
A day before, at the July 1 march, there were some people holding banners in support of C. Y. and against the filibuster tactics in Legco.
They were mocked and intimidated by other protesters who could not tolerate this minority opinion.
We are witnessing a society which is growing so impatient that rational thinking is abandoned; this can only result in mob democracy.
Hongkongers are angry over a chief executive still being handpicked by Beijing, whoever he may be.
People have a rose-tinted view of the past, creating the illusion of a lost democracy granted by our colonial master.
We must abandon the illusion that we can make our own terms without consulting a major stakeholder, Beijing. We must keep cool heads and prepare for tough negotiations.
The first thing citizens should accept is that this new administration, though hand-picked by Beijing, deserves a chance to tackle Hong Kong's so-called structural problems.
Also, we should recognise that the essence of democracy is tolerance of minority opinions. The intimidation of C. Y.'s supporters goes against the principles of democracy and freedom. It is an abuse of such ideals.
If the 'democratic fighters' use their majority clout to silence the minority, how do they differ from party officials on the mainland?
In five years, Hong Kong will have universal suffrage.
As we approach it, we must realise that blind opposition to the establishment and a refusal to engage Beijing can only lead to a dead end.
Patrick Cheng, Tai Po
C. Y. too keen to please grass roots
In order to please the grass roots, the team of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has made a lot of promises.
However, it is the middle class which is the most important group and it needs help. A large middle class ensures a more stable society.
If the government provides a better environment for these citizens, it will generate more tax revenue and there will be more job opportunities for people from the grass roots. If too much help is given to the grass roots, then Hong Kong will become a welfare-dominated society.
It is human nature that if you are given benefits and don't have to do anything in return, you will ask for more.
The administration must concentrate on improving the economic environment for businesses and working people. This is better than drafting policies that please the grass roots.
For too long, Hong Kong has been dominated by the large property developers and this has made it hard for small entrepreneurs to break into the market.
C. Y. should focus his attention on this issue.
Tommy F. K. Hui, Yuen Long
Let cabinet get on with governing
The chief executive election was held according to the prevailing rules, and the cabinet has been sworn in, let them get on with their task.
All the backward looks, recriminations over matters not the immediate concern of this government (such as June 4 and the supposed suicide of a China activist), and the expectations of some citizens who did not provide for themselves adequately, can be put aside so the administration can get on with its job. It cannot perform miracles and obstructing it does not help. Issues such as illegal structures are matters that individuals will have to answer for.
Maybe the relevant authorities might re-examine the illegal structures rules to see if they are not overly strict, and perhaps allow a moratorium on structures within certain ranges.
A flower trellis is not on the same scale of an illegal structure as 2,000 sq ft of wine cellar and Japanese bath. Let's have some perspective on this, if we are to continue to engage ourselves on this matter.
Jessie Tong, Melbourne, Australia
Politicians guilty of opportunism
The revelation that our new chief executive has illegal structures at his home on The Peak is not a non-issue, but the reaction from the press and Legco is greatly disproportionate.
The last government's achievements were minuscule, and it seems excessive for lawmakers to opportunistically punish Leung Chun-ying for making a now irrevocable mistake at the expense of getting things done in government.
Leung needs to govern Hong Kong. The ongoing filibuster, in addition to frustrating Leung's restructuring plans, has held up important legislation. He may be far from ideal, but he should be given a chance to try and move Hong Kong forward.
J. Withington, Mid-Levels
Willingness to listen so important
I refer to the letter by Max Teh ('Feeling let down by C.Y. Leung', July 1).
Probably 80 per cent of Hongkongers have some kind of illegal structure in their homes but does it affect their workplace?
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying should be given a chance.
Certain elements in Legco are blocking his way before he can even start to make a difference. They are trying to create instability. Freedom of speech yes, but with patience and a willingness to listen we can have it all.
People say Mr Leung should step down, but if he does, who is better to step in?
Jean Afford, Causeway Bay
Why HK is not best city in world
Italian architect Filippo Lovato must either be blind or joking ('Hong Kong is the best city to live in, new ranking system finds,' July 4).
One wonders if he spent any time in our vaunted 'world city' or just looked on the internet and missed experiencing the following:
Cramped subdivided flats;
Narrow pavements for crowds to traverse;
Parks containing more concrete than greenery;
Outrageous rents for decent flats;
Inflated prices for healthy food;
Overworked and underpaid local and migrant workers;
Polluted haze that has hung over the city for decades;
Private car owners and drivers who flout the anti-idling law;
Inconsiderate public bus drivers who jerk to stop and start; and
The general disdain displayed by the locals towards non-Chinese.
Mr Lovato cites the nice things mainly enjoyed by the 20 per cent of the wealthy members of the populace, choosing to ignore how the hoi polloi live. It's unbelievable that the respected publication The Economist lent its name to this questionable enterprise.
Beatriz Taylor, Cheung Chau
British soldiers died for empire
Referring to my letter ('Dark history of imperial exploitation', June 25), Ray Peacock ('Many died to defend free speech', June 29) groundlessly accused me of despising China's war allies, and speciously labelled my objective argument as ventilation of 'bile and venom'.
His hyperbolised fable of Britain's role in the second world war is outmoded. British soldiers died defending imperial interests and not freedoms for the colonies.
At the outbreak of the war, Britain's military enterprise in Asia collapsed. Britain itself was at the mercy of Luftwaffe air raids. Mr Peacock would have to learn to operate in Japanese or German if there weren't Chinese, Russian and American efforts in the war.
He also misconceived colonial education as a prerequisite for English articulation and free speech. From Lin Yutang to Ha Jin, many generations of Chinese literati without a colonial education have written freely in English.
Like them, nowadays a growing number of mainland Chinese think more freely and master English more effectively than Hong Kong people, without the latter's baggage of a colonial education.
Cynthia Sze, Quarry Bay