PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 11:03pm


Population control policy still needed

In his column (''One child' cruel and unnecessary', July 29) Philip Bowring is attacking not only the way China's population-restraining one-child policy is carried out but also the policy itself.

But as a policy there is nothing wrong with it, as is evident even in his 20/20-hindsight analysis. The policy was, and probably still is, necessary in countries like China and India, despite the now projected demographic imbalance, which is already plaguing sensible Japan and Hong Kong.

Even in the 1930s a French sociologist had found China overpopulated with only 400 million.

Bowring is wrong to say that the claims that the policy has brought down population growth are absurd.

What is an effective way to carry out the policy is another matter and depends on factors such as the size and literacy of the population involved, the facilities that are available and the time that is available.

What gave Bowring the weapon with which to write this communist-bashing piece is what he describe as 'lurid stories' of late-pregnancy 'forced abortions'.

However, this is not the method chosen by China to implement the policy to constrain population growth. Female sterilisation is.

However, when mothers refuse to be sterilised, having had the legitimate number of children and are unable to pay the fine for bearing another child and hide the pregnancy until they think they cannot be forced to abort, what would Mr Bowring do if he were the authorities - tolerate it? What if others followed suit?

Peter Lok, Chai Wan

Constructive disagreement helps society

I refer to the letter by P. Lee ('Hong Kong needs loyal opposition', July 29).

I don't agree with your correspondent's assertion that opposing voices undermine the fabric of a free society. I think they benefit a society

Adopting a tolerant approach to different opinions can help to facilitate discussion on the merits and flaws of government policies or issues which are topical, such as, for example in Hong Kong, national education being added to the school curriculum.

This provides a checks-and-balances function to ensure the government is acting in the best interests of Hong Kong people.

That said, I do agree that opposition parties should do more to develop a co-operative and constructive relationship with the government.

This can give the new administration some much needed time and space to implement its policies.

Keith Yuen, Ap Lei Chau

Modify lane system at tunnel

Mark E. Medwecki wonders why the Autotoll lanes at the Cross-Harbour Tunnel are longer than the normal lanes ('Paying more for longer queues', July 29).

I have written to these columns before about this issue and sent many letters to the tunnel authority but it has a total disrespect for its premier customers.

I wonder why we still have manual paying lanes, as this greatly disrupts the flow of cars.

The reason for this is that you have two lanes approaching the tunnel. Then the cars are spread over eight and are then merged again.

When they have to merge, no one wants to give way and thus the flow slows down drastically.

It can get even worse when, while wrestling for a spot to get in, both drivers refuse to give way and there is a collision, lead to even more disruption.

The solution is to have a mandatory Autotoll with a two-lane approach which remain two lanes.

There would be no late merging of lanes, as is happening when you approach the tunnel from Central/Wan Chai, nor would cars be allowed to change lanes. Drivers would have to get into their designated lane long before the tunnel, when traffic was merging from Happy Valley or Causeway Bay.

Jeffry Kuperus, Clear Water Bay

Wonderful way to form a family

On behalf of Adoptive Families of Hong Kong, I would like to commend Elaine Yau on the positive and encouraging article in Family Post on adoption in Hong Kong ('The chosen few', July 22).

Couples who are beginning their adoption journey and families who have already adopted may like to know that our volunteer-run charity (www.afhk.org. hk), which was established nearly 20 years ago in Hong Kong, is here to provide them with support, encouragement, information and social activities for all the family.

Adoption is a wonderful way to form a family and empirical studies have shown overwhelmingly that it is a great success.

Of course, bringing up children is never easy, and with adopted children sometimes there are unique challenges to overcome.

For members we hold monthly parent support meetings in which we discuss everything from behavioural issues to roots tracing.

These are organised and supported by a professional psychologist and social worker who are also adoptive parents.

Next month we are organising a series of workshops led by our Australian guest speaker, social worker and adoptive parent, Janette Pepall.

Several of these workshops will be on how to talk about adoption with your child, family, helper, friends and the wider public.

Like any other family we all want to have fun together.

Throughout the year we plan a range of social activities for all age groups, including our annual summer picnic on Victoria Peak, festive party with Santa, book club, teen events, dinners and other casual get-togethers for members of our community, which includes families waiting to be matched with a child, two- parent and single-parent families, and adult adoptees.

We hope that more couples will consider adoption as a way of building their family and that families living in Hong Kong who have already adopted will consider joining the vibrant and diverse adoption community that makes up our organisation.

Mina Weight, chair and external relations, Adoptive Families of Hong Kong

Angered by lawmaker's suggestion

Hong Kong is getting so political. I keep telling myself not to get involved, but it made me angry when I read the comments of lawmaker Andrew Cheng Kar-foo.

He said that the MTR Corporation should have provided emergency buses to people stranded at East Rail line stations by Typhoon Vicente when signal No 10 was hoisted.

He should apologise to MTR staff for his comments. Natural disasters do happen and we have to accept that.

And then on Sunday we had thousands of parents with their children, some of them babies, marching in intense heat to protest over the new national education subject in schools.

I can understand their worries about what kind of material will be used on this course, but this was not a fun rally as was claimed by some people.

Maybe police had underestimated the number of demonstrators who would participate, but I was stuck on a No 15 for almost two hours. The poor driver kept driving around with a lot of tourists on board, trying to find a suitable route from Central to The Peak.

G. Chan, Mid-Levels

Clarifying insurance protection

I refer to the letter by Virginia Yue ('Most passengers stranded on MTR by typhoon only have themselves to blame', July 29).

Your correspondent repeats the hoary old myth, particularly beloved by unscrupulous taxi and minibus drivers to justify gouging passengers in typhoons, that 'during a typhoon, there's no third-party insurance cover'.

This is untrue; third party cover is applicable at all times, including typhoons.

It is illegal to operate motor vehicles on public roads without third party cover.

Doug Miller, Tai Po

Diana's role must not be forgotten

I refer to the article by Simon Parry ('The king of hearts', July 22) about the charitable work done in Pakistan by Dr Hasnat Khan and his fulfilment of a late lover's dream to open a hospital in the country with a cardiology unit which will help children from poor families.

I hope that Dr Khan names the unit after Britain's Princess Diana, for it was her idea in the first place.

K. M. Nasir, Mid-Levels