Traffic jams

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 October, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 October, 2003, 12:00am

Lai See can never resist a good yarn, but I am afraid the tale ('A load off chief's mind', October 15) about the Trade Development Council's (TDC) chairman Peter Woo Kwong-ching is pure fiction.

Mr Woo has never raised the subject of Wan Chai traffic jams with the police commissioner. He has asked the TDC's executive to take heed of neighbours' concerns about congestion caused by the council's large trade fairs at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

To minimise inconvenience to commuters, improved logistical arrangements were introduced for the just-concluded electronics fair, where exhibitors reported a big increase in orders. Besides working closely with police, the TDC stepped up communication through traffic advisories on radio and advertisements in newspapers. 'Move in' and 'move out' both went smoothly and we thank commuters for bearing with us.

SARAH MONKS, Director, Communication, Hong Kong Trade Development Council

Minority candidates

I was delighted to read that three men of Pakistani origin were standing in the district council elections ('Pakistanis register to fight for rights', October 16).

Although they are unlikely to win, the articulation and advancement of minority rights in a political forum is an urgent and worthwhile objective, especially as Hong Kong finally begins the process of introducing legal protection against racial discrimination.

The manner in which some industry groups have expressed their opposition to the planned racial discrimination legislation is offensive. Although opponents are entitled to dissent, decency (and soon, the law) requires them to refrain from racist bigotry in expressing it.

Even more vulnerable than residents of minority origin are migrant domestic workers. Racial discrimination laws are unlikely to ameliorate the injustices that occur when employers and agents conclude unfair contracts with them. Recent judgments indicate the judiciary's discomfort with following other common law jurisdictions into a robust application of the doctrines of unconscionability and undue influence. In any case, statutory regulation is a more effective way of protecting migrant workers.

It is time that the government recognised the unique, structural inequalities faced by migrant workers and acted to alleviate them.

GEOFFREY L. HILLS, masters student, Politics and Public Administration, Hong Kong University