A leak in airport's tightened security

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 March, 2007, 12:00am

I am writing to agree with your editorial 'Tighter airline security for our own good' (February 28). There is no point in opposing the tougher security measures suggested by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, which limit the amount of liquids that may be carried on board an aircraft. Living up to our reputation as an international aviation hub, it is the duty of Hong Kong International Airport to be alert and ensure passengers' safety.

However, I'm worried about the effectiveness of the measures. Since certain liquids are exempt, I wonder if a terrorist could simply put liquid explosives into medicine bottles. Will the liquid in the medicine bottles be tested or smelled?

The new measures will be an effort in vain with such a conspicuous loophole.


More checkpoints, please

With the introduction of the new airport security measures, departing passengers are being asked to arrive three hours before departure instead of two ('Warning of airport delays as HK tightens security', February 28). This will mean the loss of valuable hours for passengers.

I suggest that the Civil Aviation Department, in concert with the Airport Authority, doubles the number of security checkpoints at Chek Lap Kok to save passengers the inconvenience of shuffling about in queues for that extra hour. If the additional space required means slightly fewer duty-free shops, then so be it. I am sure the travelling public would not complain about that.


Reward for toadying

How alarming that Lau Nai-keung, of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, has been appointed by the central government to sit on the Basic Law Committee ('Veteran delegate to get Basic Law post', February 27). Regular readers of his Observer columns will know that he has little to contribute in the way of fair and objective analysis of the political scene in Hong Kong. He writes mostly obnoxious, leftist propaganda full of innuendo, groundless accusations and contorted views of the pan-democratic camp.

His appointment to this important consultative body only proves that there is still a culture of sycophancy in the leftist camp. This proof that toadying rather than meritocracy is the criteria for reward will only damage Hongkongers' confidence in the central government.


A good corporate citizen

With reference to Shirley Yam's Money Matters column 'Blue chips have a lot to learn about corporate social responsibility' (February 24), we would like to clarify our social responsibility initiatives.

New World Development is committed to contributing its share as a responsible corporate citizen. We have long-term partnerships with a number of organisations championing worthwhile causes, including Unicef and Medecins Sans Frontieres. Understanding clearly the need to go beyond ad hoc donations or sponsorships, we keep on initiating sustainable corporate social responsibility programmes. We encourage our staff to take part in these programmes and to devote their time to the benefit of society.

In addition, our senior executives recently became mentors of a group of Form Six students in a partnership with a secondary school. New World Development believes that the transfer of knowledge, experience and a positive attitude towards life is also a meaningful corporate social responsibility drive.

Yam wrote that our managing director recommended Winning, by Jack Welch, as part of the 2006 Hong Kong Reading Month, and that we have put this on our corporate social responsibility webpage.

To set the record straight, our support of Hong Kong Reading Month is only one of our various social responsibility initiatives. By singling it out, the article may have given readers the misleading impression that it is our only initiative. We do not regard this as fair reporting.

C.F. KWAN, director of corporate affairs, New World Development

Clearly compromised

In his letter 'No compromise on wages' (February 26), permanent secretary for labour Matthew Cheung Kin-chung asserts that there is 'no question of the government absolving property management companies of their responsibility' under the voluntary wage protection scheme.

He then repeats his recent suggestion that these companies 'be exempted if they operate as service providers for owners' corporations and the like'. If this is not a compromise, I don't know what is.

He writes that the Labour Department is sparing no effort to promote the scheme. But why waste effort promoting a compromised scheme that has so obviously failed to ensure fair wages for those it aims to protect? Why not make it easier for property management companies to pay their cleaners and security guards decently by implementing minimum-wage legislation?

ALEX TAM, Sai Kung

Tyranny is no solution

In declaring political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi 'increasingly incapable of moderation', Pavin Chachavalpongpun ignores the fact that it is Myanmar's military junta that has proved capable only of extremism ('Suu Kyi - no longer part of the solution,' February 26). He disdains Ms Suu Kyi's tenacity in the face of repression and claims that her 'frustration with the military regime ... can obscure the needs of the people'. Whose needs does he think she's been championing all these years, at the cost of her own freedom?

As he reaches the dubious conclusions of his skewed thesis, he sounds like the regime's mouthpiece, naively assuming that giving in to a dictatorship will promote democracy. But he's right about one thing: the ruling generals 'are increasingly immune to western sanctions'. So, does he think that tolerating the tyranny endlessly unleashed by the Myanmese dictators is the answer?