PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 August, 2007, 12:00am

Bad manners caused chaos at theme park

It surprises me to learn that Hong Kong's Disneyland has attendance troubles.

I went with my family for three days earlier this month and the park was jam-packed with the company's target audience, mainland Chinese. For non-mainlanders, it was an absolute nightmare. Mainland culture clearly does not include the concepts of queuing up and of personal space.

Even in the queue to enter the park, which was more orderly than the ones to the rides, a mainland man leapt in front of us, completely brazenly. I let him know it was not okay to do this.

Inside the park, we saw many people cutting into queues. There were even some screaming matches between Hong Kong Chinese and mainland people.

Some mainland children, prompted by parents, or just on their own, kept trying to get through the gaps between me and my family members. There were insufficient cast members keeping an eye on the queues.

When we, together with another family, complained to an attendant at the Dumbo ride, he just nodded and gave the last pass to the very people who cut in line. This prompted a mini-riot where people were shouting, 'Don't give it to the cutters!' It was chaotic.

It's bad enough you have to queue up for 45 minutes for a handful of one-minute thrills in the heat and rain. If Disneyland thinks this is an attraction for families, it is kidding itself.

Disney may cater to mainland visitors and get their numbers, but it will lose in attendance of other visitors, if it does not take this problem seriously.

Jackie Ching, New York, US

Taiwan is a province

In his letter, Andrew Tay ('Taiwan's autonomy' August 24) said: 'Taiwan has not been ruled by the People's Republic of China for a single day'. This is a favourite pro-independence punch line, by people who deny the role of the Kuomintang-led Republic of China (ROC) after the second world war.

Japan surrendered the territory back to China in October, 1945. The ROC was a founding member of the United Nations and a permanent member of the Security Council.

When the UN expelled the ROC and accepted the PRC in 1971, it effectively affirmed the PRC as the rightful ruler of the whole of China including Taiwan.

For a long time, the ROC in Taiwan never considered Taiwan as a separate entity.

James Soong Chu-yu was the elected governor of Taiwan province from 1994 to 1998. Even Lee Teng-hui used the term 'ROC in Taiwan', in a speech in 1995. The provincial status was abolished only after Mr Soong had served his full term of office.

Tony Ngan, Causeway Bay

History told by the victors

Peter Lee states that only those who can read and speak Chinese can 'understand the complex history of China' ('History lesson on Taiwan', August 21). I admit that while in university, I only studied classical Chinese texts in Chinese, preferring to read history books in translation for the sake of expediency.

As Mr Lee is well aware, however, the emperor who first united China, Qin Shi Huang, was the first, but not the last Chinese ruler to order that all previous histories be destroyed. In all cultures, the victors write history to promote their own agenda.

Three out of the four main Austronesian language sub-families can only be found in Taiwan. Using the words in these languages for things such as 'fish trap' and carbon dating of archaeological artifacts, suggests that food producing people lived in Taiwan 6,000 years ago.

Their languages bear little resemblance to the Chinese language. These were not Chinese minority peoples.

More recently, the Dutch went to Taiwan (then known in the west as Formosa) in 1624 and found only people of Austronesian descent. The Dutch were defeated in 1662 by Koxinga, a warlord from Fujian whose mother was Japanese and father was a Fujianese pirate. Koxinga was in turn defeated by the Manchus who took the island by force in 1683.

However, it was not until 1887 that the Manchurian court decided to declare Taiwan a province of the Manchurian Empire.

Mr Lee also asks if a better name for Taiwan can be suggested than breakaway province?

The majority of people in Taiwan have called themselves citizens of the Republic of China for nearly 60 years and travel the globe with passports thus imprinted.

Some of them appear to want to change the name to Republic of Taiwan. However, they should be mindful of the fact that the victors of the Chinese civil war on the other side of the strait read the same history books as Mr Lee.

Keith Noyes, Sai Kung

Turtle protest abhorrent

As an expat and small business owner, working in professional services, my sympathy went out to the ironworkers, striving for fairer conditions.

I even forgave them for blocking the traffic in Central, empathetic with their frustrations about a lack of public space for demonstrations and for a more even distribution of rewards in their industry.

However, I lost all sympathy when reading of the latest protest where 'workers symbolically step on two turtles' bearing the names of the men to whom the bulk of their ire is directed ('Some workers flexible on pay, but not on length of workday', August 27). We have three pet turtles who are very much part of our family and about the size of the victims of this action. While the turtles were unharmed according to your report, they must have been terrified, feeling a workman's boot nearly twice their size coming down on their backs. I find this action abhorrent.

I only wish the turtles had bitten back: I assure you, ours can bite.

Next time you want to have your voice heard, bully boy ironworkers, pick on someone your own size.

Andrew Pringle, Mid-Levels

Just too many bar benders

The striking bar benders have claimed they are not being paid enough. They are not being paid enough because they only average 10 to 15 days of employment a month. There are too many workers chasing too little work.

Do the union leaders understand that, whilst their men can bend iron, the law of supply and demand is not amenable to bending? If workers' expectations of better pay are to be met, either construction work must sharply rise, or the number of iron benders has to fall.

How strikes and civil disobedience can help workers thwart the iron law of supply and demand is a question that union leaders should address.

Peter Fung Yiu-fai, Central

Bilingual plea

I was interested to read that local schools were publishing their weather readings online - webweather.hkedcity.net ('Exodus for signal No 8 questioned', August 25).

Unfortunately, the site is only designed for Chinese use and, to make matters worse, because of the use of text images, partially-sighted people are also excluded.

Correcting these deficiencies would be a one-off effort and, in addition to making the site useful to the whole community, having the correctly-translated English and Chinese meteorological terms adjacent to each other would help students wishing to improve their language skills.

Allan Dyer, Wong Chuk Hang