PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 November, 2009, 12:00am

Council can help Hong Kong move closer to becoming a green city

I am glad that with the Green Building Council, the government is taking one further step forward in the promotion of environmental protection in our society.

This is a controversial issue nowadays because of global warming; the problems on our planet are getting more serious.

I believe that having a new green-building rating scheme can help reduce the carbon footprint of new and existing buildings.

With the rapid development of Hong Kong's economy, many skyscrapers were erected and we keep building more. A lot of pollution is caused by the construction process.

What the Green Building Council can do is steer Hong Kong developments in a more environmentally friendly direction by promoting the use of sustainable building materials and minimising building energy consumption, such as using steel concrete and utilizing daylight.

The council can help owners of buildings and the public become more aware of the need to protect the environment.

The government has taken an important first step, but it has further to go. We need more laws and better education.

The government should co-ordinate with schools and organise more talks to help students become more aware of the environment.

I think the council can be more effective if the government tries harder to promote its policies.

I believe that if we all try hard enough we can finally turn Hong Kong into a green and marvellous city.

Penny Yip Pui-yue, Tsz Wan Shan

Old mobiles a boost for youth support group

We were interested to read the letter by Anita Chan ('Next time you buy another mobile phone, consider the consequences', November 15).

We thank her for speaking out on this issue and could not agree with her more. We would therefore like to advise your readers of a new and innovative way of recycling these potentially hazardous materials while helping young people in our community.

The KELY Support Group is a locally established charitable organisation dedicated to helping youths to help themselves through a variety of educational, outreach and anti-drug programmes.

In April we started the Mobile Phone Recycling Campaign with dedicated individuals, schools and organisations in Hong Kong, to educate and raise awareness concerning the importance of recycling old phones.

We are encouraging people to donate their old phones to us.

We will then recycle, and where possible, refurbish and repair them before selling them directly to our end users.

All of the proceeds go towards helping to fund our various outreach programmes for youths in Hong Kong.

The Canadian International School, one of the pilot schools for the programme, collected more than 20 mobiles.

Students, teachers and parents contributed batteries and rechargers that they no longer needed.

Nasci Lob, chairman of the sustainable development committee of the school's parents' association, said it showed growing public concern over environmental issues.

With support from the community, and through our combined efforts, we can all play a role in protecting our environment, while also supporting developmental programmes for young people in Hong Kong.

If any member of the public would like to donate their phone to us to protect our earth and help us help young people in Hong Kong, please contact us at 2521 6890 or via email (contact@kely.org).

Chung Tang, executive director, KELY Support Group

Tsang would win in parliamentary poll

In the US presidential election in 2000, Al Gore won 48.4 per cent of the popular vote. Had it not been for the peculiar form of democracy in the US, he would have been president and 'leader of the free world'. Donald Tsang had the same percentage approval rating [in one poll].

I believe that if Hong Kong had a parliamentary system, and snap elections were held, our chief executive would win. He has just as much public support as leaders in so-called fully democratic countries.

Annelise Connell, Stanley

Fairer system possible in Legco election

I refer to the report ('Tang open to 'one man, two votes' system', November 20). I would propose a step further to a 'a one man, three votes system'.

The overriding principle of any fair democratic method for electing Legislative Council seats must be to ensure the widest possible representation of Hong Kong citizens. Fill Legco seats by giving all Hong Kong identity card holders one vote for each of three types of constituency:

Geographical - open candidates - first-past-the-post method and do away with the current convoluted lists;

Functional - candidates must be qualified in the relative field; first past the post method - no restrictions on which candidate citizens may vote for; and

Party - votes are for parties, not individuals. Seats to be decided by proportional representation, members decided by the party.

The advantage of such a system is that the geographical constituencies would give independent candidates a chance.

The functional constituencies would retain work-experienced members while the voting method would negate the current 'small-circle appointments'.

The party voting arrangement would help further develop party politics.

Corporate voting does not belong in a fair democratic system, and adding district council constituencies does nothing meaningful to broaden representation.

Christian Rogers, Mid-Levels

Chief executive made right decision

I am writing in response to the letter written by Gregg Schroeder ('Pink pillar', November 22).

Mr Schroeder expressed his disappointment over the government's lukewarm attitude towards the gay pride march on November 1.

First, I must state I have no prejudice against lesbians or gays.

I understand advocates for homosexuality are striving for recognition not only from the public, but also from the government.

Yet, I think your correspondent fails to put himself in the shoes of the government.

The chief executive and secretaries who 'turned down invitations to participate in the gay pride march', are very influential public figures.

If they had shown up on the march, I believe the media would have taken the opportunity to exaggerate matters.

Their appearance would have been misinterpreted by some sectors of the media.

After all, this is a controversial issue.

Therefore, I think they were justified in deciding to decline the invitations.

Unless the government had reached a consensus, it would have been unsuitable for any administrative officers to attend these sensitive functions.

Anny Mak, Ho Man Tin