Lamma Island


PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 March, 2011, 12:00am


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Incendiary rhetoric is not the answer

In his article, Lau Nai-keung equates recent actions by anti-government forces with 'revolutionary' activity ('Protesters play with fire by breaking rules', March 18).

Given the examples he cites, though, it would seem that Mr Lau has a comically low threshold for such endeavours. First, he describes the recent voting down of a temporary funding measure by pan-democratic legislators as 'sabotage' intended 'to undermine existing rules and procedures'. In fact, of course, the veto happened precisely because it was procedurally well within the rules.

This was no more or less than the kind of partisan political manoeuvre that occurs on a daily basis in democratic regimes all over the world, but then Mr Lau does not understand the meaning of democracy. Second, Mr Lau has predictably finger-wagging words for anti-budget protesters who (horrors) blocked traffic in Central and got pretty noisy about it when rousted by police.

Again, he equates this behaviour with 'revolution' and uses the term 'dissidents' to describe anti-government individuals and groups. As for the latter word choice, I would associate it more clearly with dissenters struggling to be heard within overtly repressive, authoritarian regimes.

Does Mr Lau think that this is an accurate description of the relationship between Hong Kong citizens and the government?

He concludes with a question for anti-government factions, 'do they want a revolution? If so, then by all means let us settle it by force'. This is not the first time that Mr Lau has come perilously close to equating dissent in Hong Kong with treason, and to calling for its violent, state-sanctioned repression. It is extremely ironic that he accuses anti-government forces (that is, living, breathing Hong Kong citizens) of 'playing with fire', when it is he who invokes the most ominously incendiary rhetoric in support of his position.

Steve Fore, Kowloon Tong

Allow citizens free access

China has had a long reputation for its repression.

The central government prevents mainlanders from getting access to certain websites (such as Facebook) which are regarded as threats to the state.

I completely disagree with this measure. The internet is a global phenomenon. It enables people to broaden their knowledge and have cultural exchanges. When access to the net is limited by a government, it hinders the development of a country.

People are able to express themselves freely online. By reading other people's opinions, you can see things from different angles. Regrettably, officials will sometimes even delete views about government policy or a local scandal. This is a violation of people's human rights.

When this happens, it can bring social instability and can hinder the development of China. I hope the central government will eventually allow its citizens free access to this wonderful online world.

Sonia Chan, Sheung Shui

Large firms can lend a hand

Wong Po-huen is too optimistic about any possible increase in profits tax. ('Profits tax rise is a good idea', March 16).

The revenue gained may not be used to help the poor, but simply added to the government's surplus. This would go against the advice given by Premier Wen Jiabao that the Hong Kong government should show more concern for poor people in the city.

I have often heard economists talk about multinational corporations having global domination and that some companies will avoid paying taxes, by transferring money to different accounts.

However, I think wealthy Hong Kong firms could make up for the SAR government's failings by offering help, such as scholarships to students from poor families.

They could also offer discounted food and electrical appliances to people who are on welfare.

This would be a display of corporate social responsibility.

Pang Chi-ming, Fanling

We do need third runway

The Hong Kong government and Airport Authority are studying the feasibility of constructing a third runway.

The price of construction materials is rising rapidly.

Present estimates for its construction will therefore keep rising.

I think the plan for the third runway is a good one because Hong Kong will need it. It is a busy airport in terms of passenger and cargo. It therefore plays an important role in trade. It will remain a logistics hub in Asia if the third runway is constructed. This can attract more trade to Hong Kong and more investors and will boost the SAR's economy. If we do not go ahead with this runway we will fall behind.

I think citizens have to show their support for the administration.

Regina Chan, Tsz Wan Shan

Incinerator should be built

The government wants to build an incinerator at Shek Kwu Chau. Environmentalists say it will lead to increased levels of pollution.

I think it is important to build it there given the amount of waste that is generated in this city.

So many Hongkongers ignore environmental problems and blame the government for all our problems. Action has to be taken as the landfills are nearing capacity.

Places such as Taiwan have been using modern incinerators for a few years. The Taiwanese generate far less refuse than Hongkongers.

We all have a duty to protect the environment. In Hong Kong, we should do our bit to protect the planet.

We should separate waste for recycling and there should be recycling bins in all housing estates in the city.

We all have a duty to deal with the environmental problems that the world faces and there should be no delay.

Natalie Yu, Kowloon City

Bus deployed on right route

We refer to the letter from Annelise Connell regarding the bus type deployment of Citybus Route 260 ('Green bus on wrong route', March 15). We have duly noted her comments.

To enhance the air quality of Hong Kong, Citybus is trying to introduce the latest Euro green buses with the most stringent emission standards to Hong Kong to replace the retiring fleet. However, the deployment of buses depends on a number of factors, including the expected passenger volume, the geographical conditions of the routing and the need to cater for wheelchair passengers. Recently, three newly purchased short two-axle Euro 5 double-deck buses have been deployed to run the Stanley routes including Route 260, 6, 6A and 6X to replace some of the short buses which were due for retirement. These new two-axle buses are considered to be more suitable to run for the narrow winding roads en route.

The above-mentioned routes all run through the busy corridors in Central and Queensway as defined by the government where greener buses have to be deployed.

Charlize Liu, assistant public affairs manager, Citybus Limited

Fix this basic design error

After reading the letter by Ho Yuk-yin, of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (' 'Widget' to have mobile version', March 3) about the food labelling widget found on the website ( I decided to check it out myself.

I have to confirm the earlier complaint made by Allan Dyer ('Label website was unreadable', February 22) and which was completely ignored in Dr Ho's reply, that the widget is so small that it is totally unusable.

It is a small yellow-green square in a vast sea of black. As of yet, well over a month since the first comments and three weeks since Dr Ho's reply, this problem is still not fixed. Diverting some of the efforts in programming iPhone and Android mobile applications in fixing up this basic design error could be helpful.

Also, it would be appreciated when marketing and PR figures in general reply to questions by customers, instead of ignoring those problems and telling you how great other things are.

Wouter van Marle, Tai Po

Lamma plan not welcome

I refer to the proposed Baroque on Lamma development, which threatens to permanently destroy one of Hong Kong's most beautiful and scientifically important areas of unspoiled countryside.

The south side of Lamma Island is not only an area of outstanding natural beauty, it is also the habitat of a rare species of tree frog, the nesting ground of endangered green turtles and home to several important archaeological sites. Most importantly, it is a wonderful resource for all Hong Kong people.

Your report ('Bid for luxury project on Lamma revived', March 14) said the government had suggested making the area a country park, which I assume would protect it from this kind of development. So, why is the government now evaluating the details of a large-scale building proposal? Surely it should first address the fundamental question of whether it is in Hong Kong's interest to have any development at all in one of its most ecologically valuable areas.

Such an asset should be preserved for future generations. The government should recognise this and act decisively to guarantee its permanent protection.

If the developers are allowed in, the damage will be irreversible. Hong Kong will be poorer as a result.

James Burden, Sheung Wan