PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 05 December, 2011, 12:00am


Questions for candidates on gay rights

Peter Stigant's letter ('Candidates, reveal your view on gays', November 28) is timely.

The Tongzhi Community Joint Meeting (TCJM ) Hong Kong's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Pink Alliance is currently doing exactly what your correspondent recommends, by calling upon those vying for the chief executive's post to make clear their position on the rights of sexual minorities.

Despite its oft-vaunted aspiration to be Asia's world city, Hong Kong trails much of the developed world when it comes to legal protection for its LGBT citizens.

The election of a new chief executive offers a huge opportunity for the government to take clear and bold steps to make Hong Kong an inclusive city, one that protects all its citizens and supports its vibrant LGBT community.

We have therefore asked all candidates to make clear their agenda by telling us if they:

Will initiate legislation to outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity;

Will take steps to outlaw and deal with homophobic bullying in schools;

Support the introduction of same-sex marriage in Hong Kong, and, if so, when;

Would allow a transgender person to alter the sex shown on his or her birth certificate; and

Support the right of a transgender person to marry in his or her newly affirmed gender (that is, a transgender woman to marry a man, a transgender man to marry a woman).

We look forward to hearing candidates' views and positions. We will be taking the opportunity to raise these questions with them directly at public forums over the coming months and intend to publish the results.

Nigel Collett, joint English secretary, TCJM (Pink Alliance)

Unimpressed by Tang's trip to district

I refer to the report, 'Tang runs from protest before saying 'I'll run'' (November 27).

On November 26, former chief secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen formally entered the race to become Hong Kong's next leader.

He went to Sham Shui Po where he had hoped to make his announcement. I agree with the other candidate Leung Chun-ying who said, 'You can't just start going to the local communities when there is an election.'

Some people may feel Mr Tang is willing to listen to the opinions of Hong Kong people, but does he only listen when he needs support for an election?

I choose to ignore these visits to districts like Sham Shui Po and prefer to concentrate on his experience, abilities and his political programme.

I will judge him by how he deals with key issues.

Most people are chiefly concerned about salary levels and housing.

If the next chief executive cannot solve these problems, then the lives of Hongkongers will become harder.

I also hope that under the next chief executive we will see an end to the kind of behaviour witnessed in the Legco chamber, such as the throwing of bananas.

Fung Chi-yeung, Sham Shui Po

Revamp must reflect local culture

Some people will be disappointed that when the revitalisation of the historic Central Market gets under way, the project will not include a swimming pool ('New market won't make a splash', November 25).

AGC Design, which has been selected to take charge of the revamp, will have to incorporate a variety of uses for the building.

The designers will also have to bear in mind, as you reported, that Hongkongers have made it clear that they do not want the former market transformed into another luxury mall with chain stores.

I welcome the fact that there might be local-style shops and dai pai dong.

Central is seen as a busy area and hub of international finance. After the revitalisation of the market, I hope it will be a bit different, with a green oasis, a place where people can relax and get a break from the pressures of the workplace.

It will also enable tourists to see another, more traditional side of Hong Kong so they can appreciate that the city is not just a shoppers' paradise.

They will have a chance to experience some of the city's unique culture.

I think the revamp will bring greater diversity to Central.

Regina Chan Ka-yan, Wong Tai Sin

PCCW has official page on Facebook

I refer to the report, 'Local firms failing to exploit social media' (November 29), which requires clarification.

You said that PCCW 'has no active account' on Facebook.

In fact, in May, PCCW launched its official Facebook page, 'PCCW Customer Services (official)', (http://www.facebook.com/pccwcs).

The page provides comprehensive customer service support on our fixed-line, broadband internet, mobile and TV services. Seven days a week, between 9am and midnight, our staff will provide an instant response to customers who request customer services and technical support through the interactive chat box.

Those who prefer more privacy can contact us through private message.

In addition, customers may check out the self-help guides and smart tips, some with video tutorials, that are available on the page.

Since its launch, the page has attracted a large number of fans and positive feedback.

As a customer-focused company, we also support customers through many other channels including the dedicated hotline 1000 and our 10 customer services centres which are located across Hong Kong.

For more in-depth information on specific services, there are official pages on our 'eye multimedia', mobile and Blackberry services.

A page has also been created for Japanese speakers.

Facebook is an open forum, so not all pages that appear to be related to PCCW are created or maintained by the company.

Chan Chi-keung, head of group communications, PCCW

Development chief playing hardball

Ex post facto laws are either prohibited or are rarely enforced in many parts of the world and then only under exceptional circumstances.

This appears to be reasonable as no law was broken at the time of the alleged offence.

So I think that it is wrong for Development Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor to propose that height limits included in the New Territories small-house policy, which was introduced in 1972, be enforced on village homes built prior to that date when there were no such height restrictions.

It has been estimated that there are 100,000 such houses and, apart from being unfair, it would result in many village families losing their homes - homes that they might have lived in for decades.

The government has ignored this situation for 39 years and contrary to the headline, 'Kuk plays hardball on housing' (November 29), I would suggest that it is Mrs Lam who is playing hardball.

When their homes are at stake, who can blame the villagers for resisting?

The government should reconsider its position and exclude houses built before the introduction of the small-house policy in 1972.

Keith McNab, Sai Kung

All eateries can help curb food waste

I back the decision of the Tsui Wah restaurant chain to have its waiters advise customers not to order more than they can eat ('Diners called to order in battle to cut food waste', November 26).

I am appalled at the substantial amounts of food that are left by Hong Kong people on a daily basis.

We keep wasting all this food and yet never consider that it would be a good idea to change our habits when we eat and also when we order our meal.

This is especially the case with Chinese, who think that the more we order, the more hospitable other people will think we are.

We lack for nothing in this city.

There are abundant supplies of all the food we could ever want and many of us consume more than we need.

I believe other restaurants and food outlets should follow the example set by Tsui Wah.

In fact, there are some restaurants which offer HK$1 to customers who ask for smaller portions. If all eateries adopted this policy, it would be a win-win situation.

Customers would feel better and, at the same time, they would be helping the environment.

Curtis Ho Seung-kwok, Tsuen Wan