PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 February, 2012, 12:00am


Triviality of sins is cause for relief

Recent storms in teacups over whether or not certain past and present government leaders took a lift on a friend's yacht, or extended a basement, highlight how lucky we are in Hong Kong to have such a startlingly clean level of government.

The efforts of the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the Hong Kong Police Force do much to keep it that way.

The interested observer would have to travel very far in Asia, and perhaps beyond, before he came across a governmental system that is less corrupt than Hong Kong's. We should all rejoice in that important fact.

However, that is not to say that everything is perfect: perfection is not given to man-made systems, generally.

On the other hand, the comparative triviality of the supposed offences laid at the door of certain people recently is itself cause for great relief.

If the worst that can be said of our leaders (past, present and potentially future) is that they might have transgressed in such relatively minor matters, then we can all be glad that they are thereby setting a generally uncorrupt example to many other leaders around the world whose hands may well not be so clean as those of our Hong Kong leaders.

By all means, let us condemn vile corruption wherever it occurs. But let's not be so unrealistic as to demand as chief executive contenders only those who have never in their lives made a minor error of judgment. Nobody fits that bill.

Let's complain when there really is something serious to complain about.

As Jesus said, 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.'

Paul Surtees, Mid-Levels

Go, Henry, and spare us more outrage

Hong Kong people have swallowed the less than palatable pill of having no say in the election of the chief executive and are eagerly awaiting the time when the chief executive is elected by universal suffrage.

But the Henry Tang Ying-yen fiasco has turned the selection process, which is what it essentially is, into a joke.

We do not deserve to have such an incompetent person foisted upon us to be the next chief executive. How many times is he going to say sorry and ask for another chance?

For the good of Hong Kong and especially for his long-suffering wife, he should just quit the race.

He may be able to shy away from the challenge to a political debate - which in a free election would be a fatal move - but the flaws in his personal life, and, worse still, the way he handles the crises, shows his total lack of leadership skills.

Go, Henry, go, and spare your political masters more red faces and the general public more outrage.

The chief executive selection process does not need to be sullied even more by his continued presence.

K. S. Lam, Tai Po

Plausible that the wife took full charge

I am not in sympathy with the waves of pious shock sweeping through Hong Kong in connection with the basement in Henry Tang Ying-yen's wife's house.

Whether Mr Tang is the best candidate for the position of chief executive I am not qualified to say.

I do know that it is very common for Chinese businessmen to leave the domestic arrangements in the care of their wives.

I know a couple in Guangzhou in this position. The wife wanted to renovate their home. The husband was agreeable but was so frequently away on business that he was unable to supervise the work. 'No problem,' the wife said. 'I will take care of the whole thing. Only don't complain when you see the final result.'

Mr Tang's account of what happened is credible in my opinion. A man is innocent until proven guilty, and I think many in Hong Kong have been too quick to condemn in this case.

Paul Flynn, Clear Water Bay

Explain the ticket sale problems

I was astounded to learn that, despite my unsuccessful attempts to purchase tickets to see Lady Gaga, on May 2, and encountering major issues on the HK Ticketing website and a constantly engaged phone number, several people had placed tickets onto auction websites for resale at double or triple the price.

How were they able to secure tickets if the HK Ticketing website was completely unavailable for 2?hours, only for it to reappear with a massive 'sold out' notice? HK Ticketing, NWS Holdings Limited and American Express should be more transparent and forthcoming when it comes to events such as this.

It is my understanding from a number of people that this type of behaviour is a regular occurrence, which is very unfortunate. I, and I'm sure many American Express cardholders, welcome the opportunity for the relevant stakeholders to provide a plausible explanation.

Stephen Lee, Central

We already have a lot of vehicles

Living standards are now so high that many Hongkongers have cars.

Also the city is an entrepot, with goods from the mainland being brought here for export abroad. This means we already have a lot of vehicles, which are the main source of the SAR's air pollution.

Vehicles driven over the border are different in that they use cheaper petrol with a higher sulphur content instead of the cleaner kind of fuel allowed here.

The point is that sale of their kind of petrol is banned in Hong Kong.

Under the government scheme of allowing mainland cars into the city, are officials supposed to check the fuel drivers are using at the border checkpoints? Clearly that is not practical.

Therefore, it makes sense for us not to allow more mainland vehicles into Hong Kong.

If we do, it will exacerbate our pollution problems.

Erica Pang, Sha Tin

Border zone a magnet for hikers' trash

On February 15, part of the restricted border zone was opened up.

The following day, I went hiking around Robin's Nest (Hung Fa Leng).

As I walked from there to the old border fence on the Hung Fa Chai ridge (near Sha Tau Kok) I noticed lots of old, scattered rubbish, such as newspapers, bottles and cigarette ends.

I crossed the old fence and walked up the first wooded peak and noticed a date, '30/12/10', written in white correction pen on a rock.

Thus it is clear people were hiking here before the zone opened up, and, alarmingly, they had dropped cigarette ends in a pristine wooded area. On the same peak, I saw another date in white correction pen, '15/2/12', that is the first day the border area was officially opened.

I also saw, scattered about very visibly, empty plastic water bottles that were obviously new, and fresh orange peel. It appears that some Hong Kong hikers like to celebrate by trashing the environment.

Is it possible for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to put up signs and closed litter bins in this newly opened-up restricted border zone, to encourage the lazy to be more protective of their surroundings?

Julian Quail, Pok Fu Lam

Let alighting passengers get off first

You hear the announcement at MTR stations, 'Please let passengers exit first', but how many people actually heed this appeal?

During peak hours, MTR carriages are packed.

On Friday, February 17, I was on my way to school and wanted to alight at Choi Hung station.

However, when the doors opened, people on the platform just rushed in and didn't allow passengers the chance to get out.

We were jammed at the back, and polite requests to make way were unheeded. I had no choice but to elbow my way through the crowd.

I witnessed similar behaviour when I was waiting on the platform at Sheung Shui station.

Students coming from Lok Ma Chau and Lo Wu and wanting to get off were helpless as people rushed on. I am sure what I witnessed is repeated on platforms all over the MTR network every day.

I understand that commuters facing long journeys want to get a seat, but why can people not show some consideration and let alighting passengers get off first? It just takes a few extra seconds.

I wish there was a greater sense of civic consciousness among MTR passengers.

Hermia Lee, Tsim Sha Tsui