PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 March, 2012, 12:00am


Mainlanders are part of same family

I am writing about the much-publicised rows between mainlanders and Hong Kong people.

These include the photo ban outside Dolce & Gabbana's Tsim Sha Tsui store that sparked widespread public outrage.

However, the fact is that feelings of resentment go further back than the problems at this store.

It just released sentiments that had been there for some time.

A lot of people here blame mainland mothers for flooding in and taking up scarce resources in public and private hospitals, resulting in a shortage of maternity beds.

The problems were obviously made worse by the comments of Peking University professor Kong Qingdong, who called Hongkongers running dogs of the British government, in footage shown on YouTube.

Anger over the behaviour of mainland visitors escalated and resulted in a full-page 'anti- locust' advertisement in a Chinese-language newspaper in Hong Kong.

There has even been talk of a boycott of Hong Kong by mainlanders.

We should not discriminate against our countrymen. We simply want people to act with courtesy.

Also, I am sure most citizens from across the border would be against any boycott that would affect Hongkongers.

As for the incidents outside the Dolce & Gabbana store, while it is reasonable for a company to protect its assets, people have the right to take photographs in a public place provided they do not cause a nuisance.

Hong Kong people were not impressed by the company's late apology.

At the end of the day, mainlanders and Hongkongers belong to the same family.

In future, correct handling of any internal contradictions among citizens from the SAR and from the mainland is essential.

Neither party should accept discrimination, and we should put to rest any talk of boycotts.

Kellia Wan, Tseung Kwan O

Forget bid, solve city's problems

The Olympic Council of Asia wants Hong Kong to reconsider bidding for the 2023 Asian Games.

The government proposal to make a bid was rejected by the Legislative Council last year, and I agreed with that decision.

We have many problems that need to be solved in Hong Kong.

For example, we have to deal with the issue of mainland mothers coming to Hong Kong to give birth. This has led to many complaints about local mothers' rights and the right of abode for babies with parents from the mainland.

Also, I do not think we have sufficient resources to host this event. We would need to build new stadiums or revamp old ones and provide accommodation for all the athletes.

Such projects require a lot of money, and where will we find the extra land in such a densely populated city as Hong Kong?

I don't think our already busy transport systems could cope with the influx of visitors.

Xavier Chong, Tsuen Wan

Asian Games would boost HK economy

I think it would be a good idea for Hong Kong to make a fresh bid for the 2023 Asian Games with Macau and Shenzhen.

With so many events being staged, there would be a lot of job opportunities for Hong Kong people.

Also, construction workers would be needed to build the stadiums.

The Games would be a major boost for Hong Kong's economy and help various sectors.

A lot of visitors attending the Games would stay here and spend their money on shopping and other activities.

Finally, it would give Hong Kong an opportunity to work with Macau and Shenzhen. This could lead to greater co-operation between the three cities.

Sean Tiu, Wong Tai Sin

Laundered cash driving up flat prices

I think Hong Kong should follow the example set by Switzerland and put in place similar initiatives on asset recovery on behalf of foreign states with regard to corruption and money-laundering ('City can 'help recover ill-gotten gains'', February 23).

Corruption and money-laundering are not serious problems in Hong Kong nowadays.

However, I still think we should have in place some regulations similar to those in Switzerland that would enable us to target illegal wealth. This could help ensure such problems do not get worse here.

For example, property prices keep going up.

I think these price hikes are partly fuelled by some mainlanders who see the city as a haven for them to launder money.

As a consequence of these activities, many Hongkongers cannot afford a flat.

This widens the gap between rich and poor.

The government has to accept that there is a problem, and officials should study Switzerland's legislation with a view to seeing how it could solve some of the problems that we face.

Tiffany Liu, Sha Tin

No need for us to copy Swiss law

Switzerland has introduced legislation to target illegal wealth. However, I do not think there is any need for Hong Kong to follow suit.

I believe the kind of corruption targeted by the Swiss law and the laundering of dirty money are not serious problems in Hong Kong.

There is no point drafting legislation if it is not deemed to be necessary or relevant to the conditions that presently exist in Hong Kong.

When it comes to such illegal activities, we already have the Independent Commission Against Corruption to deal with these cases and to curb cases of illegally acquired wealth. The ICAC is sufficient for the purpose.

Sean Siu, Tai Wai

More depth to British first degrees

Bernard Lo ('Eight years for MD vs five for MBBS', February 17), in replying to my understanding of US versus British university qualifications ('British degree is superior', February 14), seems to misunderstand some things.

Firstly I was comparing the bachelor's degrees of the two countries.

In stating that a US 'medicine degree' (MD) corresponds to a British 'bachelor of medicine/bachelor of surgery' (MBBS), he seems to be proving my point, as the MD is a doctorate, whereas an MBBS is a bachelor's degree.

Secondly, it is not the number of years but what you get at the end of those years that is important. Non-medical bachelor's degrees in the US normally take four years to complete, whereas most British ones take three (languages and some other courses take four).

However, those taking a US bachelor's degree spend two years on general courses before the subject to be studied is chosen, whereas in Britain, only the subject chosen is studied (possibly with a second, subsidiary subject).

This enables the subject to be studied in much greater depth, thereby helping graduates to have better knowledge of the studied material than their US counterparts at the bachelor's level.

Thirdly, what I said was confirmed to me by an Australian who studied nursing in both Australia and the US.

Her US professors (lecturers) acknowledged that the quality of nursing qualifications from Britain and Australia was higher than that of the US ones with the equivalent names.

Roger Phillips, Sheung Shui

Valuations for remote land sky-high

Your leader on land reclamation and population growth ('There's enough land already available', February 23) highlights the administration's contention that land reclamation is the 'cheap' option when compared with resumption of existing land.

You and other commentators have failed to mention that this is only the case because the Lands Department introduced, more than 30 years ago through an administrative measure, the 'zonal compensation' scale for all land in the New Territories.

This presumes that all land there has a development value.

These compensation rates reach millions of US dollars per hectare for even the most remote agricultural land at the lowest zone rate.

This scheme, which is the basis of much mischievous and specious policy arguments, should be extinguished.

Stephen Brown, Tai Po