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Letters

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 May, 2012, 12:00am
 

Escape is heroic and tragic tale

The daring escape, against incredible odds, by China's blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng from his home in Shandong (where he had been held under house arrest for 19 months) is the stuff of which legends are made.

It is both a heroic and a tragic tale.

Heroic, because it was a hazardous ordeal for anyone to undertake such a long flight to freedom in a police state, let alone for a blind man. Tragic, because, in any just and civilised society, Chen (and his like) would be treated like heroes for exposing blatant human rights abuses, not hunted down, beaten and imprisoned like criminals by the corrupt authorities.

What is also tragic is that retribution will now fall on those other courageous activists who aided him, not to mention Chen's own family.

It is a tale before which even the most vocal and obtuse apologists for the PRC regime must be at a loss for words.

One can only hope that it will attract enough worldwide attention and support for justice to finally be done on the mainland.

Tony Hung, Ma On Shan

Fence in cattle or put them down

When it comes to the city's feral bovine populations in the northern New Territories and outlying islands, many people, from city slickers to rural residents, are pretty relaxed.

They feel that the cattle should be allowed to roam where they want, as it keeps us in touch with nature.

To this end, I would like these people to briefly remove their rose-tinted spectacles and explain why it was acceptable for the children's playground in Mui Wo to be evenly dolloped in cattle excrement on Monday morning. This is not the first time this has happened, and it surely will not be the last, at least if nothing is done.

Not only are the poop piles a major effort for someone to clean up, but they are a health hazard for the children, and their parents and guardians.

If Hong Kong is to retain its ostensibly wild cows and buffaloes, they should be in securely fenced fields. If not, they should be rounded up and put down. The time for being sentimental is over. Immediate action is required.

Jason R. Ali, Lantau

Cow mess at playground unacceptable

The children's playground in Mui Wo, Lantau, was yet again turned into a cow poop minefield, after a feral cow herd spent the night here. It was also accompanied by the strong smell of urine.

I and others have repeatedly brought this problem to the attention of the Lantau Buffalo Association with the suggestion of having a fence around the playground installed, only to be told that there is no need as, in the past, children have lived in harmony with the buffaloes and so there is no need to separate them.

I am not advocating the removal of the Mui Wo herd, but something has to be done to make peaceful co-existence possible. The association clearly doesn't care.

T. Walther, Lantau

Tsang has poor track record

Robert Lang said Hong Kong people should focus on the 'good decisions' Donald Tsang Yam-kuen made during his time as chief executive, but he failed to list what they were ('Chief's perks of office well deserved', April 27).

Leung Chun-ying, our leader-in-waiting, is already in the news for various reasons, ranging from his personal wealth to glimpses of what we might expect to see from him as chief executive.

However, it already seems confidence in Mr Leung is high, as are the expectations of the people of Hong Kong.

Mr Leung will not have very big boots to fill so it would seem all the right ingredients are there, but it remains to be seen whether they will be mixed into a government that listens to what people want instead of just doing things, regardless.

The incinerator which was proposed for Shek Kwu Chau is a good example of bad government policy.

The debacle over this planned project goes on. Thankfully, it has been stopped in its tracks for the time being, largely because of pressure from the residents of Lantau, the general public and various concern groups - a job well done by all.

However, the burning question is how this cheap, outdated method of incineration got on the drawing board in the first place.

There are much cleaner and more efficient methods available that produce energy in the process (gasification) and there are also more suitable locations for such a waste facility.

If we do end up with an incinerator (very likely, given that we are a throwaway society), would the government consider land reclamation further south, into the South China Sea, so no one needs to be concerned about exhaust fumes from the plant? Shek Wu Chau is not the right place for an incinerator of any kind for reasons we are all aware of.

Andrew Maxwell, Sai Kung

Pricey room a case of bad timing

The cost of Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's room in a hotel in Brazil has been widely reported ('Tsang stayed in US$6,900 presidential suite', April 25).

The sums spent may have been allowed under existing regulations, but that does not mean his conduct was reasonable or morally acceptable.

Even though Hong Kong is considered to be one of the most cosmopolitan and wealthiest cities the world, many citizens still live in substandard accommodation and face a high inflation rate and salaries freeze.

It appears Mr Tsang has no regard for the problems being experienced by some people, problems which have arisen while he has been in charge.

Jimmy Chow Fuk-ching, Aberdeen

Monorail is still the best option

Arguments in favour of electric buses and trams at the revamped Kai Tak site may appear convincing, because of the cost of the proposed monorail.

But I think the monorail will be able to stick to its established timetable and this will make it better in terms of time management.

In the long term, it would need less maintenance than trams and electric buses.

It would be more popular with tourists travelling around Kai Tak as they would have uninterrupted views. It is also a more high-tech option which would make it a hit with visitors.

I believe the government should stick to its original plan to build a monorail.

Lee Tsz-him, Sha Tin

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