Letters to the Editor, November 28, 2012
C Y not being given chance to do his job
I am very disappointed with most of the crooked logic deployed in the criticism of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's official clarification of the unauthorised structures at his Peak home.
I am particularly dismayed by the comments of Labour Party chairman and lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan. Despite my disagreeing with his political stand, I have respect for his lifelong commitment to the working class. Referring to Leung, he said that "the affair [of the unauthorised structures] has shown that 'the whole [chief executive] election campaign was based on lies'" ("'I didn't hide facts on illegal works'", November 24).
I do not think Leung won the election by lying. He won because the people of Hong Kong wanted change and believed he was the candidate who could deliver it.
He has not been given a chance to bring about the transformation he promised.
We must look at issues with the wisdom of proportionality. We must also know what is straight and what is crooked thinking.
After reading very carefully his detailed clarification, I do not think there is any question about his integrity.
The whole incident was a careless oversight on his part and over a trivial matter, with or without comparison to election rival Henry Tang Ying-yen's huge unauthorised basement or his deliberate attempt to try covering it up when the basement was first reported.
It's time for Hong Kong to move on.
Let us give Leung a chance to prove that he can deliver the much-needed transformation of Hong Kong, which is the reason why he was elected in the first place.
Julia Fung Yuet-shan, Central
Chief executive has worked hard for HK
It's human to err and it's hardly possible to name one world leader who has not committed some mistake.
This doesn't mean that our chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, should be free from blame for his illegal structures, premeditated or otherwise.
Yet having admitted his fault and apologised for it, it would not be in Hong Kong's interests to pursue this matter any further, despite some lawmakers' attempts to do so and to plot against him.
The most important point is whether the central government and the Hong Kong public still trust C.Y. and have been satisfied with his initial performance.
I believe that people at the grass-roots level, especially the elderly, have been impressed by his dedication to social interests - for example, his decision to build more lifts and other facilities to offer better access to the disabled and old folk.
During his few months in office, he has worked hard and has not resorted to empty rhetoric, as is common with most politicians.
The central government and Hong Kong citizens want a bright future for the special administrative region and the nation. I hope their wishes can be fulfilled. Political and other vested interests should avoid social conflict and infighting.
Peter Wei, Kwun Tong
Elderly need additional financial help
No citizen, when they reach the age of 65, wants to face the prospect of having to keep working late into their old age. And yet some Hongkongers, because they have financial problems, find they have no choice.
They must cope with high and rising rents in the city and with rising levels of inflation.
Those who are recipients of a pension from the Mandatory Provident Fund will not necessarily find it much help, as it is unlikely to sustain them throughout their old age.
In some cases, their MPF money might be used up in as little as two or three years.
For these reasons, I would like to see the government offering more subsidies to our senior citizens.
Non-governmental organisations could also do more. The services they offer can sometimes be too expensive for elderly people on low incomes. Where possible, they should lower the cost of, for example, medical and dental check-ups.
I would also like to see more teenagers visiting old folk, as many live quite isolated lives, and both young people and the elderly can benefit from the experience.
Alison Siu Yeung-chun, To Kwa Wan
Some areas of Sai Kung far from friendly
The article about Sai Kung ("The friendly town where everyone's a local", November 16) does not match reality.
True, Sai Kung's upscale enclaves are nice living environments. However, some of the poorer villages in the area can be very unfriendly and hard to live in. One example is Nam Shan, where one of the local strongmen has put up huge concrete blocks in the middle of a road, blocking access for residents and emergency vehicles.
Local authorities sometimes remove the blocks, but this simply turns out to be a cat-and-mouse game, with the blocks soon reappearing.
The only solution is to move somewhere else but, unfortunately, local tenancy laws force people to stay put until their lease contract expires.
Kristiaan Helsen, Sai Kung
Many Asians unaware of slaughter
The "third large seizure of ivory in a year in Hong Kong" ("150 elephants died for ivory load", November 17) has highlighted the rampant demand in Asian countries for these illegal tusks.
Despite the efforts of wildlife activists worldwide, people continue to operate this illegal trade, driven by greed. They let their desire for economic gain override concerns over the deaths of elephants.
It is a very sad story. As well as the threat of extinction faced by a species, people also die as poachers battle with rangers in Africa's national parks.
Also, some of the money made from selling the ivory is then used to purchase weapons used in the continent's various conflicts.
Given that wild animals cross borders between nations, there must be an international consensus to curb the killing. Governments also need to put pressure on the nations where there is greatest demand for the ivory and on transit countries.
There also needs to be greater education so that people come to realise the consequences of buying ivory and other products that put at risk endangered species such as, for example, seahorses, tigers, rhinos, pangolins and sharks.
For instance, many Asian people may not realise how many elephants are killed for their tusks.
They need to appreciate that, if the killing continues on this scale, eventually we will only see pictures of elephants in the wild in books and on videos.
Next year, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species will be holding a meeting to discuss the poaching of ivory.
I expect it to come up with effective measures to stop the bloodshed.
Celia Ho, Wong Tai Sin
Corporal punishment unacceptable
I do not think that parents in Hong Kong should be allowed to inflict corporal punishment on children.
While I appreciate that children can sometimes be annoying, they are all unique and should be entitled to legal protection - even, if necessary, from their parents.
I think that parents have to adopt other means to discipline their children and train them to behave responsibly.
I agree with Against Child Abuse that the law forbidding teachers from using corporal punishment on students should be extended to parents ("Activists say parents must spare the rod", November 16).
Li Tik-sze, Ma On Shan