Old age allowance

Letters to the Editor, December 12, 2012

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 December, 2012, 2:49am

Choice of what you wear is a relevant issue

Angie Ng ("No skirting around sexual violence issue", December 5) is being either naive or disingenuous, in her criticism of the editorial ("SlutWalk and common sense", November 29).

Her comments suggest that she read it with preconceived ideas of what it contained.

Ms Ng's points about acts of sexual abuse committed by persons known to the victim, and the legal system not favouring victims, certainly have substance, particularly relating to previous generations, but these arguments are not relevant to the issue of provocative dress, as, in fact, she implies in her letter.

She also says that it "is inappropriate to compare the theft of property to sexual violence".

Well, it would be if the comparison was made in connection with the seriousness of the crime, but it was not: it was used as a simple analogy for ways of avoiding becoming a victim, regardless of the potential crime - namely, common sense.

Subject to certain laws, people have the right to dress how they wish, whether out on the streets or in the company of friends and relatives, just as they have the right to go out and leave their homes unprotected.

The perpetrator of a sexual offence is equally guilty regardless of what the victim is wearing, and the thief is equally guilty regardless of the vulnerable condition of the home. But there are sexual offenders and thieves at large, and it's simple, common sense to do what we can to avoid becoming a victim of either.

Peter Robertson, Sai Kung


Air-con law can force malls to warm up

I wish to commend Sven Topps's letter ("People's habits also to blame for pollution", December 6) regarding the stupid use of air conditioning in Hong Kong.

Quite often on these lovely temperate autumn days I have spent hours uncomfortably chilled as I go from my apartment complex's clubhouse to the MTR to a shopping mall to a restaurant and to a cinema, all absurdly overcooled (when the weather is cool anyway) and making insane contributions to global warming and local air pollution.

Given the roaring success of the plastic bag levy, why can't the government pass further green legislation to make it illegal to cool indoor spaces below 25 degrees Celsius? That would eradicate this insanity at a single stroke.

Warren Russell, Tseung Kwan O


Legco being undermined by extremists

I feel sorry for Leung Kwok-hung and other legislators who choose to filibuster and block the natural progress of Legco ("Elderly allowance bypasses filibuster", December 8).

No matter how many interfering, nuisance motions are put forward, most legislators do not tend to change their vote on an issue. So what's the point?

Rather, legislators using filibusters are hijacking Legco and preventing the regular flow of business, the fair and lawful expectation of all citizens. How dare these extremists shut down the legislative process.

True democracy means giving a fair hearing to everyone - not that some get to speak endless nonsense in the hope of delaying or thwarting lawmaking.

I urge the government to block filibusters. Each legislator should have a fair number of motions he or she can move, and that's all.

Meanwhile, this latest filibuster came at the expense of the elderly poor who need the money as soon as possible while holding out for handouts to the elderly rich who would not need to register. It makes no sense at all.

Rosa Chan, Lai Chi Kok


Filibuster did elderly poor no favours

I refer to the report ("Welfare minister broke deadlock over funding for old age allowance", December 9).

I am glad that the Old Age Living Allowance will now go through.

Those lawmakers objecting to the allowance were opposed to the use of a means test for applicants and used the filibuster to block its progress through Legco. This meant that elderly people had to continue to get by on a reduced allowance.

I do not understand their opposition. A means test is necessary to ensure that well-off people who have sufficient funds do not receive the allowance of HK$2,200 a month. It is a way of ensuring proper use of the public treasury.

Su Yuen-ching, Tsuen Wan


Competitive edge can still be maintained

I refer to the report ("HK risks losing competitive edge, think tank says", December 6).

The local think tank the China Institute of City Competitiveness has again placed Hong Kong "in the top spot for the 11th year on the annual list of Chinese cities by competitiveness". But it has warned that the city could be overtaken by Shanghai in a few years if it does not develop new industries and strengthen its competitive edge.

It showed that while Shanghai's economic volume in the first half of the year had already exceeded that of the SAR, Hong Kong had the edge because of the professional sector and its legal and social system.

If the city is to maintain its competitive edge, the government must develop creative industries that are innovative in the area of advanced technology.

Sophisticated gadgets are high value-added products that can bring Hong Kong additional revenue.

Not only should the administration put more resources into training IT professionals, but also improve our education system so that students are encouraged to become more creative.

I would also like to see more improvements in the tourism sector.

There have been scandals of visitors who were victims of forced shopping and incidents like this tarnish the image of Hong Kong and damage its reputation.

Regulations and a code of ethics should be established and those involved in the industry must be made to comply.

I also think the government must do more to preserve heritage buildings.

Well-preserved historical sites can prove a major attraction for tourists.

Also, with rising rents, some of our more traditional streets are disappearing, with small stores replaced by brand-name shops. The government should offer allowances to these smaller, threatened retailers, to prevent all our streets becoming uniform.

Polly Lam Po-yu, Hung Hom


Cathay union has had fair pay rise offer

I do not think that Cathay Pacific's cabin crew union should take industrial action ("Cathay union threatens action over the holidays", December 11).

The union has said it may take action "in the run-up to Christmas".

I think this would be unfair as it would be disrupting the plans of many passengers who are travelling over the holiday period and who will face a cancellation of their flights.

The airline has offered 2 per cent and argued that this is a reasonable rise.

The flight attendants should accept that Cathay's profits are down and if they want more than 2 per cent then they should be willing to work harder.

I am sure the company's management must be disappointed by the attitude of the union.

I think it would be unwise of the union to go ahead with any industrial action.

Max Tsang, Tsuen Wan


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