Letters to the Editor, December 15, 2012
Where is the 'care' Cathay crew pledged?
Do Cathay Pacific flight attendants have a death wish for their company?
I am no fan of incompetent management and have no idea if Cathay is run well or not, but I do take exception to a union whose members have claimed to care about their passengers, but who seemingly care more about what lines their pockets than their travelling customers or the Hong Kong institution that employs them.
Yes, a 2 per cent pay rise is not very good, but that is how companies work.
If you do well in business, then you make more money; when you do badly, then everyone suffers.
Yet it would seem that Cathay has tried to steer away from mass lay-offs, and to retain the talent. The rest of Hong Kong's working population has had to accept the finality of employers' decisions. It's a case of "if you don't like where you work, quit", but all we get is complaining and threats of not serving food and drink on the flight.
So here is what I suggest Cathay must do: pay the 5 per cent pay increment to the flight attendants, let them have a celebration with their sycophantic comments about how much they care for passengers.
Get them back on the flights again so they can look grumpy and get overtaken by the other regional airlines. Then, around Chinese New Year, fire 40 per cent of them and hire some new people who like travel, service and working for one of Hong Kong's best airlines. The Hong Kong flying public are not amused.
C. Anderson, Quarry Bay
Crisis of trust at the heart of C.Y. scandal
I refer to the recent controversy over the illegal structures at Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's home.
Some of your correspondents have opined that illegal structures are trivial matters and attention should be focused on pressing livelihood issues.
With respect, they have missed an important point - what is at issue is Leung's integrity. Some Hong Kong citizens have reprimanded him for alleged dishonesty. From a practical point of view, a political leader cannot govern effectively when people have lost confidence in him. When trust is lost, it cannot be restored easily.
Even if you put the integrity issue aside, the fact that Leung has turned his personal affair into a political crisis undermining public confidence in the administration is a clear reflection of his incompetence.
He should step down from the top job on account of this alone.
Michael Ko, Sham Shui Po
Left reeling by Now TV's endless reruns
With all the wonderful TV programmes that originate from the BBC each year, can Now TV please explain why we have to suffer interminable repeats and reruns from its BBC Entertainment and Lifestyle channels?
Would Now TV be amenable to repeatedly recycling, say, half my monthly subscription as recompense for seeing the same programmes again and again?
Seems a good idea to me. Yeah, right.
Garry Coley, Sham Tseng
Cut out the swearing at Clockenflap
I was fortunate to be able to attend the Clockenflap music and arts festival in West Kowloon earlier this month with my family, but there were a few incidents which marred our experience.
Late in the evening, we came across a very drunk woman throwing up who ended up face down in a hedge. No one tried to help her.
We found a first-aid tent in an obscure corner of the site, but it was empty - no staff, no first-aid kits, nothing.
Also, we saw a helicopter which was there for children to play around; however, they were unsupervised and there was a man taking snapshots of them. When we stared at him, he walked away.
Children had access to the concert venue and were able to listen to the musicians on stage. However, some of the singers swore a lot and there were instances when there would be repeated swearing in a song. Given that there are children around, I think it would be a good idea if, in the future, there were some sort of control over the language in lyrics.
Alternatively, do not admit children under a certain age.
Judging by the amount of alcohol being sold and consumed and the long queues at the San Miguel stall and the portable toilets, I got the feeling that most of the patrons were there not for the music but for the beer. Is labelling the event as a music and arts festival appropriate? It felt more like an Oktoberfest. Would it be more appropriate to call it a Novemberfest or a Decemberfest?
Maybe there is a cultural issue here, and maybe if my family and I had got drunk like the rest of the patrons, the above points would not have bothered us. Anyway, I hope the Clockenflap organisers will treat this as feedback and make some improvements.
Gauri Venkitaraman, Kwun Tong
Pensions may create social problems
With the number of people who are suffering from poverty on the rise, there have been calls for a universal pension to be introduced in Hong Kong.
It is seen by its advocates to be a feasible way of ensuring that all elderly citizens have enough money to ease their plight. However, if it is introduced, it could create a lot more social problems than it solves.
It would certainly lead to a considerable increase in the financial burden faced by the government ,and that burden is unlikely to be eased given that the life expectancy of Hongkongers is among the highest in the world. In fact, ever-increasing sums would be needed to help the elderly.
Social values would also be distorted by such a pension. It should be the younger generation's responsibility to support their parents. If this kind of pension were provided to all citizens, children would feel they had no obligation to support their parents in their later lives. Helping your elderly parents is a way of thanking them for what they did.
Also, the pension would reduce the incentive for people to plan ahead for their retirement.
Instead of seeing our society's traditional thriftiness, you see examples of overconsumption. Future generations would learn nothing about good financial management.
When looking at any policy aimed at helping to deal with our ageing population, we must consider its possible long-term impact.
Katy Chan Ka-ying, Tsuen Wan
Police search done without prejudice
I refer to N. Millar's letter ("Did police have right to frisk my son?" December 8) questioning the police power of stop and search.
According to Section 54(2) of the Police Force Ordinance (Cap 232), if a police officer finds anyone in any public place, "at any hour of the day or night whom he reasonably suspects of having committed or being about to commit or of intending to commit any offence", he can:
- Stop the person and demand proof of identity;
- Detain him for a reasonable period while inquiring whether or not the person is suspected of having committed any offence;
- Search the person for anything that is likely to be of value to an investigation of "any offence the person has committed, or is reasonably suspected of having committed or of being about to commit or of intending to commit"; and
- Detain him for a period that is reasonably required to make this search.
A police officer, whether in uniform or plain clothes, is empowered to conduct stop and search against any suspicious person in accordance with the above section, and the stop and search would be conducted without prejudice to that person's age, gender or ethnic origin.
Police have received a letter from Mr Millar in respect of the stop and search incident encountered by his son. We are in contact with Mr Millar for clarification. Should he subsequently register a formal complaint, the police shall handle the complaint in a fair and impartial manner in accordance with the complaints handling mechanism.
Eddie Wong Kwok-wai, chief superintendent, Police Public Relations Branch
Government should offer e-book funds
I refer to your editorial ("HK should press on with e-books", December 6).
Over the last few years, there have been significant increases in the prices of textbooks. This adds to the financial burden faced by families, especially low-income ones. Therefore I think the government should encourage the use of e-books.
However, some e-books may at present be more expensive than the printed version. Also, most schools in Hong Kong are poorly equipped to teach electronically.
Even though we are entering a new era of paperless learning, electronic textbooks are not common in Hong Kong's schools and colleges. The government should deal with this by offering subsidies so schools can set up the necessary infrastructure.
If they do not have the right equipment, they cannot ensure better provision of e-books for their pupils.
Vanessa Mak, Sheung Shui