Letters to the Editor, December 19, 2012
People forget what made Hong Kong so successful
Hong Kong citizens keep asking for increases in sweetheart deals, including welfare, housing subsidies and limits on working hours while being unwilling to bear the financial burden that would be placed on the government. I find this utterly preposterous.
As a second-generation immigrant, I was brought up to embrace Hong Kong people's core spirit - the hard-working trait that has helped build the resource-scarce economy of Hong Kong and transform it from a fishing port to the vibrant city we now see.
Above all, I have always had respect for those self-made individuals, who went from rags to riches through their unfailing passion and perseverance.
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is perhaps the best deal we've had for a while.
At least he has to be credited with injecting some much-needed good sense into debates, preventing the administration from accumulating the huge deficits that governments in Europe and in the US are having to confront.
Interest groups should stop blindly calling for an increase in benefits and be accountable for their own needs. On recent form, such a hope may be wishful thinking. However, such increases would compromise the long-term stability of our city.
Samantha Datwani, Fortress Hill
Allow chief executive to get on with the job
There have been calls from some Hongkongers for Leung Chun-ying to step down as chief executive over illegal structures at his home at The Peak.
Some may argue that many householders here and elsewhere in the world make changes to their homes, so given they are relatively minor changes, why should it be any different with regard to C.Y. Leung.
Of course the difference is that, as chief executive, he represents Hong Kong.
Any political problems he experiences can affect the image people have of the SAR.
Also, critics of C.Y. argue he was helped in his election campaign for chief executive by the revelation that his opponent Henry Tang Ying-yen had an illegal structure in his home and yet we now know that C.Y. also had such structures.
While I accept that criticism of C.Y. is valid, he is chief executive and I think he should be given a chance to govern. We all make mistakes and he is no different.
Even though he was not elected by the people, he should be given an opportunity to get on with his job and ensure a better future for Hong Kong.
Constantly objecting to every policy initiative he introduces is counterproductive. It prevents citizens benefiting directly from measures that he wants to introduce.
Ma Yuen-wa, Yau Ma Tei
Leung cannot ignore serious erosion of trust
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has failed to answer all the questions that have been asked of him about illegal structures at his home.
On occasions, his answers have been unsatisfactory. I think it is now a trust issue and I do not trust either the chief executive or his administration.
The only way in which Mr Leung can improve his relations with the Hong Kong public is if there is full disclosure about all his unauthorised structures and he issues an apology to all the people of Hong Kong.
Chiu Chung-fat, Tseung Kwan O
Cathay's flight attendants do work hard
I would like to respond to Max Tsang's comments regarding the Cathay Pacific flight attendants' pay dispute ("Cathay union has had fair pay rise offer", December 12).
Mr Tsang obviously does not travel often with Cathay if he thinks the cabin crew should work harder.
The flight attendants at Cathay do an exceptional job and play a very large part in the success of the airline.
Cathay has been unwilling to reward their hard work and dedication, putting profits ahead of its staff time and time again. Mr Tsang should perhaps see the bigger picture of workers in Hong Kong being rewarded for their hard work and not his personal inconvenience.
I applaud the cabin crew's determination to receive a fair deal.
Justin Brent, Sai Ying Pun
Make penalties tougher for animal cruelty
The case of a cat being tortured last month at a public housing estate put the spotlight on the issue of animal abuse in Hong Kong.
It is important to try and look at some of the causes of such abuse and its wider implications. For example, it has been argued that, in some cases, children who are cruel to animals can go on to become abusers as adults.
Families have to recognise the responsibilities that come with ownership of a pet and parents must teach their children to respect animals and recognise that they have feelings and rights.
In Hong Kong, people have to think carefully about taking on a pet and decide if they will be able to care for the animal.
Schools also have a role to play in this regard and need to teach young people about the need to care for animals.
They should invite speakers from an animal rescue or welfare group to come and give a talk.
Although there are laws in place to punish animal abuse, they are not leading to a reduction of such acts. The government can make them more effective by increasing the penalties the courts can hand down to people who are found guilty of cruelty to animals.
Miki Fung, Yau Tong
Pointless to rail against smartphones
April Zhang seems to imply that it's mainly Westerners who are addicted to the smartphones they have invented when it seems even more Chinese simply can't live without them ("Phoney relations", December 6).
Didn't a 17-year-old boy in Hunan sell one of his kidneys so he could buy an iPhone and an iPad, resulting in the arrest of five people who had made more than 200,000 yuan (HK$246,000) in the transaction?
Railing against these electronic toys is fruitless because they're irresistible to the multitudes who prefer to lead virtual lives instead of interacting with unpredictable human beings.
Renata Lopez, Wan Chai
Hours law will lead to greater efficiency
Opponents of standard working hours legislation have argued that it would create difficulties for employers in Hong Kong.
They say that such a law would make it difficult for companies to have flexibility with the hours people work and this could harm their competitiveness in the market.
However, I agree with those who believe that the Legislative Council should pass a law stipulating standard working hours.
Some people now work for far too long and this can be harmful to their health.
Everyone needs to be given a chance to rest and to spend time with their family.
I actually think companies would benefit as employees who have had time to rest and relax are likely to be more efficient and productive in the workplace.
Benny Wong Ka-ngai, Tsuen Wan