Letters to the Editor, January 9, 2013
C.Y. Leung's policies will be good for city
I agree with the views expressed by Carwyn Lee Kai-chun ("Protesters have been unreasonable", January 7).
The saga of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's unauthorised structures at his house is common knowledge and many Hongkongers have expressed frustration and disappointment over what has happened. What made things worse is that during the chief executive election campaign, he criticised his opponent Henry Tang Ying-yen over unauthorised structures in his home. I believe it is for this reason that protesters asked him to stand down.
However, despite his lack of integrity, I think it is going too far to ask Mr Leung to quit. He has only been in the post for a few months. Why not give him a chance to turn over a new leaf? He has announced a number of new policies, for example, in social welfare and on the problem of pregnant women coming from the mainland to give birth. He wants Hongkongers to get priority for hospital beds, plans to raise the old-age allowance and has cracked down on parallel trading. Hong Kong will benefit from the policies he has proposed being implemented in full.
No one is perfect, and people who have the courage to admit their mistakes and rectify them can go on to make a difference. If he is given a chance to serve his term in office, I think we might be surprised by what C.Y. Leung can achieve.
Scarlet Wong, Sha Tin
Main issue is lack of integrity
I support those who have called on Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to step down. Having integrity is important in the course of your life.
If there is a perception that a public figure like the chief executive has problems with his integrity, then questions have to be raised about his survival in office.
It is difficult for a leader to continue doing his job if he has lost the trust of associates and citizens.
In the election for chief executive, there was no mention of Mr Leung having any unauthorised structures and he made political capital out of his opponent Henry Tang Ying-yen's unauthorised basement.
Following the elections, details emerged of unauthorised structures at Mr Leung's home.
At the very least, we need a full apology from Mr Leung and an admission that he has let down the people of Hong Kong. But the best solution may ultimately be his resignation.
Rachel Cheng Hiu-tung,Tseung Kwan O
Serious social problems unresolved
I would like to see our chief executive taking a more pragmatic approach rather than indulging in ideological debate.
Over the past few years, I have been disappointed by the chaotic state of aspects of Hong Kong society. We have seen the population rising, many people continue to live in substandard accommodation and the gap between rich and poor remains wide. The elderly and disabled get inadequate support.
Often, there has been the perception that officials are not concerned about addressing these social problems.
Hongkongers want to see Leung Chun-ying taking a more down-to-earth, pragmatic approach and come up with concrete solutions to the problems we face.
Dicky Lau Wai-ki, Tseung Kwan O
Scrap unfair small-house policy now
Imagine if the Northern Territory government of Australia announced that any aboriginal male reaching the age of 18 who could, through his village headman, prove he is a descendant from an indigenous aboriginal inhabitant in 1825, could apply to build a small house on aboriginal or aboriginal-zoned government land.
There would be no time limit on this policy but house builders would not be permitted to sell their houses for five years unless a small waiver fee was paid.
Imagine the outcry in Australia if such a divisive and socially unfair policy were to be introduced, excluding 95 per cent of the male population and 100 per cent of the female population from such a bonanza?
Surely it is high time that the Hong Kong small-house policy was recognised for what it is, an administrative enhancement of New Territories villagers' basic rights to occupy and rebuild their ancestral homes and farm their agricultural land, but not a right protected under the Basic Law in itself as the villagers would have us believe.
The small house policy is way past its sell-by date and should be cancelled. And the government should not wait until 2047, but do it now.
It should be scrapped before it causes massive social unrest.
The villagers, most of whom have already sold their houses or who are no longer inhabitants of the New Territories but are living abroad, will no doubt be restive, but they will have no sympathy from the rest of us.
Guy Shirra, chairman, Friends of Sai Kung
Saddened by neglect of elderly parents
I was shocked to learn that nearly 200 million people aged over 60 on the mainland are being abandoned by their children ("Order to be filial off to an uncertain start", January 2).
It is really sad that so many parents are being neglected by their grown-up sons and daughters.
From kindergarten level, children are taught to show respect for their parents.
I think it is our obligation to do this, and it is totally unacceptable for people to neglect their parents who raised them.
The children should recognise the sacrifices their fathers and mothers made and the time they devoted and money they spent selflessly over all these years.
Obviously, when they grow old, it is our duty to take care of them.
I agree with the comments in the article by academic Zhang Xiaoyi who said, "In old age, people become reliant on their children, just the way babies rely on their mothers." Too often, the grown-up children make too many excuses for not helping their parents.
Professor Zhang doubts the effectiveness of the amended law "requiring adult children to visit their elderly parents 'often'". She doubts if the present situation will improve.
However, I think the amended legislation is better than doing nothing and may help some children reflect on their behaviour and their treatment of their parents.
Katie Lee, Sha Tin
Lawyers' conduct unprofessional
I refer to the report ("Protests as gang-rape suspects charged", January 4) regarding the case of a medical student who was gang raped in Delhi, India, and later died.
The fact that lawyers at the "district court in New Delhi have decided they will not defend the suspects" goes against the spirit of the rule of law. Everyone has a right to legal advice and defence by a lawyer to ensure a fair trial. These attackers now face the possibility of a death sentence.
Without any legal help, the chance of a fair trial could be compromised, and the outcome could be more grief to add to what is already terribly sad.
I think the lawyers who openly announced they would not defend the suspects should be punished for unprofessional behaviour.
I would also like to see India moving towards the abolition of the death penalty.
Louis Yee, Quarry Bay