Letters to the Editor, January 20, 2013
Anti-gay rights rally an affront to tolerance
It was a sad spectacle to see a group of self-righteous Christians gathered at Tamar Park on Sunday, January 13 to rally against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual (LGBT ) equal rights ("Christians in prayer rally to fight gay law proposal", January 14).
All LGBT citizens in Hong Kong are asking for is equal rights and equal treatment. Yet the religious groups and their leaders blatantly distort this simple fact, resorting to falsehoods and scaremongering to whip up anti-LGBT sentiment. I can only think bigotry and hatred have clouded their judgment.
The Bible proscribes many things. For example, in Exodus 35:2, it states that "Six days' work shall be done, but on the seventh day you shall have a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on it shall be put to death."
If these believers were to read the Holy Book literally, why wouldn't they start lobbying the government to prohibit all business activities on Sundays? I dare to say, if alive today, Jesus would not approve the actions taken by these Christians. Also, Hong Kong is a secular society where we do not impose religious views on the wider public.
It is abhorrent that these people try to legitimise discrimination and use religion to trump the human rights of LGBT citizens.
I am also disappointed that the chief executive failed to demonstrate leadership and continued to bury his head in the sand in dealing with this issue [in his policy address]. LGBT equal rights and religious freedom can co-exist. That's why we need a proper consultation to forge a consensus to build a genuinely inclusive society.
Unless the chief executive recognises the gravity of this injustice and takes meaningful action to put it right, his promise to listen to divergent views rings hollow.
Jerome Yau, Happy Valley
Protesters' real message is discrimination
As a father of three teenagers, I don't want them growing up in a world which teaches exclusion and discrimination based on sexual orientation. I have some questions for organisers and attendees of the "Inclusive Love Praying Concert", led by the Reverend Jayson Tam.
Are you not guilty of hypocrisy and Orwellian double-speak, based on the title of your event? Is your definition of "inclusive love" to include, and share love with, only those who echo your values and beliefs? If so, that sounds neither inclusive nor loving to me.
Can you show me evidence that homosexuality is a choice? Just as having a disability, or being born a genius or a prodigy is not a choice, neither is one's sexual orientation. I don't know of many homosexuals who have successfully altered their innate sexual orientation.
As I understand it, being a Christian is to aspire to be "Christ-like" in one's actions. Also, don't Christians believe God to be the judge of humans and not humans of each other? How, then, can you, as Christians, condone discrimination against others based on who they are? Why do you practice exclusive hate in the guise of "inclusive love"? What example are you teaching your children?
You claim to have organised the rally to protect your free speech, but is this the real reason - do you just want to project your message of exclusion, judgment, and discrimination against those who scare you? It would be very interesting if your children or family members were to announce they are homosexual. What would you do or say then?
Would you include and love them for who they are, or shun them and cause them to have feelings of guilt, fear, and helplessness at not being able to disclose and celebrate who they are with those who should love them unconditionally?
Bijay Singh, Causeway Bay
Electric-car grand prix bid hypocritical
I refer to the report ("Electric-car grand prix race eyed for HK", January 13).
It would be totally hypocritical of the Hong Kong government if it were to allow such a race to take place, so long as electric bicycles remain illegal on Hong Kong's roads.
While e-bikes are used by police, according to websites, they are considered motorcycles here and therefore need what is known as type-approval from the Department of Transport.
These bikes have so far failed to meet the type-approval requirement, which means ordinary residents here cannot ride them on the roads.
To my knowledge Hong Kong must be the only place in the world where it is illegal to ride electric bikes.
This just shows how backward and outdated our administration is with regard to traffic, recreation and environmental issues, compared to other governments that allow and indeed promote the use of these bikes.
I once asked the Transport Department why it did not allow electric bicycles and it sent me back a link with the current transport legislation, with no further explanation.
Hans Wergin, Cheung Chau
Broadband failure poses key questions
I refer to the letter by C.K. Chan, the head of PCCW's group communications ("Unbeatable broadband service", January 13). My experience is at total odds with the picture painted by this letter.
I live in Happy Valley and in the first week of October I lost my PCCW broadband service.
The technician found no fault in my flat and opined that there was a fault somewhere outside my building.
I was told that my service would resume by the end of the month. Then I was told it would be by the end of November. I was assigned to a customer care officer and given a telephone number to contact.
I was told there was a cable fault and that repairs were in hand.
The end of November came and went. I was then told it would be the end of December before my service could resume. At the end of December I was told it would be January 15.
That day came and went and, lo and behold, still no broadband. I could not get in touch with my PCCW contact and no one was answering the phone at the number given. I managed to get in touch with someone on January 16 and was told the work would be completed by the end of January.
It is apparent that PCCW is experiencing great problems with its infrastructure. Is it meeting its obligations under its licence to operate?
I have taken up the matter with the Office of the Telecommunications Authority and it has said it is following up.
However, I would like to publicly ask the authority what steps it takes to monitor broadband providers and to ensure that licence conditions are being met.
W.J. Morrison, Happy Valley
Integrity and trust vital in a good leader
Integrity should indeed be considered the top priority when deciding upon a person suitable to be chief executive of Hong Kong. The chief executive is our leader, and a leader should always be honest with people, to maintain their trust.
A chief executive without such trust would always be doubted. He must rule himself before ruling a city or a country.
A chief executive should pay meticulous attention to detail and be perceptive enough to know what society needs and to balance between competing interests to ensure fairness.
He should be able to persevere through hard times, inspire and raise people's morale to overcome obstacles.
In this way he can arouse the Hong Kong spirit, so people can join together and fight against difficulties.
U.Y. Chung, Tsuen Wan
Water vapour the big threat to climate
I visited Kwong Wah Hospital on Saturday, January 12, to see a relative who was a patient.
In the corridor the hospital television monitor was promoting virtually non-stop a message endorsing low-carbon living to combat climate change. Carbon dioxide was named the number one greenhouse gas, ignoring accepted opinion that water vapour is the real enemy.
Hospital managers should check out the Royal Society booklet "Climate change: a summary of the science". It names water vapour as the gas making the largest contribution to the greenhouse effect - followed by carbon dioxide.
The reduction of water vapour in the atmosphere through water conservation is key to combating climate change.
Wyss Yim, Pok Fu Lam
Cull exhibits human lapse of conscience
I refer to the report ("Siberian emergency as wolves menace villages", January 10). It appears that humanity's superior-minded nature allows our collective conscience to shoot wild animals or painfully trap them until dead.
The report highlights a wolf cull in Siberia, where wolves are killing - and of course eating - what is considered to be too many reindeer. In other words, behaving in their natural, predatory manner.
How can we justify snuffing out such wild animals that have been around and within their wilderness, subsisting as they are now, for millennia?
Frank G. Sterle, Jr., White Rock, British Columbia, Canada