Letters to the Editor, March 16, 2013
Find a home for traditional medicine
I refer to the report ("University gains Legco support over land use", March 12).
I am in my fifth year at Baptist University studying for a bachelor of Chinese medicine and bachelor of science (hons) in biomedical science.
Because of the lack of a Chinese medicine teaching hospital in Hong Kong, Chinese medicine students have to do their clinical internships in hospitals on the mainland. However, the medical system there is different and so the health-care knowledge students acquire is not entirely applicable to Hong Kong.
The lack of a Chinese medicine teaching hospital in Hong Kong has crippled education in this very important field for the past 15 years.
The government has no plans to set up such a facility and so Baptist University has proposed establishing a self-financed Chinese medicine teaching hospital. It is really depressing that the government has decided not to give us the site of former vocational training institute Lee Wai Lee and instead wants to change the land use for housing.
All citizens have to consider if it should be used for a Chinese medicine teaching hospital, which will benefit all Hongkongers and future generations, or for a few apartment blocks. Society's long-term educational needs should be part of the government's urban-planning strategy.
A teaching hospital offers a quality therapeutic environment for patients who suffer from chronic diseases such as stroke, auto-immune disorders and cancer.
As an intern in a Chinese medicine hospital in Guangzhou, I see many Hong Kong residents who have crossed the border for Chinese medicine treatments. Many suffer from chronic diseases and Western medicine has failed to work for them. According to a recent survey, there is a high demand for Chinese medicine in-patient services in Hong Kong.
The SAR needs a comprehensive medical system that includes Chinese medicine in-patient services.
We need the genuine support of the government in the form of infrastructure.
Katy Wong, Quarry Bay
Firepower keeping North Koreans safe
I refer to the letter by Lily Chan Ying-kwan ("Change long overdue in North Korea", March 13).
I think your correspondent is being politically naive. I guess her knowledge of Korea comes solely from what she reads in the Western-oriented right-wing press, that is, the South China Morning Post.
The people and land of North Korea are safe from American influence - and drone attacks - because of the strength of the military and their nuclear armaments.
More power to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, say I, and Ms Chang would do well to expand her comfort-zone reading matter.
John Charleston, Tuen Mun
Right to be upbeat about city's arts hub
I refer to the letter by West Kowloon Cultural District Authority chief Michael Lynch ("West Kowloon arts hub project is being prudently budgeted", March 8).
I wholeheartedly agree with him about the immense effect the arts hub will have on Hong Kong.
We should be patient regarding the implementation of this project, which will change the city's cultural landscape for the better.
We have long been an international financial centre, but there has been insufficient promotion of the arts and culture. Hong Kong citizens have usually been too busy with their working lives.
We have many talented artists whose priority is not to make money, but to find a platform to share their work with the public.
In the past, with insufficient channels available, they were frustrated in this aspiration. But with the cultural district they will have that opportunity to display their work and help Hongkongers acquire a greater appreciation of art.
The district will also help to boost Hong Kong's economy as the venues that are built there, with their exhibitions and performances, will attract art lovers from overseas.
It will become a cultural landmark that is known around the world and it will stimulate tourism.
The government should accelerate the arts hub's construction programme so that Hong Kong can develop a rich cultural life.
Amy Kong Shuk-fan, Kwai Chung
Demonstrating belief fosters democracy
Alex Lo ("Hysteria will not hasten democracy", March 13) sometimes appears as naive as he usually characterises democratic-leaning politicians to be.
It is laughable for him to refer to "meaningful universal suffrage" and the Basic Law's requirement for a "broadly representative nominating committee" as if anyone in the so-called Beijing camp would tolerate a democratic selection of such a group.
All Hong Kong people know it will not be political parties nominating candidates, as might happen in a democracy, but rather the "broadly representative" group which chose our appointed current chief executive.
The only way those in favour of some kind of democracy in Hong Kong can achieve some Beijing sensitivity, and some transparency on the issue, is to alert Hongkongers and draw international attention. The rule of law, a pillar of democracy, is also at great risk if some in the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and some regular letter writers to your paper have their way.
Tom Mulvey, Wan Chai
Balloon horror probe must prevent repeat
I hope the investigation into the balloon blast in Egypt last month, which killed 19 people, will get to the bottom of what happened and provide some peace for the victims' families.
It seems that there will probably be no criminal liability. However, it would appear that the investigation will have to examine all aspects of the tragedy, including what measures were taken before the balloon took off.
Presumably, the investigation will ensure that there are stricter regulations in force which can ensure the safety of tourists taking balloon trips in Egypt.
Soddy Leung, Tsuen Wan
Call to recycle intelligence on 'danger' bikes
I laughed at an item on a news programme on television earlier this week, regarding an arrest over driving a modified bicycle in Sham Shui Po and the bicycle being photographed from all angles as if it were something extraordinary.
Come to Mui Wo, where these bikes are everywhere and increasing in number every month as new consignments arrive from the mainland.
As the arresting police rightly pointed out, they are driven without registration and they are dangerous as they are motorised, very heavy and impossible to stop quickly.
In Mui Wo they are driven at speed down the emergency vehicular access roads which are closed to traffic, and also on narrow, winding paths where anyone would be badly injured should they step into the path of one.
Even worse, tricycles with passenger seats on the back are also modified - no chance of these stopping should you be in their way.
Please would the sharp-eyed Sham Shui Po police give their Mui Wo colleagues some hints on how to spot these modified vehicles?
They should also give advice on which laws the drivers are contravening, in order that we may see the removal of this danger from our area.
L. Charleston, Lantau
Propaganda blitz scary and startling
A visitor of mine in town recently was intrigued by all the anti-Falun Gong material plastered on every pillar and spare roof space of the Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry pier.
I couldn't provide her with a proper explanation except to say that not too long ago it was the Falun Gong that displayed its material on those pillars, showing photos of its members being tortured and killed on the mainland.
Is the display of material we are seeing now, the handiwork of pro-communist forces? Are they retaliating for the years when the Falun Gong-inspired posters proliferated not just at the Star Ferry pier but also, as I recall, at the Tung Chung bus terminal?
The posters, which indicate they're sponsored by a youth organisation, also denounce Taiwan, which they accuse of being in league with the Falun Gong.
Since the buildings on the pier are government property, one wonders if this propaganda blitz is a sign of Hong Kong doing Beijing's bidding.
This area is traversed daily by countless tourists.
Would it not make more sense for the Hong Kong Tourism Board to have local artists decorate those pillars to make the area attractive and welcoming, instead of startling and scary for visitors, as well as for local residents?
Renata Lopez, Wan Chai