Letters to the Editor, March 27, 2013
Government indifference to education
The Hong Kong Baptist University community has raised strong objections to the rezoning of the neighbouring former Lee Wai Lee site for residential use.
This matter not only concerns the university but the whole of Hong Kong society. The initiation of the rezoning process has already demonstrated the government's indifference to local education needs.
We must have long-term education plans and recognise the importance of nurturing our youth for the future of Hong Kong. We cannot sacrifice education for mere short-sighted economic gains.
To meet upcoming challenges, we need a government with the foresight to enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong.
Our youth will be the future leaders of Hong Kong and education for youngsters is of the utmost importance.
We inherit the traditions of the May Fourth Movement. In 1919, students and professors demonstrated against the injustice that China suffered in foreign relations.
Today, we need to assert the status of Hong Kong in the world community, to emphasise the significance of education in modernising our society, and to voice our opinions about social justice.
Students, lecturers, professors and staff should speak up now. It is not only their right but also their mission.
Cindy Chu, professor of history, Hong Kong Baptist University
Cut pollution by switching off street lights
I refer to the report ("Light pollution in HK 'worst on the planet'", March 20).
I agree that this is now a serious problem in Hong Kong and we need to lower light pollution levels. A simple way to do this, and it would be a good starting point, would be to ensure that all unnecessary street lighting is switched off. People just do not seem to appreciate that, by simply turning off lights that are not needed, the situation can improve.
I also think that building owners could make a difference by removing the brightly lit adverts on their roofs.
You see many of these adverts on the top of high-rises, but I wonder how many people actually look at them, so they are of little help to the advertisers and exacerbate the pollution levels.
It is also important for citizens to do their bit.
We can all co-operate in our homes by switching off lights that we do not need. The environment can improve if we work together.
Yau Chun-hei, Tseung Kwan O
Very poor show from rude Fiji fans
Fiji were the rightful winners of the Hong Kong Sevens, their playing captivated established fans and newcomers alike.
It is a shame, therefore, that they were let down by the aggressive and boorish behaviour of some of their supporters.
As my nephew was due to play in the mini-rugby showcase on Saturday morning, we arrived well before the opening time of the Hong Kong Stadium.
For day two last year, we sat in Block 131 on the west side. We enjoyed sitting with mini-rugby players of all the teams and their families. The atmosphere remained friendly all day. This reinforced the image of the Sevens as a family event.
Because we had such a good time last year, we headed straight to Block 131 when the stadium doors opened on Saturday.
We were surprised to find on arrival, shortly after 7am, that Fijian fans had cordoned off rows one to eight with fluorescent orange tape.
Since there were no more than 10 people in the cordoned-off area, we asked if we could take a few seats but were refused. We took seats in another row.
In spite of what had happened, we joined the Fijians in cheering on their team in their match against Spain. I was therefore very disconcerted later that morning when my six-year-old niece came back to her seat in tears.
She had wanted to join her friends in the next block and, as she was scared of the crowds moving around the walkway above, she had politely asked a Fiji supporter in row one for permission to pass. She was refused and spoken to so strongly it took 15 minutes for her to recover.
This is not the memory I want my niece to have of her first outing to the Sevens. I appreciate that, for Fiji, winning the Hong Kong Sevens is a serious business. However, their supporters seemed to have taken the game and themselves too seriously, forgetting their manners and common courtesies.
Hogging half the block and making a six-year-old cry on what should have been a fun day was a very poor show indeed.
Helen Cheung, Ho Man Tin
Spectators need code of conduct
I enjoyed another great Sevens, and saw some very positive signs. Hong Kong excelled on the final day, and the corporate boxes were largely full for the entire event.
However, there are two problems that should be addressed.
First, it seems necessary to issue a code of conduct for all ticket holders, because many rugby "fans" do not know how to behave reasonably.
The code should stipulate that it is okay for 10 people to arrive early and reserve seats for one or two others who will arrive a little later but not okay for one or two people to arrive early and reserve seats for another 10. Such reserved seats, if not occupied within a certain time after the start of play - say one hour - must be released.
People who are there only for fun should remember that many spectators are there for the rugby. If you are not interested in a particular match, remember that others, perhaps those just behind you, might be.
If you want to go off for food, a drink, or to use the toilets, try to do so, and return, between games, at half-time or during a stoppage in play.
People with children should ensure they comply with the code of conduct.
Secondly, why don't we have a bigger stadium? This year there were 50,000 applications for 4,000 tickets, next year the situation will be worse.
The Hong Kong Sevens would fill a 60,000-seat stadium, perhaps an even larger one.
A new, large stadium would be paid for by the Hong Kong Sevens alone in just a few years.
A state-of-the-art stadium could attract other major events, bringing tourists to Hong Kong.
There is a big chunk of land sitting idle since the airport moved.
The Hong Kong government has a lot of money that it doesn't know how to use.
Peter Robertson, Sai Kung
So-called equality may hurt society
I refer to your editorial ("China's women need equality", March 9).
What your editorial doesn't say is whether a government should mandate "equality of results", as certain governments in the West do.
When given real equality of opportunity, women can't always compete with men, specifically on jobs requiring physical strength. So, then, governments mandate the lessening of standards so that everyone can pass.
Does the South China Morning Post support the dumbing down of Hong Kong and the mainland to achieve the equality of results, so that we can claim that women "hold up half the sky"?
Is artificially mandated equality real equality?
Jim Robinson, Wan Chai