Letters to the Editor, April 4, 2013
Kai Tak should have aviation museum
Item 86 in the chief executive's policy address dealt with the development of the western tip of the former Kai Tak runway.
It said this site in the Kai Tak Development Area had "excellent potential to be developed into a tourism and entertainment hub" and proposed "an 'edutainment' destination which will reflect Kai Tak's unique aviation, maritime, and transportation history".
The idea is to set up a recreational feature called "Kai Tak Fantasy", but Kai Tak was no fantasy. It was a real and exciting part of Hong Kong and its development. Why not call it the "Kai Tak Experience" or "Kai Tak Discovery"? It should aim to educate the younger generation and the thousands now in our community who never had a chance to develop a collective memory of this vibrant and vital asset.
Kai Tak's aviation and transportation standing has been well documented. However, I'm not sure of any maritime history. Seaplanes and flying boats surely come under the aviation category.
The policy address gave no details of what the exact development of this site will be. Perhaps responsible officials could share their ideas with the public.
Nearly 20 years ago the first planning layout for the Kai Tak runway was produced by the Planning Department.
The Hong Kong Historical Aircraft Association was delighted to see that 1½ hectares had been allocated for an aviation museum. Creating a museum had always been one of the association's prime objectives. The site was near the tip of the runway where the new "fantasy" site is to be located.
The location changed in a later proposal, where an aviation museum and research complex was shown roughly at the western end of where the cruise terminal has now been constructed.
However, as time went by, that design and several more were thrown out, and eventually the aviation museum went completely off the radar, and the concept was changed to make it a museum of transportation. Everything, such as ships, planes, trains and buses, would be included.
We have no idea whether such a museum is still under consideration; inquiries at the Leisure and Culture Services Department reveal nothing.
Once again we would welcome some comment on this from those dealing with this Kai Tak concept, and hope that the plans for a museum have not already disappeared into the realms of fantasy.
Gordon Andreassend, Hong Kong Historical Aircraft Association
Citizens must avoid any confrontation
I believe people in Hong Kong should attempt to maintain a good relationship with mainlanders.
Indeed people from both sides of the border should make every effort get on with each other. Although the parallel trading of milk powder by mainlanders annoyed a lot of Hongkongers, we should avoid angry responses.
However, while ordinary citizens have to attempt to get along, the central government also has to take whatever measures are needed to ensure there is a harmonious relationship between mainland and Hong Kong citizens.
Vianna Li, Tsing Yi
E-bike looks to be safe and roadworthy
I disagree with the policy of the police with regard to the use of electric bicycles in Mui Wo, as outlined by Eddie Wong Kwok-wai, chief superintendent, police public relations branch ("Police cracking down on illegal bikes, tricycles", March 23).
From photographs I have seen, it would appear that the e-bike in question is a safe and roadworthy vehicle - classified as a "lightweight electric bike" under China's laws. We have outdated laws on the use of perfectly safe vehicles that are environmentally superior to petrol-driven varieties. Maybe what is needed is for Transport Department officials to be better educated and thereafter educate our police on how to enforce the law.
In Britain this educational process has already happened and now the country's police forces accepts these electric bikes as being just like conventional bikes, without having to register or take out insurance.
Nigel Lam, Kowloon Tong
Nothing wrong with speaking out
Why is the mainland so afraid and unwilling to hear criticism and contrary opinion?
I believe it is healthy to tell your partner what you think.
Why does doing so automatically make one a dissenter or hater?
Nigel Pearson, Tsuen Wan
Don't delay discussion of 2017 election
There have been heated discussions about the election for the chief executive in 2017 and this debate has lasted for years.
Demonstrations and protests have been launched and more are planned by people who are fighting for real democracy and calling for universal suffrage in the 2017 poll.
However, although we are told citizens will be allowed to vote for their choice of candidate to lead Hong Kong, the details of the electoral process that will be available remain a mystery.
I believe a free and fair electoral process is essential in 2017. This is a highly developed city and Hongkongers must have the right to choose who they want.
I would like to see someone who can ensure the future of the city and who can maintain sustainability.
The idea of a small-circle election must be abandoned.
If that does not happen, then the 2017 election will not be seen as genuine democracy.
A free and fair election could help to defuse some of the anger some Hong Kong people feel about society. It can only help to maintain stability and harmony.
Also, it will enhance the city's reputation.
The fact that there are so many protests is proof that there is a great deal of dissatisfaction with the present state of affairs.
The small-circle election of the past is one of the main reasons for this.
If people are deprived of the right to choose who they think is a suitable candidate for chief executive, many will resort to expressing their dissatisfaction through radical protests.
Therefore, in order to maintain social stability, it is important for the government to begin discussions over the framework for the 2017 election of the chief executive as soon as possible.
Jackie Yung Chak-ki, Tsuen Wan
No coverage of Beach Boys in tent area
I had an excellent time at the Rugby Sevens in the tent area on both Saturday and Sunday.
I am one of the people who cannot afford to buy a ticket, even if it was possible to actually get one, since a majority of the tickets now seem to go to corporations.
However, I listen to RTHK every day and the Sevens organisers stated that the Beach Boys would be playing on Saturday. Great, I thought. On Saturday I was there with my friends at the tent village and I heard the announcement from the stadium about the Beach Boys and heard them starting to play. I looked at the big screen TV and no Beach Boys.
After tracking people down, I finally found out that the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union had not negotiated the rights to show the band.
It would appear that if you were able to get a ticket and spend HK$1,500, or were given corporate tickets, you could see the Beach Boys. However, the organisers who were on RTHK made no mention of the fact that the mini-concert could only be seen by those in the stadium.
So answer me this, HKRFU: with all the money that was made by your organisation at the weekend, why did you not arrange a video feed to the tent village so we could enjoy the Beach Boys too?
Alison Munro, Tung Chung
Fragile rural areas may be damaged
The proposal to develop Tung Chung into a commercial zone and take some tourists away from crowded areas like Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui, is problematic.
There appear to be advantages, such as the fact that Tung Chung is not fully developed and there is space for the construction of large, modern shopping malls.
There are also famous tourist spots nearby, such as Tung Chung Fort, the Big Buddha, and in the town the start of the Ngong Ping 360 cable car. These attractions help draw visitors and there are excellent transport links. It is also convenient for people arriving at the airport.
Nevertheless, further development in Tung Chung also has limitations and potential drawbacks.
Large construction projects there will create pollution problems. Also, if such a commercial zone achieved its objective and many more visitors flocked to the new town, there would be further pollution problems. This could pose a threat to surrounding rural habitats which make up part of Lantau's extensive country park network.
This is not a clear-cut issue; there are grey areas. If a commercial zone is to be developed, the group proposing it must ensure that these environmental problems are dealt with.
William Chan, Sha Tin