Letters to the Editor, May 25, 2013
Greed culture undermining spirit of giving
I refer to the report ("China Red Cross donations in doubt after new figures show discrepancies", May 20).
It indicated that funds collected by the Red Cross Society of China to help with relief efforts following the Sichuan earthquake could not be accounted for.
There was a public outcry over claims of missing donations. The Ministry of Civil Affairs later issued a "supplementary statement" to say funds had not disappeared.
However, some people just won't buy such claims any more. They were angry with the ministry and said online they would never again donate to the charity as an attempt was being made to cover up the truth.
Given that so many people lost their homes after the quake, they are in dire need of help and it is a pity that this latest incident holds people back from giving, because they do not know where their money will end up.
Those who take money which is supposed to help the victims of the quake are immoral. Whoever has taken money in this way brings shame on China. They are the kind of people who are turning our beloved motherland into a country filled with crime, corruption and injustice.
This demoralises citizens and they lose faith in charities and in the government.
They are crying out for change, and if the central government does not heed their pleas then I fear for the future stability of society.
Joey Wong, Tsuen Wan
Verdict leaves transsexuals in legal limbo
I welcome the Court of Final Appeal's judgment on W v Registrar of Marriages.
It appears that Legco will finally be compelled to clarify the legal status of post-operative transsexuals.
However, there remains a dire need for the status of a person undergoing a gender transition process - especially someone going through a "real life experience" - to be legally clarified.
A "real life experience," as the judgment notes, refers to an individual with a gender identity disorder having to live "in the preferred gender for about two years while having hormones … administered". Only after this is the person medically eligible for surgery.
However, the law does not allow this person to amend the gender registered on his or her identity documents. Therefore, while they live in the preferred gender they must hold identity documents showing the opposite gender.
The current remedy is that the therapist treating the individual will, in their capacity as a Hospital Authority medical officer, issue a letter explaining the individual's situation, which is carried at all times.
The difficulty is that the letter has no clear legal bearing and this can cause complications. These can range from extreme cases concerning whether he or she commits a criminal offence when entering a public toilet, to how that person should be addressed on the envelope of a bank statement. It poses a problem for students when applying for a place in halls of residence.
Many of the issues can be resolved amicably by negotiations. But this has to be done on a case-by-case basis and causes the person even more psychological distress. It is also confusing for the public.
In some jurisdictions, for example Australia, you can amend the gender shown on your passport by submitting a medical certificate saying you have a gender identity disorder. While I am not suggesting that Hong Kong should necessarily follow this option, these individuals are in a state of legal limbo and this is a problem that needs to be rectified.
K. Shang, Maastricht, the Netherlands
So, do infertile couples hurt idea of family?
Edward Choi ("Ruling on transsexual raises issues about family and marriage", May 20) appears to disapprove of marriage if it cannot result in procreation.
Following his reasoning to its logical conclusion, he presumably also disapproves of marriage between two members of the opposite sex, one or both of whom happen to know that they are infertile due to age or health. According to Mr Choi, such a marriage would "weaken the concept of family".
Perhaps he would care to confirm or clarify his stance.
Richard McGeough, Lamma
HK football heritage has tartan hue
Your story about ex-Scottish international footballer Willie Henderson, who played in Hong Kong in the 1970s ("Football veteran a dad on a mission", May 19) brought back fond memories of Scottish players in the early years of professional football here.
In 1970, Ian Petrie, a Scottish expatriate who founded Hong Kong Rangers, brought three young players from Scotland to the city.
Derek Currie, Walter Gerrard and Jackie Trainer became the first batch of European footballers to play professionally here.
More Scottish footballers followed, notably Tommy Hutchison, Gordon McQueen and Jimmy Liddell. Winger Hutchison, who had the dubious distinction of scoring goals for both sides in the 1981 FA Cup final, turned out for Bulova from 1982 to 1983.
He won the hearts of local fans with his surging runs down the left side.
Central defender McQueen, who came out here from Manchester United, had a spell with local powerhouse Seiko in 1985. Like Henderson, both Hutchison and McQueen played for Scotland.
Liddell, a goalkeeper, turned out for Rangers, Blake Garden and Eastern in the 1970s and made a big impression here.
K. Y. Tsui, Lai Chi Kok
Hard to make a case for Cathay limits
I would like to inquire, through these columns, why Cathay Pacific is so niggardly with checked baggage allowances on its premium classes.
Both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic allow up to three bags of 32kg each or two bags of 23kg each for their business and premium economy classes respectively.
Cathay offers a measly 30 kg or 25 kg maximum combined weight for the same classes.
Considering that the three airlines' fares are very similar, I wonder why Cathay would want to inconvenience its passengers in this way.
I would very much appreciate an answer from the Cathay Pacific management on this issue.
Bina Nihalani, Mid-Levels
Bus menace risks getting out of control
I echo Josephine Bersee's concerns ("Stubbs Road blocked by tour buses", May 22) about buses blocking the passing place in upper Stubbs Road.
The situation has become particularly bad of late, with numerous buses at any given time waiting in line on the road itself to offload their passengers so that they can stand by the cliff side, and take pictures at the vantage point.
Unfortunately, this creates significant blockages, on occasion as far up as Wan Chai Gap Road playground, with traffic stuck solid for a long time as tour buses wait to secure a parking spot. So much for the passing place being a pick-up and drop-off place only.
A small cottage industry has now even taken root, with photographers offering to print pictures in their cars as the tourists are waiting.
This is not only annoying for people driving down upper Stubbs Road and residents alike, but also potentially dangerous, as some understandably irate drivers attempt to overtake the long queue by driving on the wrong side of the road, right where it sharply bends towards No 47.
Pedestrians also have no choice but to walk on the road itself, as the footpath gets taken over by the eager visitors.
I also agree with Ms Bersee that the reappearance of the Falun Gong and anti-Falun Gong banners is an eyesore that should be dealt with.
It's time the relevant government departments intervened.
Philippe Espinasse, Mid-Levels
Society should stop scourge of prostitution
I refer to the report about a crackdown by mainland police on prostitution ("Sex workers 'increasingly at risk of police abuse'", May 15).
Reading the report it saddened me that some mothers have resorted to prostitution to pay for the basic necessities of their own children.
This is a sign of serious failings in a society if some mothers have to sell themselves to men who are flush with wealth and have no regard for morally correct conduct.
It should be fundamental to any society that we take care of our mothers.
Before thinking of your own needs you must first ensure that your mother is taken care of and is content.
If people adhered to this principle we would have a more stable society.
On a general note, for the sake of humanity and if we are to progress spiritually, prostitution, which is a massive global business, should be stopped.
People should realise that every wrong action brings a painful reaction. We should all recognise the need to respect all women and treat them with dignity. They should not be treated like prostitutes.
Rishi Teckchandani, Mid-Levels