Letters to the Editor, June 4, 2013

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 June, 2013, 1:58am

Very proud of collective memories

I was born and bred in Hong Kong and, like most people living all over the world, I have great affection for my home, its people and culture.

I do not see it as wrong to defend our culture, history and heritage and, as Hong Kong was governed as a British colony, that would inevitably include those built and nurtured under colonial rule.

I do not suffer from "psychological imbalance" and do not feel "powerless when faced with the mainland's economic growth" ("Speakers deride HK 'nativism'", May 30).

Quite the contrary, I am proud of China's economic growth. I take great offence at these comments. The memories of my growing up in Hong Kong, which was a life under British rule, were not fantasies.

Should those members and speakers of the Hong Kong Development Forum wish to ponder the reasons behind the rising concerns of having Hong Kong's autonomy eroded, perhaps they would like to turn the pages in the same edition of the South China Morning Post and read the story ("The silent suffering of mothers"); or pick up any other edition of the paper and read about how hundreds were killed in storms or earthquakes on the mainland due to shoddy building standards, about people who were jailed without trial and the antics of corrupt provincial officials.

Perhaps if they have bothered to read some of these articles, they will have an understanding of our fear of maybe one day being "powerless" to enjoy life as we knew it; or as we know it now.

Kelly Lam, Central


Support for campaign to save rhinos

It's time for practitioners of Chinese medicine to stop using rhino horn in their concoctions, for when the usage stops, the killing stops, too.

The belief that rhino horn has any medical benefits is ludicrous, imbibing our own hair and fingernails would work just as well. After all, the chief component of both is keratin.

The people who persist in perpetuating this trade are laughing all the way to the bank with the lucrative profits they are making out of the general public's ignorance. Julia Murray ("Safari saviour", May 19) sets a wonderful example to children of all ages in her efforts to promote awareness of the rhino's plight. She is showing us that age is no barrier in the fight for conservation.

Those who believe blindly in the rhino horn's curative abilities need a wake-up call, they need to listen and learn, for if they persist in their foolishness the rhino will become extinct and Julia's generation and those afterwards will lose the opportunity of seeing this magnificent animal for themselves.

Julia's JuMu Rhino Fund deserves our full support. She is an inspiration to all of us and proof that just one person, with commitment, really can make a difference.

Joan Miyaoka, Sha Tin


Trivialising what is an emotive issue

I must take issue with the headline ("Dolphins 'too stupid for suicide'", May 31).

The headline is patently untrue.

Dr Nimal Fernando makes a reasonable assertion as a veterinary surgeon dealing with these animals on a daily basis that the process of killing oneself is beyond the mental capacity of a dolphin.

While I am a veterinarian, I am not an expert in this field but English is my first language and the headline is very misleading. At no point has Dr Fernando asserted that dolphins are "stupid" and this type of sensationalist, tabloid style reporting is disappointing in the extreme.

This trivialises an emotive issue.

Dr David M. J. Craig, Sha Tin


Decision by HSBC is helping rivals

I have now become collateral damage in the developing saga of what must be HSBC's lowest moment.

I am in Italy on holiday and have just been advised by HSBC that there are no (yes, zero) ATM machines in this country that will accept the new-chip ATM cards.

They advised me to go to HSBC's office here and ask for emergency funds. This is as unbelievable as it is true.

Standard Chartered bosses must be rubbing their hands together. The best marketing money they never spent.

David Edwards, Sai Kung


Cyclists pose threat on Stubbs Road

The letters by Josephine Bersee ('Stubbs Road blocked by tour buses", May 22) and Philippe Espinasse ("Bus menace risks getting out of control", May 25), highlighted some of the problems facing motorists using Stubbs Road.

As a car driver using the road daily, I have learned to live with it and I also appreciate that the tour buses do bring in a lot of tourists, which helps that sector and the Hong Kong economy. But steps should be taken by the appropriate authorities (Hong Kong Tourism Board, the police and the district council) to direct the traffic to improve the flow.

The traffic holdup can be as long as 20 minutes. Stubbs Road is a passageway to several nearby hospitals, including Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, The Matilda International Hospital, Canossa Hospital and Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital. I can't imagine how anxious it will be if a doctor or ambulance is delayed because of the traffic hold-up.

Stubbs Road is a beautiful road surrounded by trees and views and is one of the favourite routes for cyclists. There lies the potential danger of accident between the cars and the bicycles if one is not familiar with the road condition.

Most of the time, the cyclists form a single line on their way up the road. But at times, they are several abreast and chatting away as if they are at a social event or a coaching session. It requires patience and driving skills to negotiate the bends and to pass them, bearing in mind that there may be an oncoming vehicle.

On their way down the windy road, they are travelling at a rather high speed, perhaps 40km/h to 50km/h or more.

There is no way the vehicles behind can pass the cyclist. I am always put on alert if I see one coming down and pray that there is no head-on collision.

I urge cyclists to be more aware of road safety when using public roads.

I believe that the lack of proper tracks for the cyclists forces them to take to the public roads.

It is time that our government did something positively for this somewhat neglected sport.

K. W. Chan, Happy Valley


Watsons should take green initiative

Hong Kong's shoreline and countryside are littered with waste, much of it plastic.

It is sickening to walk across beaches and illegal dumping grounds littered with tonnes of plastic waste.

One type of refuse sticks out because there is simply so much of it - the plastic water bottle. Surely something can be done about this - if for instance a small recycling fee was charged at point of purchase, this would encourage people to recycle the bottles with the manufacturer or sales agents.

Recycling centres could be set up and bottles weighed. This would ensure that professional recyclers gleaned every last bit of it off beaches and parks. I would also like to single out a highly visible form of bottled water waste - the green plastic caps of Watsons Water bottles. You could argue, and I am sure Watsons will, that this is some sort of cup - though why you would need it for a single serving bottle, I cannot fathom.

Perhaps Watsons will consider abandoning this wasteful and environmentally unfriendly type of packaging.

To encourage them to do so, I am taking photos of these bottle caps when I find them and intend to share them with the public and Watsons executives, and I encourage other members of the public to do the same.

In the meantime, how about taking the lead Watsons Water (a Hutchison Whampoa company) and seizing that "market leadership" you tout on your website - abandon the green caps and go green by starting a recycling programme for your bottles? Surely a company that profits from Hong Kong should show care that its end products do not ruin it.

Catherine LaJeunesse, Sai Kung


Children who are crying out for tough love

I have read articles complaining about children and the fact that nowadays many are not being raised to become responsible adults.

One survey found that some parents discouraged their children from doing housework and felt they should concentrate on their studies.

It also found that some sons and daughters could not even dress themselves or do their homework on their own.

This is a serious problem in our society, with children being over-dependent on parents and not taking responsibility.

If they cannot learn to look after themselves and do things in the family home, such as their share of housework, this will adversely affect their lives when they grow up.

I can understand the motivation of overprotective mothers and fathers, but for their children's long-term good, they must teach them to accept their responsibilities and help them become more independent.

Gloria Lau Lim-chi, Tsuen Wan


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