Letters to the Editor, June 6, 2013
Door still open for anti-Beijing parties
I am grateful to Anson Chan Fang On-sang for clearing the air in her letter ("Not opposed to nomination committee", May 29), which was a reply to my letter ("Nomination process not negotiable", May 20).
Before that, I was worried by the reference in her article ("The key step", May 8) to the first step to "genuine universal suffrage", as if following the Basic Law to have a nomination committee for the 2017 election of the chief executive is fake universal suffrage.
I was also worried by her reference to changes "to the composition of functional constituencies" as being essential in 2016 "to pave the way for establishment of the future nominating committee that will nominate candidates for election of the chief executive in 2017", as if obstacles were being placed for the formation of a nomination committee.
As to whether "screening of candidates, to ensure their acceptability to the central government, would be totally at odds with both the letter and the spirit of Article 45", I am afraid that is how many other pressure groups see the nomination of the candidates by the nomination committee.
Qiao Xiaoyang , chairman of the Law Committee of the National People's Congress, only said it was not the right way to talk about the nomination process.
In time I am sure it will be used rightly to screen out the "Hong Kong Chen Shui-bians", of which there are several lurking in the wings. Xiao did say the door of welcome is open to anyone who does not defy the central government, even if he belongs to anti-Beijing political parties.
Peter Lok, Chai Wan
Sheringham let down young fans at Sevens
I was at the entire weekend of the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens last month and as always it was excellent.
However, the rudeness of Teddy Sheringham appalled me. On Saturday, he refused to acknowledge fans who had paid to see him and other football veterans in the Masters tournament.
He ignored requests for photographs and autographs and would not even walk around the ground, trudging across the pitch to avoid everyone. I sat with lifelong Manchester United fans and even they were appalled by his behaviour.
His performance on the pitch was lacklustre and well below that of any other "masters" attending, with perhaps the exception of Darren Anderton.
I urge the sponsors of these individuals never to waste good money again on players with such bad attitudes.
There were many impressionable young children there who were being set a very bad example, and many old guys like me, who were left with a bitter taste in the mouth by his actions in the stadium, let alone his behaviour in the bars.
By extreme contrast, Peter Beardsley was the finest example of real star quality, shaking every hand, posing for every camera, talking to all who wanted his attention and smiling like a true professional.
I would also praise Andy Goram and the Rangers old boys who posed with children in Celtic shirts - true star quality.
Many of the rising stars showed equal maturity and gave out endless autographs, pictures, souvenirs and kits to so many children. Top marks go to Jack Grealish of Aston Villa. Not only was he the best player of the whole tournament, but a magnificent example of how to conduct himself on and off the pitch.
A special mention must go to the whole Manchester City team who "adopted" one of the special needs children and had him as their mascot at every game and every picture and gave him one of every kit they had. The most touching thing was when the Chinese groundsmen made him leave the pitch area, the Man City coach fetched him back to sit on the players' bench. What a great weekend.
Paul Snaith, Hung Hom
Anger over tycoons does make sense
I concur with Bernard Chan's article ("How much do our tycoons care about Hong Kong?" May 31).
We respect our tycoons. Their rags-to-riches stories serve as our role model in Hong Kong.
We also admire their vision in seizing the opportunities before others. Although I believe their best estate to their children is their genes rather than their fortunes, they are within their rights to leave their wealth to their children, as is typical of the Asian mindset.
I also appreciate their philanthropy, and I trust that is also well understood by society in general. But why do we see a resentment towards the rich brewing in society?
The reason is simple - they were pushing things too far. Consider the sale of a basement flat or the misrepresentation of a ground-floor flat as being on the fifth floor.
People save all their lives to get a flat, and yet as a buyer, they are still very much at the mercy of the developers, which may be without scruples.
I am not debating whether their actions are legal or not (they must be legal as they get advice from the best lawyers), but whether they are reasonable.
There is an old Chinese saying - when you are rich, you become a moral role model. Our rich have failed badly in this respect.
Instead of going into philanthropy, can our tycoons make the world better by less negative actions?
We do not envy your riches, we just cannot stand you amassing your riches through unscrupulous business actions.
Dennis Li, Mid-Levels
Yao Ming right to condemn shark finning
Some rich people in society like to flaunt their wealth by serving shark's fin dishes to dinner guests.
However, it is time for all of us to finally recognise that the practice of shark finning is inhumane.
This has been acknowledged in other parts of the world.
For example, the US state of Hawaii banned the sale, distribution or possession of shark fins in 2011.
Also, former NBA player Yao Ming has campaigned against the consumption of shark's fin dishes in China, which is inspiring.
The examples set by Hawaii and Yao should be followed by governments around the world, including China, where shark's fin dishes have been seen as part of Chinese tradition and, as I said, a way of displaying your wealth. However, this attitude is selfish.
Widespread finning has taken a terrible toll on shark populations in our oceans.
People have to forget their own selfish desire to show off and recognise the need to save these species of shark that are facing extinction.
Darren Fung, Sau Mau Ping
Lovely beaches were covered with rubbish
It was heartbreaking to see the beautiful beaches at Tai Long Wan, Sai Kung, completely trashed by rubbish last weekend.
Admittedly there were severe rainstorms and a lot of debris must have washed in from the mainland, but, even so, the enormity of what it would take to clean up the beach took one's breath away.
Only the Leisure and Cultural Services Department would be able to come in with a bulldozer to scoop it all up and then dispose of it.
There were black plastic bags filled with some of the rubbish, but they were abandoned at the tide line and the contents were washed out to sea again. Could there be better management by the department to have a "Clean the beaches" team? And if there is such a team already, then it needs to be better monitored.
Also sad was the fact that when I spoke to mostly young people, they were surprised and needed to look around to even realise the mess they were standing in.
They did agree it was a mess. These beaches are an invaluable treasure for Hong Kong's overcrowded city and overstressed people. They deserve better. It is a tragedy that the enjoyment of such stunning scenery should be marred by so much pollution.
Traute Shaw, Mong Kok
HK must not lose top-class infrastructure
I read that this year Hong Kong has lost its status as the world's most competitive economy, according to the latest report by the International Institute for Management Development ("Hong Kong no longer top-ranked economy", May 31).
In the overall ranking, it has dropped to third from the top spot.
One of the measurements covers infrastructure.
Although the fall is not so great in this area, nevertheless, the Hong Kong administration should take note of it.
Singapore has launched its Intelligent Nation 2015 programme and committed to reach one gigabit per second high-speed broadband connection to most business premises and households.
Likewise, Japan has launched its i-Japan Strategy 2015.
Taiwan has just announced its iTaiwan Government Indoor Public Area Free Wi-fi Access operating throughout Taiwan, and this not only offers a service to Taiwanese but also to overseas visitors.
The administration has to maintain Hong Kong's outstanding quality infrastructure and help equip citizens and businesses with the best information and communications technology capabilities. The value of this level of competence is priceless.
York Mok, Kwun Tong