Letters to the Editor, August 18, 2013

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 August, 2013, 2:46am

Modern soccer stars bypass Hong Kong

I wish to relay my frustration over the English Premier League clubs' disrespect of the Hong Kong fans by keeping their top stars away from the pitch on a regular basis over the past decade. In the old days, visiting teams did start their top stars.

I still remember how my father was awed by the magical skills of Sir Stanley Matthews when Blackpool slammed 10 goals past the Hong Kong representatives back in 1958.

In 1969 Borussia Mönchengladbach thrilled the sold out Hong Kong Government Stadium crowd with the dazzling skills of Günter Netzer and the jaw dropping speed of Berti Vogts. It was the first time I had witnessed world-class football.

In 1970, Santos of Brazil played four matches here. Pele played in all of them, including the fourth match, for which admission was free for local students, at the Hong Kong Football Club stadium.

In the mid-1980s, Manchester United featured Mark Hughes. Tottenham Hotspur started Glenn Hoddle and Osvaldo Ardiles. In the 1990s, AC Milan and Sampdoria unleashed their stars in Roberto Baggio and Ruud Gullit respectively. All these stars really treated the Hong Kong fans to the skills that made them world class footballers.

Fast forward a few years. At the height of his stardom, David Beckham was absent in Manchester United's visit. Fernando Torres played less than 15 minutes as Chelsea striker. Tottenham's Luka Modric did not get on the field until the 82nd minute.

Last month, the world's hottest transfer target, Gareth Bale, came but he didn't end up playing. Robin van Persie played in the final 10 minutes and did not manage a shot on goal. Wayne Rooney didn't even come.

To me, Manchester United without Rooney and van Persie, and Tottenham without Bale, represents an inferior product.

The purpose of their Asian tour is marketing to enhance their global exposure. I think they need us more than we need them.

The organisers in Hong Kong should demand respect and guarantees from clubs that they will feature their top stars. The late Henry Fok Ying-tung did it with Santos 43 years ago.

Tony Yuen, Mid-Levels


Tung Chung commercial zone has merit

I agree with those who have suggested turning part of Lantau into a commercial zone.

Tung Chung is close to the airport and therefore perfect for arriving passengers.

It will be more convenient than taking transport to urban areas like Tsim Sha Tsui or Causeway Bay. The second favourable condition is that there is plenty of land in Tung Chung for commercial zone development.

Tung Chung has only been in existence since 1994. Areas such as Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay have been established for more than a century.

Therefore Tung Chung has more space for commercial development compared with the other places.

The Planning Department started a public consultation on the expansion of Tung Chung in July, 2012.

I believe that developing Tung Chung into a commercial zone is definitely feasible.

Franklin Lam, Sha Tin


Plan B needed before HK bleeds to death

First, we have a foul-mouthed woman primary school teacher who makes me shudder to think what is being taught in our primary, secondary and tertiary institutions.

Second, we have the issue surrounding land owned by relatives of Secretary for Development Paul Chan Mo-po. The land was bought 19 years ago by Mr Chan's family, long before the government's plan to develop the area in the northeast New Territories. Provided he declared his interest to the chief executive, there is no conflict of interest.

Yet the opposition and the media continue to fault, hound and humiliate him in an effort to get him to resign only because he is a supporter of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. I believe the press has also been biased in its reporting of this issue.

All these well-orchestrated actions are aimed at debilitating the Leung administration by eliminating his trusted and able lieutenants. If these go on, I think the central government should have a Plan B, that is, to groom cadres to take over before Hong Kong bleeds to death.

Lastly, I would like to say to Mr Chan and other similarly dedicated officials who are bent on working for the good of Hong Kong: please don't feel frustrated or discouraged and carry on with your good work.

Joseph Cheng, Mid-Levels


Focus on 'two systems', not 'one country'

In the usual course of their police work officers have to address matters at the sharp end of society.

In these situations people often become emotional and stressed, and may swear provocatively. Although not condoned, it is quite normal that anger is verbalised in this way. That Hong Kong's junior police officers find this distressing and intolerable shows that our police force is losing its once-admired resilience and professionalism. By their reaction one would think that these junior officers were primary school teachers.

But it is a primary school teacher at the centre of this sorry episode.

However, she did not have her pupils with her when she shouted abuse at the police officers: she was simply acting as a citizen who became extremely upset about overt aggression by the Youth Care Association in its confrontation with the passive Falun Gong protesters.

That our chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, should see fit to involve himself in this minor incident is truly bizarre ("CY pledges probe on teacher's police tirade", August 12).

It appears obvious that his intention it to pressure the education minister to take punitive action against this award-winning teacher. This is dangerous politicking, because one can easily imagine that any official action against this teacher by the education authorities will trigger massive street protests by teachers and citizens in her support.

Our chief executive should not be fuelling divisions in our society. He should be upholding "two systems" rather than placing full precedence on "one country".

Falun Gong practitioners and critics of the police have a right to express their views in Hong Kong, and this right needs to be upheld.

P. C. Law, Quarry Bay


Full fares at interchange a rip-off scheme

With great fanfare KMB opened a new bus interchange in Tuen Mun.

Last Sunday I took the 52X bus from Gold Coast to the bus interchange and then the 61X bus to Wong Tai Sin.

Expecting to pay the fare difference at the interchange, I was greatly surprised to find that KMB actually charged the full fare for both bus journeys.

Upon asking the company, I was told the interchange service is only offered on some bus routes. This raises the question as to why KMB routes all its bus services through the interchange even though it does not offer the conventional interchange service.

It appears that the so-called "bus interchange" scheme is a rip-off, designed to get the unsuspecting travelling public to pay more for their bus rides. Would anyone from KMB or the Transport Department care to comment?

Chris Lee, Tuen Mun