Letters to the Editor, September 24, 2013
Tough task trying to keep out developers
I refer to the report ("New parks chief enters the fray vowing to be fair", September 11) which reported that former commissioner of police Tang King-shing is the new chief of the Country and Marine Parks Board.
Now that Development Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po so carelessly left the park gates unlocked and ajar by suggesting that the country parks' protected status is not set in stone, park-keeper Tang will need all his years of police experience to keep intruders out. It was no surprise that Heung Yee Kuk chairman Lau Wong-fat and Henderson Land chairman Lee Shau-kee waded in to support Chan's thinking-out-loud. ("Kuk leader backs idea of country park flats", September 11).
These parks are a wonderful asset to Hong Kong, as a counter to the high-density congestion and stress of our city life, and set us well apart from our competitors Singapore and Shanghai. Anyone visiting the New Territories can see what a dire mess has been created there under the stewardship of the kuk and the ingrained greed of the major developers.
Good luck to Mr Tang in keeping these aggressive pecuniary interests at bay. He will need to be vigilant as well as fair.
I. M. Wright, Happy Valley
School should follow car-ban example
I refer to the letter from A. Kwok about Hong Kong International School's Repulse Bay campus ("School car ban brings relief to residents", September 15).
There is similar traffic gridlock at the top end of Braemar Hill Road and especially up Wai Tsui Crescent, where residents and staff of Shue Yan University have for years been denied vehicular access from 2.30 to 3.30pm every school day afternoon. They must envy the relief now enjoyed by residents of Repulse Bay when Hong Kong International School's principal showed social responsibility in banning private delivery and collection of his pupils. I hope Chinese International School's principal will consider similar action. The Wai Tsui Crescent cul-de-sac is the only access to and from the university, and yet over 60 cars every day park on its pavements, up to the end of the road, awaiting the signal to drive down to Braemar Hill Road, and then attempt to turn right up that road, which is already gridlocked down to Cloud View and Tin Hau Temple roads.
This is like a tributary attempting to join and actually flow back up a main river.
I have seen cars two or even three abreast at the end of the crescent, fighting to turn right to get up Braemar Hill Road. But I have never seen any traffic police.
Nigel Bruce, North Point
Cricket Sixes could grow with funding
In his letter ("Sixes did not deserve financial aid", September 17) Michael Jenkins took on two issues: first-class cricket versus the shorter forms of the game, and whether Hong Kong should be a part of either. He lost the series 2-0.
Like him I have played, and now watch, cricket; also like him I prefer the first-class format, particularly test cricket. But has Mr Jenkins been to a first-class county match in England recently, or to a Sheffield Shield match in Australia? Or has he noted the attendance at a test match other than those between the top four or five test teams?
Whether he likes it or not it is the one-day version of the game that brings in the money, that pays to keep the grounds in existence, that pays the top players their salaries.
The "slogfests" are a part of this. They are fun to watch for people with little or no knowledge of the game, and so attract those who initially find first-class matches boring.
Some who are drawn to the shorter form, and begin to understand the laws and subtleties of the game, will move on to appreciate the higher form of the game. Why should Hong Kong not be a part of this?
Certainly the Hong Kong Sixes had small beginnings, but so did the Hong Kong Sevens.
The money is there; unfortunately it's in the wrong hands - see Alvin Sallay's excellent column ("Bureaucrats at sixes and sevens", September 15).
If this event is supported it will grow, attracting players and spectators from China and the rest of Asia, and possibly lead to a new ground that could host a test match (this has already been suggested). Dubai has been host to more than one test match series, so why not Hong Kong?
See you there, Mr Jenkins?
Peter Robertson, Sai Kung
Build Hong Kong schools in Shenzhen
I refer to the report ("Beijing mulls plan for Hong Kong schools in Shenzhen", August 15).
I support our government building schools in Shenzhen, as nowadays we are seeing that the number of students who cross the border to Hong Kong to attend school is increasing. This puts a lot of pressure on the school quotas, especially in North district.
These young people come from the mainland, because they want to learn through Hong Kong's style of education, which is considered to be better than that north of the border.
If these schools can be set up in Shenzhen it will be more convenient for them in terms of travelling and take some of the pressure off North district. I hope the Hong Kong and central governments can reach agreement on this.
Jacky Chow, Tseung Kwan O
All helpers deserve fair treatment
Indonesian domestic helper Kartika Puspitasari told a court in Hong Kong of her horrific experiences at the hands of her employers ("Couple jailed for 'cruel and vicious' treatment of maid", September 19).
Although she was able to escape from this living hell, she clearly suffered a great deal of psychological trauma.
It may be difficult for her to entirely forget how her former employers treated her, given that their behaviour was so inhumane.
Clearly it is difficult to get completely over such physical abuse, which she said included being tied up.
I find it difficult to imagine individuals doing such horrible things to another person.
I think it illustrates the plight of some domestic helpers in Hong Kong.
No employers should treat their maids in an inhumane way.
They work hard and need to be given sufficient time to relax.
People need to realise that if they treat their maids in a fair way, they will work more efficiently, as they feel happier in the household.
I. Ng, Tsuen Wan
Mainland students left feeling isolated
Last Sunday, when I was waiting for the traffic lights to change so I could cross the road, there were two mainland youngsters standing next to me.
One of them wanted to cross, despite the red, do-not-cross sign, but the other stopped her and said: "We should be cultured mainlanders."
When people talk about tensions between Hong Kong and the mainland, both sides have to take some responsibility.
Hongkongers should not keep complaining about the behaviour of mainlanders.
This can lead to blind discrimination, even towards those visitors from north of the border who are well mannered and patient.
Some elements of the Chinese-language press do not help with their reporting, sometimes exaggerating scandals on the mainland and ignoring the good things that happen there. This does influence some citizens here and can radicalise them in their views and make them intolerant.
This sometimes spills over onto university campuses in the city.
Some mainland students in these colleges find it difficult to make friends with local students and this is something they find depressing.
They are doing nothing wrong and yet are made to feel isolated, underestimated and insulted.
It is not right for Hongkongers to use the term locusts when referring to mainland visitors.
After all, we live in a highly developed society and most of us have had a good education, so why do we keep complaining?
Perhaps there is a need for closer self-examination on the part of citizens so they can reconsider their attitudes.
Margaret Wong, Tseung Kwan O
Tokyo the wrong choice for Olympics
I did not support Tokyo being awarded the 2020 summer Olympics.
Japan's prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said the country's contamination crisis at the Fukushima plant was under control, but I am not convinced this is the case. The fact is that, at the plant, more radioactive waste is leaking into the sea.
Given the ongoing problems, I think Tokyo should not be hosting these Games. The Japanese government should be focusing more on the nuclear plant issue rather than spending money on hosting the Games. A radioactive leak is a very serious problem, because of the threat it poses to the environment.
I think many Japanese people share my views and the government should have listened to them.
I felt Istanbul would have been a more suitable choice as the host city.
Christina Wong Yuen-yi , Sha Tin