Letters to the Editor, October 2, 2013
Give CY the opportunity to do his job
I am amazed by how many inept politicians there are out there who simply wait for any government official or Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to speak in public and then counter their arguments with the sole purpose of getting their names in the media.
It is obvious that Hong Kong does not have enough land.
In the past, developing areas of the New Territories for housing and land reclamation have been successful. But any efforts by the government to introduce similar policies are now met with blanket opposition by some politicians and this makes it difficult for the administration to move forward.
They keep criticising and yet do not appear to have any productive proposals about how to ease the plight of so many Hongkongers who must inhabit tiny living spaces.
Singapore is able to move forward, offering improved conditions for its citizens and importing world-class professionals such as doctors.
It is able to expand Changi airport and reclaim land for future generations.
This is in stark contrast to the present state of affairs in Hong Kong, with some politicians behaving like unruly children.
We now have a chief executive with the vision and determination to do the right thing for Hong Kong.
I urge C.Y. to keep up the good work and recognise that the silent majority is behind him and his team.
S. Yam, North Point
Tycoon has got it wrong about country parks
I refer to the report ("Park development backed as option to ease unit shortfall", September 27).
I think it is irresponsible of property developer Henry Cheng Kar-shun to say there are not too many visitors in some country parks and we should see if they can be developed. I often go to country parks to breathe clean air, relax and admire the scenery. They are there for all Hong Kong people to enjoy, whether they are wealthy or poor.
If parts of these parks are destroyed, it will be a loss for all citizens. Also, if homes are built there, who will live in them? Many of them are remote with no infrastructure.
Poor people cannot afford cars so they won't live there. The residential developments built in the fringe areas of the parks will be the preserve of the rich.
In response to Henry Cheng, there were more than 13 million visitors to our country parks last year.
Far fewer people use Hong Kong Golf Club's Fanling course. We should be thinking of developing that land rather than focusing on our country parks.
In addition to the land zoned under the small-house policy, the administration could allow multi-storey village houses to be built to provide more housing for other Hong Kong people.
The city's housing problems are not easy to solve; however, we should ensure the protection of our country parks.
Solomon Lam Chun-yin, Tsuen Wan
South Lantau idea worth looking at
Again, the vocal minority has shown its usual ability to ignore facts when apparently talking for the common person against the "tycoon-led government".
Former Hong Kong Observatory director Lam Chiu-ying tries to frighten us with the prospect of having to drink salt water, if a possible plan to allow limited building in the country parks goes ahead.
He and his small number of supporters conveniently ignore the fact that the excellent housing estate of Parkview is built in the catchment area of at least two reservoirs.
These reservoirs do not seem to suffer any loss of water.
In fact, if you check right now, you will see they are overflowing.
Of course, the water level may get lower during the dry season, but then there is no water anyway, and that cannot be blamed on the presence of the estate.
The people in this estate are far more likely to take part in the healthy pursuits of walking, especially with their children, than others in more urban estates.
For a senior citizen, such as myself, the nearby car park in the Parkview estate provides the rare ability to enjoy a walk in a country park.
We should give the suggestion by David Akers-Jones ("Build a 'parkland city' in Lantau South: Akers-Jones", September 20) some serious consideration.
David Jones, Shouson Hill
Enlargement of landfills is essential
While the debate on expansion of landfills continues, Hongkongers are dumping mountains of rubbish into the three landfills every day.
Because of this, they are quickly nearing capacity.
Waste disposal has become a worrying problem and a solution needs to be found as soon as possible. There is a pressing need for Hong Kong to have an efficient waste management policy.
Although expansion of our landfills does not offer a long-term solution to this problem, it is a necessary measure.
Even though these near-saturated sites will all reach their capacity in the coming decade, it is impossible for us to substantially cut the volume of waste generated over such a short period of time.
Landfill expansion is not an ideal solution but it is an inevitable stepping stone before longer-term waste reduction programmes and recycling are up and running.
It will be important for the government to minimise the impact of expanded landfills on nearby neighbourhoods and the general environment.
Officials will have to introduce a variety of measures, with trucks which transport rubbish to these three sites being regulated.
Hygiene conditions can be improved by ensuring trucks that spill material are banned.
Those who fail to observe the hygiene regulations should face penalties which will act as a deterrent. The relevant department should also closely monitor levels of odour and air pollutants in nearby residential areas and it should be made easy for people living there to check that data.
Even if the administration goes ahead with expansion of our landfills, we must not lose sight of the long-term objective - waste reduction.
Its success hinges on all citizens making a determined effort to cut volumes of waste generated. This city is our home and we all have a role to play.
We have a collective responsibility to manage waste properly and so we all need to work together, especially since we are proud to proclaim that Hong Kong is a world-class city.
Barry Law, Tsing Yi
New schools proposal drain on resources
I would not support the Hong Kong government building schools in Shenzhen for mainlanders' children who were born in Hong Kong.
Such a construction programme over the border will cost a great deal of money and it will be paid for by Hong Kong taxpayers. But the children's parents are not Hong Kong identity card holders and therefore do not pay taxes here.
People who support this proposal say it will allow these children to experience Hong Kong's style of education.
However, I think there are probably already some good-quality schools north of the border.
Such a large building programme will put pressure on the government's finances and officials need to think very carefully about the financial implications.
Rachel Lai Wai-sze, Sau Mau Ping