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Letters to the Editor, November 23, 2013

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 November, 2013, 4:49am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 November, 2013, 7:22am

Public opinion being hijacked in HKTV saga

One can increasingly smell a (political) rat in the saga of Hong Kong Television Network's (HKTV) application for a free-to-air licence, through the series of ham-fisted moves instituted during and after the process. It seems as much like a preloaded attempt to discredit Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and his administration if the application fails, as a business exercise in the industry.

We have Tony Harding's letter ("No need for HKTV to hire 500 staff before licences were awarded", November 14) which nearly says it all - HKTV was simply trying to press-gang the government into granting it such a licence.

Then we have Executive Council member Bernard Chan saying the rules of the game shouldn't have been changed mid-course, from there being no upper limit to the number of licences that can be awarded, to there being such a limit. This seems like a deliberate misreading of the rule by as seasoned a businessman as Mr Chan. Surely he knows that this rule does not mean the authority issuing the licence has to grant as many licences as there are applicants.

Then we have the Exco convenor Lam Woon-kwong, in a TV interview, refusing to withdraw his previous remark that Exco's selection process should be reviewed to avoid it being at odds with the "public's will".

Surely Mr Lam knows that Exco's decisions, more often than not, have had to disagree with the public's will, which is the reason for going to Exco in the first place.

And from where has he gauged the public's will is to grant HKTV a licence? Not from the orchestrated sit-ins by a few thousand HKTV employees and sympathisers, one hopes. There's been too much such hijacking of public opinion.

Peter Lok, Chai Wan


No obligation to fulfil Wong's wishful plans

I could not agree more with Tony Harding's letter ("No Need for HKTV to hire 500 staff before licences were awarded", November 14) and Robert Chua's article ("Prime-time flop", November 14).

It is entirely your problem if you bought a brand new Aston Martin before you had a valid driving licence and then you are banned from driving and you blame the police for this law.

Nobody asked HKTV chairman Ricky Wong Wai-kay to hire so many staff and spend so much on producing some "to-be-seen" programmes when no one had even promised him anything. It was brought about solely by his wishful thinking of being granted a licence.

Carol Choi, Tai Tam


HK must stay positive even amid protest

The rejection of HKTV's licence bid has fired up a lot of people in Hong Kong.

I think this attracted even more public attention than previous controversies such as attempts to have compulsory national education in schools.

The crowds protesting against the government grew and this showed how ridiculous the Exco decision was. I was glad to see so much solidarity among Hong Kong citizens over this issue, forming a united front to defend what they saw as their rights.

The government did not seem to be listening to the people. It considered a number of factors, but then rejected the HKTV bid for reasons which have still not been made clear. It seems to be working in tandem with the central government.

I would rather have an administration which set up a dialogue with its citizens and showed it cared about what we thought. But it seems Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying does not feel the same way as most Hongkongers.

Many people looking back with feelings of nostalgia for the old Hong Kong feel pessimistic about the future. However, if we take this negative approach, nothing will get better.

We should not turn a blind eye to what is unfair, but we should try and remain positive.

Susie Cheung Shuk-yi, Kwai Chung


Mayor tries to 'reset' ethical standards

Apparently, Toronto's scandal-ridden mayor Rob Ford believes that if he just holds out long enough, everything will somehow end up OK [despite being stripped of his meaningful powers].

Either that, or he's attempting to establish a brand new ethical/moral standard in his tiny corner of the political universe, one in which it's actually acceptable - perhaps even courageous - for an elected politician to behave in a manner that's, at least up till this point, 100 per cent unacceptable for any elected official.

Then again, maybe he'll even succeed, judging from the rather bizarre support he has had from some people because of his tax-saving proposals.

Frank G. Sterle, Jr, White Rock, British Columbia, Canada


Restore sense of balance in success quest

I refer to the article by Anjali Hazari ("Parents' definition of success is stressing out their children", November 14).

She pointed out that the most common cause of stress among students is the unrealistic expectations parents have of a child's abilities and potential.

I agree with Ms Hazari that children will try their best to succeed.

And I also think that how parents define success will affect the development of their sons and daughters.

I believe you can define success by looking at what you have done and achieved rather than trying to compare yourself with other people.

If parents' only definition of success is that you have to be the best at what you are doing, this will only cause stress for their children.

I accept that a certain amount of stress can be good and push people to give a better performance. However, too much can have adverse side- effects.

Certainly being urged when you are young that you must be the best can prove to be counterproductive.

This can lead to some students becoming depressed and their academic work will suffer.

How well you do can often depend on your attitude to the task in hand. I have heard that the key to success is to be optimistic.

Teachers and parents should praise young people when it is clear they have tried their best, even if they are not top of the class.

Parents in Hong Kong need to re-examine their notion of success and look at it in a more realistic light. It is important to strike the right balance.

Peggy Cheng Pui-ki, Tuen Mun


Acting to solve scourge of ethnic bias

Many Hong Kong citizens who belong to ethnic minority groups do not get fair education or employment opportunities.

It saddens me when I think that they are sometimes made to feel so unwelcome.

I want to see Hong Kong become a genuinely international city, offering equal opportunities to people from different backgrounds.

It is not right to think that people from different races can be pigeonholed into particular jobs, such as construction. But I think that with some ethnic minorities, this seems to be the case and it limits their opportunities to improve their prospects and standard of living so that they often face difficult lives.

I am sure there are some young people from ethnic minority groups who would be good at acting, however.

I would like to see initiatives from the show business and entertainment industry to recruit some of these people who have such ambitions and give them a chance to realise their dream.

Besides, drama series and films which showed Hong Kong Chinese interacting with people from ethnic minorities would send the right message to audiences.

This could be a form of education and could lead to a more harmonious society with greater acceptance of people of different races.

I would also like to see more actors in Hong Kong from Europe, America and other English-speaking countries.

I certainly hope we will see good-quality shows from stations granted new licences and that they will aim for an international feel with the recruitment of more non-Chinese actors.

Of course, this is an initiative that could be extended to other sectors in the economy.

M. L. Fong, Wong Tai Sin


Architect seeks room with a historical view

I read with great interest that the former public works department [and other department] headquarters, Murray Building, has been purchased for conversion to a hotel, as I was the architect who designed the building.

I worked in Hong Kong from 1956 to 1969, during which time I was architect for a number of other projects, including co- architect for City Hall, Beaconsfield House, the Police Training School at Aberdeen and the redevelopment of Kai Tak airport.

From such information, your readers will have deduced that I am now an old man, actually 86, but still fit enough to have revisited Hong Kong last year to attend the 50th anniversary of City Hall.

It is doubtful that I will make the 60th anniversary, but I still hope to be around to see Murray Building as a new hotel.

Ron Phillips, Eastbourne, East Sussex, England


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I had the good fortune of meeting Mr. Phillips when he made a presentation on the City Hall project to the HK Institute of Architects. Mr. Phillips was certainly in the right place - Hong Kong - at the right time for an incredibly interesting career. Best wishes to you, Mr. Phillips, and I hope we both make it to the 60th anniversary celebrations.


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