Letters to the Editor, December 22, 2013

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 December, 2013, 3:50am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 December, 2013, 3:50am

Stop and search does not cut crime

Over the last couple of weeks several corespondents expressed their full support for the police and their right to stop and search people in Hong Kong at random.

This practice was credited with our relative low crime rate.

I have lived in the city for over three decades. On occasion I have felt offended witnessing some of these searches by police officers and felt it damaged the image of the police.

In response to a previous letter I wrote, some years back, the police stressed the searches were designed to combat illegal immigration, not crime as suggested by David Grant ("Criticism of police reveals a mystery", December 6) and Lee Po-yan ("Frequent police checks make city safer", December 12).

However, a great majority of those stopped are innocent young Chinese men, and the experience cannot build good relations with the police. After all, those searched are put in a very onerous position in full public view. Searches are fairly detailed, with pockets turned inside out in addition to a thorough search of bags and wallets.

As for Lee Po-yan's claim there is no evidence of racial discrimination, a former neighbour of mine, a mild-mannered North African, was stopped at least twice a week.

I think that Hong Kong's low crime rate has more to do with the nature of Chinese culture than stop and search.

The Chinese people here are self-reliant, hard-working and respect the law far more than citizens of many other major cities such as London and New York.

Marian Schneps, Wan Chai


Pedestrian zone increased noise levels

Yau Tsim Mong District Council's decision to reduce the hours of the Mong Kok pedestrian zone to weekends and public holidays is, in my opinion, a good thing.

The most important problem is the noise. People who live near the zone have always been affected by the noise. They could not avoid it and had to face it every day, meaning it inevitably affected their standard of living. The issue of public security is the other key problem. Because of the performances in the zone, it attracts lots of tourists, who in turn attract pickpockets. The large crowds also make it difficult for police to find the culprits. Last but not least, it affects the shops throughout the zone. Performances in front of their premises risk blocking pedestrians from walking in, which affects their business.

Although some may say it has been a feature of Hong Kong, we must also think of people living nearby and, therefore, I agree with what the council did.

Karen Lee Ho-yi, To Kwa Wan


Chickens and pigs forced to live in misery

In an otherwise entertaining article ("Answers on a plate", December 15) Cecilie Gamst Berg makes the comment that the food in China contains "chicken and pork from animals that were happily running around just a few hours ago".

I hope that this was just a throwaway remark intended to be humorous and is not Berg's considered opinion.

I can assure her that the vast majority of chickens and pigs in mainland farms have a most unpleasant life, in cages that preclude turning about, let alone happy gamboling. Being slaughtered is about the best thing that will happen to them in their short and uniformly miserable lives.

It is perhaps worth a reminder that the mainland has no general animal welfare laws relating to animal cruelty, unlike Hong Kong.

David Ollerearnshaw, Kam Tin


HK must embrace electric cars

People are talking about electric cars nowadays. I agree that electric cars can improve the environment.

These vehicles are not propelled by burning fossil fuel, so electric cars do not discharge any carbon dioxide.

People can save the expense of refuelling at petrol stations. Electric vehicles are more environmental as they can help improve air pollution problem in Hong Kong and they can also help drivers save money.

The government should do more to promote the popularity of these cars. It could give financial assistance to drivers who wish to purchase an electric car. And the government can set up more charging stations in car parks, so that drivers can charge their electric cars no matter where they are.

I think electric cars will be another means to help us go more green.

Kathy Au Yeung Chi-Yin, Wong Tai Sin


It's unfair to highlight rape only in India

I was offended by the article ("No place to be a woman", December 17). The headline suggests that other countries are a paradise for women. Is this true?

On October 29, French minister for women's rights, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem [while on a visit to India], said, there were more similarities between France and India, with nearly 200 rapes a day in France and "those who think that rapes can happen only in a particular country are mistaken".

She said that victims in France were reluctant to report the crime. "We, in France, estimate that only one in 10 women comes ahead to report a case."

In India, the media is sensationalising each and every case of gang rape that takes place, whereas in other countries the problem is simply ignored.

Brazil, for example, had a similar incident to the Delhi gang rape in April this year, where an American woman was gang raped and beaten on board public transport while her French boyfriend was hit with a crowbar and forced to watch the attacks. How come your newspaper did not highlight the dangers of being a woman or a tourist in Brazil?

Last year there were around 25,000 rapes in India, compared to over 90,000 rapes in the US. In the UK, on March 12, 2012, The Independent reported that one in 10 women has been raped. Frighteningly, 80 per cent of the victims did not report the crime to the police.

Any incident of rape is extremely shameful.

India has moved in the right direction by sentencing the perpetrators of the brutal Delhi gang rape to death.

However, making it sound as if India is the only country where such incidences occurs is playing with the truth.

Kishore Sambwani, Pok Fu Lam


Can endless ATV repeats be justified?

ATV Home's IFit@TV could have been a good health programme which would have been suitable for people who are keen to exercise to keep fit.

One thing I am sure audiences cannot understand is why the same programme, with the same exercises, has been run and rerun over and over again.

This applies to many other programmes which are broadcast by ATV.

Does this suggest the station wants to keep going on a shoestring budget?

Surely the Communications Authority would not approve of this habit of screening continuous reruns of old programmes?

Peter Wei, Kwun Tong