• Fri
  • Oct 24, 2014
  • Updated: 4:30pm
CommentLetters

Letters to the Editor, March 9, 2014

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 March, 2014, 4:02am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 March, 2014, 4:02am
 

Police must catch reckless Lantau drivers

This is an urgent request, nay a plea, for the police in South Lantau, especially those based in Mui Wo, to come out of their offices and do their jobs - that is, enforce the driving laws on Lantau.

In recent years an increasing number of people have moved to Lantau.

Many have insisted on bringing their cars. And some of these people have brought their bad urban driving habits, including driving at speeds well over the legal limits, overtaking on curves and even routinely running red lights. There has already been a fatality caused by speeding and in another accident eight cows were killed. It is only a matter of time before more people are killed.

During the past year, where there have been roadworks between the roundabout and the post office, vans routinely run the red light there, often two vehicles at a time, apparently at the drivers' whim, safe in the knowledge that police are nowhere to be seen. Several times I have seen these vehicles speeding directly towards terrified schoolchildren, biking from the other direction, who had been shown the green light.

Meanwhile, Mui Wo's emergency access roads are increasingly being driven on illegally. Worse still, some idiot drivers have even been seen speeding on these restricted rural lanes meant for bikers or pedestrians. In fact, several weeks ago, a young schoolgirl was almost hit by a speeding car on an emergency access road.

This is not merely careless driving, it's criminally negligent driving. So again, where are the police? Where are the speed traps? Where are the tickets for speeding and reckless driving endangering life?

If this seemingly wilful blindness towards dangerous drivers is allowed to continue, it will only be a question of when, not if, another person is killed and this time it may be a child. And if that happens, the responsibility for that tragedy will surely rest not only on the selfish driver involved, but also on the police themselves for being so remarkably lax in enforcing traffic safety laws.

Steven Knipp, Lantau

 

Land entry tax disastrous for HK tourism

I am writing to express my firm opposition to a land entry tax.

First, Hong Kong's tourism industry is heavily dependent on mainland tourists. This tax would decrease the number of mainland tourists and damage Hong Kong's tourism industry and those it employs. The basic salary of tour guides is low and their income unstable. If mainland tourist numbers decrease, their income will be directly affected.

Second, levying the tax would hit our attractiveness. Our industry is competing against other Asian destinations such as Singapore and Japan, and imposing the tax could seriously impact our economy.

Moreover, tensions between the mainland and Hong Kong would be aggravated by such a tax. It would imply discrimination against mainlanders, and tourists might feel they were unwelcome in Hong Kong, which could lead to conflict between Hongkongers and mainlanders.

Instead, the government should invest in better infrastructure to accommodate tourists and crack down on parallel trading. It should strike a balance between protecting its citizens and being fair to mainlanders.

Joyce Chung Nga-lok, Kowloon Tong

 

Li is totally out of touch with the real world

Li Ka-shing tells Hongkongers to stop complaining about mainland visitors as they contribute to the economy, but fails to offer any solutions ("Li Ka-shing downbeat over Hong Kong's future", March 1).

Like most tycoons and politicians, Li is living in his ivory tower and is totally out of touch with reality.

Li no doubt benefits more than most from the tourist spending, but doesn't have to put up with the daily annoyances such as queuing at banks and shops or fighting to get on a train or bus, and I doubt he ever has to walk Hong Kong's crowded streets.

Another problem is the recent increase in vehicles from the mainland in Hong Kong and the lack of parking spaces for residents. I suggest Li spends a week living on a public housing estate in Fanling and trying to get to work on Hong Kong Island or in Kowloon.

He could also use some of his vast wealth and influence to alleviate our problems, such as building a shopping hub at the border or lobbying the central government to improve its product quality control and lower its tax on luxury goods, thus boosting domestic local consumption.

Cecilia Li, Fanling

 

Voters must be given a real choice

I refer to the report ("Little hope of consensus on reform: Elsie Leung", February 17).

It appears that the establishment wants a high degree of control over the candidates for the next chief executive. If the system only offers a Hobson's choice then, for voters, universal suffrage will be meaningless. We can then only expect frustration, an embarrassingly low turnout and many spoiled ballots.

Elsie Leung Oi-sie should realise that to reach a consensus it takes two to tango.

I. M. Wright, Happy Valley

 

MTR leads the way in tackling pollution

Smog has once again made the headlines recently, notoriously casting a shadow over the mainland's image. Living in Hong Kong now, I am spared the debilitating pollution.

By comparing Hong Kong's relatively clean environment with the mainland's dirty air and having pondered over the reason behind the gap, I believe that the large population on the mainland is key. Ineffective and underdeveloped public transport networks are another problem which needs fixing.

The mainland's population is far larger than Hong Kong's and there are far more cars. Consequently more exhaust fumes are pumped into the air.

We can do little about the population, at least not overnight. But expanding mass transit systems is feasible. The MTR, efficient and accessible, has become a mainstream form of transport.

The earlier the mainland develops mass transit networks, the sooner smog will be tackled.

I have also noticed Hongkongers' conduct helps keep the environment clean. Most smokers stop at a rubbish bin and stub their butts out in the right place.

Wang Yuke, Tai Wai

 

Pass bylaw to ban bicycles on trains

I refer to Doug Miller's letter ("Bicycles on MTR trains unacceptable", March 3).

I think the MTR Corporation should prohibit passengers from bringing bicycles on to carriages by introducing a new bylaw. If passengers do not abide by the new regulation then MTR staff can make them pay a fine.

This woud mean fewer people bringing bikes on to carriages.

Bringing bicycles on board MTR trains can cause accidents and inconvenience other passengers.

The MTR Corp could set aside a new carriage for bicycles and their riders to avoid accidents and conflict.

It is unacceptable to bring bicycles on to other carriages, but as I say, this problem can be solved quite simply.

Agnes Tsoi, Tseung Kwan O

Share

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive
 
 

 

5

This article is now closed to comments

impala
@Agnes Tsoi
'Pass bylaw to ban bicycles on trains'

There already is a rule on this, and it specifically allows passengers to bring bicycles on the first (front) and last (back) carriages of an MTR train only, and provided they take off the front wheel insofar possible. Also, MTR personnel can deny these passengers access to the train if the train is too full, for example during rush hour, in which case they will have to wait for a next, less busy, train.

If you are so concerned about the grave accidents that await you by somebody carrying a bicycle on the MTR, then simply don't ride the train in the first or last carriage. How many injuries have bicycles caused on the MTR exactly? Zero to my knowledge. You are chasing imaginary fears. Discuss with your therapist at your next session please.

There are a hundred things I can think of that people carry on the MTR (strollers, suitcases, children, pets, umbrellas, backpacks, etc) that could cause theoretically accidents or inconvenience to whiners like yourself. Shall we ban all of those things too? It is PUBLIC transport, so it may be used by people who have different preferences than you do. If you can't handle that, I would suggest you take a taxi.
DinGao
Removing the front wheel only exposes other passengers to the danger of being injured by the front forks. The Byelaw needs to be reviewed.
impala
A bicycle front fork standing on the floor is a lot less dangerous than, say, an umbrella.

The main reason front wheels have to be removed, is to avoid bicycles spontaneously moving around in a carriage in the case of an emergency stop. That is where the real danger to injury of other passengers lies. And note that this is different from eg prams, which have a brake.
impala
@ Joyce Chung Nga-lok
'Land entry tax disastrous for HK tourism'

Thank you for confirming how effective this tax would be. Everything you mention sounds absolutely great to me. If we could halve the number of tourists, we could all begin to enjoy our own city again and see a degree of normalcy restored in our retail businesses. Let's implement this entry levy tomorrow if not yesterday.
horacejeffry
@Joyce. 1) land tax for all incl. hk people so there is no discrimination 2) most smugglers are hk people not mainland 3) if you want to go to our competitors Japan or Singapore you pay airport tax,, besides that you would not go there for your daily shopping/smuggling 4) J and S are far more expensive for luxury goods even after tax refund 5) I know many mainlanders who also get fed up with their brothers and sisters blocking the immigration lines every day just to buy shampoo etc. in HK while they have to be here for business 6) Many mainlanders and other foreigners come to HK to whitewash their illegal money HKMA is failing in their job to control it as does the rest of the world by not classifying HK as a "terrorist friendly finance center" and putting HK on the blacklist 7) if president Xi Jin Ping is serious about his anti corruption drive he should check all bank accounts of mainlanders and mainland companies in HK plus have a 100 % check on all passengers arriving either by land, sea or air from HK for luxury goods and cash as they are by law not allowed to bring this in without reporting it and where necessary paying duty. In fact HK is just a Haven for big Pirates to do their illegal banking and shopping
 
 
 
 
 

Login

SCMP.com Account

or