Letters to the Editor, April 4, 2014

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 April, 2014, 4:43am
UPDATED : Friday, 04 April, 2014, 4:43am

Rendition agreement poses risks

It is possible Hong Kong's former director of public prosecutions Grenville Cross' long absorption in prosecutions may blind him to civil and political rights ("HK's lack of progress on mainland rendition agreement impeding justice", March 26).

He also seems to be totally unaware of the different political and judicial affiliations of Macau with the mainland.

While it may be possible to work out agreements with Macau, there is the high likelihood that anyone returned to Macau could be easily transported to the mainland for any alleged crime without too much fuss.

The issue is not only about the death penalty; foreign governments can refuse to send anyone back if the "offence" is trumped up, as we know many are. Could Zhuang Liehong ("Wukan protest leader fled to US fearing for safety", March 26) be protected by Hong Kong if rendition arrangements could be agreed? Would the mainland suffer such an indignity from its own satellite, Hong Kong?

The mantra quoted, "that no agreement is better than a bad one", protects us in Hong Kong from the peculiar political legalities of the mainland, despite Mr Cross' previous employer's willingness to concede to the mainland on the right of abode issue.

Tom Mulvey, Wan Chai


Make health a priority, not live poultry

I am in favour of banning live poultry imports from the mainland. There is not enough scrutiny of chickens imported from over the border; it puts Hongkongers at greater risk if there is an outbreak of bird flu.

When a chicken brought from the mainland is found to be infected with the bird flu virus, there's usually a mass cull - of both imported and local poultry. It angers chicken traders here, especially during busy times, such as Lunar New Year, when they expect to sell a lot of birds; this is why a mainland ban is the best option.

Some people oppose such an idea because they have always bought live chickens. Yet we must ask ourselves if the tradition is worth maintaining.

If it poses a threat to people's health, then it's clearly time to change our eating habits; meat of chilled or frozen chicken can replace that of live chickens.

We should make protecting people's health a priority.

Carmen Wong Siu-kwan, Sha Tin


All wrong for Cepa to trade on our culture

The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (Cepa) has been in operation for a number of years.

It is time for a review of this economic agreement.

Originally, its aim was to promote economic growth by enhancing trade between Hong Kong and the mainland, which would improve the quality of life of people on both sides of the border. But it has not fulfilled these goals.

The greater free trade has led to more mainland corporations establishing branches here.

This has forced many of Hong Kong's small- and medium-sized enterprises to withdraw from some sectors.

These SMEs contributed to the social and economic culture that makes Hong Kong unique. Yes, development is important, but it must be sustainable development so that it includes preserving our city's unique qualities for future generations.

The protection of our local culture should be regarded as a priority despite the importance of economic growth.

Cyrus Ng Kai-cheung, Kwai Chung


EU's actions border on coup d'état

I refer to the letter by Vincent Piket, head of the European Union Office to Hong Kong ("EU seeks negotiated and peaceful outcome to crisis in Crimea", March 24), in response to my letter ("Unelected EU leaders' attack on referendum in Crimea hypocritical", March 20).

He ignored my main point and concentrated his response on the legitimacy of the Crimean referendum. My main intention was to remark on the sanctimony of the EU, given that it gerrymandered the Lisbon Treaty by dismissing the views of 225 million people in 10countries.

Mr Piket did not address this serious charge, but chose to go on about how the EU rests on a foundation of benevolent democracy; I struggle to reconcile this claim with the facts.

How on earth did six countries' agreements on coal, steel, nuclear power and trade morph into a pan-European quasi-nation of 28 states? There was neither consultation nor consent for any of this. I perceive neither benevolence nor democracy: it seems like a coup d'état, far more subtle than Russian President Vladimir Putin's recent foray, but still a coup.

The EU has subsumed huge portions of Europe through deception, bribery and political conspiracy.

Your correspondent seeks to strengthen his point by highlighting the role of "28 democratically elected heads of state". Well, there are, indeed, 28states in the EU, but not all of them have democratically elected leaders; in 2011 the Greek and Italian prime ministers were toppled and replaced with EU puppets as they threatened to restore their national currencies.

The EU shows a callous determination to expand, control and impose socialism by stealth.

The will of millions of people to trade and travel on a friendly basis, but to keep their national identities and governments, was totally ignored. As a result of the EU's endless craving for power, its corruption and its overbearing incompetence, countries, such as Greece and Spain, have been ruined.

James Walker, Jardine's Lookout


We must start to recycle as a daily habit

Hong Kong's government needs to build waste treatment facilities in every district in Hong Kong.

The huge volumes of leftover food each day create serious problems.

If we have facilities in all our districts, which can treat and recycle this waste, it will help to raise public awareness about the importance of recycling in the city.

Introducing conveniently located bins, where people can deposit unwanted food, will help residents develop the habit of using them. But, for the moment, there are not enough facilities to deal with food waste.

Our city's recycling sector is still very small. But if it is able to expand - and, therefore, reduce operating costs and become more productive - this will boost Hong Kong's economy.

Joyce Yeung, Ma On Shan


One-child idea poses problem for everyone

Some correspondents have pointed out the positive aspects of a trend in Hong Kong that has seen couples deciding to have only one child.

I agree that, in such a family, all the attention and resources can be focused on the single child, but I think there is also a downside to this.

Parents with only one child can be overprotective, which can lead to social problems; in particular, it means we have a lot of spoilt children. Some of them at primary school do not even know how to tie their own shoelaces.

Because of "helicopter parents" hovering around their children all the time, these youngsters grow up unable to deal with the challenges all of us must face in life; they rely on their mothers and fathers to do everything for them. If the one-child trend goes on, these problems will only get worse.

There are financial implications, too. A single child, once grown up, may have difficulty looking after two elderly parents without the help of a brother or sister.

It is a tradition in Chinese society that our children will provide for us in our old age, especially if the elderly parents have limited means.

For a single child it is difficult to bear this financial burden, such as increased medical fees, without any sibling help.

These young adults - and their ageing parents - could face some very difficult times in the future.

Emily So, Tseung Kwan O


Big hailstones a clear sign of things to come

I hope the huge hailstones that fell on Hong Kong during Sunday's stormy weather have increased public awareness regarding severe weather.

What happened is, I believe, a symptom of climate change; I hope that more of us will now recognise the importance of trying to protect the planet.

I am also grateful that the Hong Kong Observatory has extended its website forecasts from seven to nine days, so that we have even more advanced warning of bad weather.

Sheri Ong, Sai Kung


Patten's words fail to master art of flattery

I was lost for words when I read former governor Chris Patten's comments while he was visiting the city ("Patten 'flattered' by nostalgic people who miss colonial rule", March 22).

This is tantamount to slapping Hong Kong people in the face - implying they enjoyed being governed by foreign masters. I think this was a very insulting comment to make.

Simon Yau, Kowloon City