Letters to the Editor, May 4, 2014

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 May, 2014, 4:15am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 May, 2014, 4:15am

MTR service standards slipping

The MTR is one of the best transport systems in the world. However, I have been disappointed by its service in the past few months.

Last Sunday, I needed to attend a competition at City University so I went to Sha Tin station to take the train to Kowloon Tong.

I got there at around 8.20am and I needed to arrive at City U by 9am. An announcement in the station said the service would be delayed for 10 minutes so I decided to wait. 

No further information was provided until 8.40am when it was announced that the East Rail Line service had been halted.

After the second announcement, passengers started to leave the station. Many were worried and some angry about the disruption to their travel plans. 

I think the MTR Corporation should improve its service. Arrangements for passengers were not good enough. There were no free shuttle buses.

There have been a lot of similar incidents in the past few months. The MTR Corp should check its equipment more often and do what it can to avoid similar incidents happening in the future. When it  increases ticket prices it should  strive to maintain or improve the quality of its service at the same time. 

Angie Chung, Kwai Chung


Ukraine crisis stems from greed

In recent months, violent civil unrest with interventions from the West and Russia have made Ukraine a focal point of world attention. 

The trigger for this upheaval was the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement and its opponents, who wanted to strengthen the country’s relationship with Russia, a situation worsened by greed and conflict of interest. Amid the political struggle between the US and Russia, Ukraine has become a battlefield.  

As the conflict has intensified, the UN, Nato and the EU have called for restraint, especially on the part of Russia.  

However, the situation is clouded by Russia’s strength. It possesses extensive reserves of mineral and energy resources, making it one of the largest producers of natural gas and oil globally. 

Understandably, Russia hopes to maintain influence in Ukraine by perpetuating the current civil upheaval. Such action is  an affront to humanitarianism and pacifism.

The EU and Nato have so far proved ineffectual in dealing with Russia and the US – the provocateurs in the crisis. It is better to promote unity and social cohesion in Ukraine. Although it sounds unachievable, this is one way to alleviate the crisis.

Appeasement could also be undertaken. Raising  awareness among people across the globe towards this situation could, to some extent, make Ukrainians understand that ongoing social unrest is of no benefit to them or the world.

What causes this is greed. If everyone believed that peace should always take priority, would this revolution happen? If Ukraine did not have abundant natural wealth, would countries fight for its sovereignty?

Xi Jinping has emphasised the need for nations to promote political solutions to maintain peace and stability. Besides demonstrating flexibility in diplomacy, it symbolises the role played by China in international affairs as a facilitator to promote negotiations. This is also the ultimate goal that everyone wants to achieve.

Darren Tang, Tai Po


Disheartening to see law openly flouted

The letter by A. Tam (“Colonial flag waving reflects dissatisfaction with government”, April 27) has highlighted the sad state of affairs in Hong Kong.

It is really disheartening to see the law openly flouted while our enforcers in uniform turn a blind eye.

Asian male domestic helpers illegally used as drivers for tycoons can be seen on our streets every day, as A. Tam says, depriving local drivers of jobs.

But why are our legislative councillors, who are supposed to look after workers’ rights, not pushing the authorities for action?

Unionist lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan and his cohorts should spend less time filibustering or fighting to put a June 4 museum into operation and should spare some thought for problems nearer home, such as the case of these drivers.

I think Mr Lee owes the public an explanation as to why he is not doing anything to stop this illegal practice, which is robbing Hong Kong people of jobs, as he supposedly represents workers’ unions.

The director of immigration and the commissioner of police owe the public an explanation.

This also applies to the chief secretary, who should explain why the civil service is not doing its job in this regard. 

Mary Lai, Mong Kok


Harbourfront development must be for all

The aim of the Harbourfront Commission is to work in partnership with the community and the private sector with a view to creating a waterfront of which we, and future generations, can all be proud.

Someone suggested that the needs of  local district residents should be the first priority in any waterfront development in Hong Kong.  However, I oppose such an idea for three reasons.

First, every harbourfront has its own shape and geographic limits.

If it is required to meet the needs of  local residents, it may lose its character and its development potential. This is the case where harbourfronts have wide landing areas that can be used as piers but not for recreation.

Second, harbourfront areas should be for all Hong Kong citizens, not just local residents. Every citizen has the right to visit any of the many waterfront areas in Hong Kong. In addition, the primary users of some harbourfront areas are workers, not residents. 

Third, harbourfront development should focus on sustainability. Effective sustainable development must balance the needs of society with economic and environmental concerns. Only considering the needs of local residents goes against the concept of sustainable development. As such we should also consider the needs of tourists and environmental protection. Only in this way can the development of Hong Kong’s harbour be meaningful and long-lasting.

In short, if harbourfront development in Hong Kong only considers the needs of local  residents as its first priority, it may do more harm than good.

Helen Wong Yan-lam, Kowloon Tong


Increase air monitoring stations

I refer to the letter from Alva Hui Wing-man (“People must learn to fight air pollution”, April 22). 

The government can tackle Hong Kong’s air pollution problem in two ways. First, it should increase the number of roadside air monitoring stations, not just in areas currently monitored but also in new ones. By monitoring air quality, the government can find out which areas have the most serious air pollution and tackle the problem at source.

Second, the government can address the problem through education to ensure that all Hong Kong residents understand the importance of using public transport.

Lisa Chung Lai-yan, Tiu Keng Leng