Letters to the Editor, May 18, 2014

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 May, 2014, 3:35am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 May, 2014, 3:35am

Incinerator offers cleaner solution

I believe that an incinerator should be built as soon as possible in Hong Kong, as our landfills are nearing capacity and expansion of landfills is never a solution. New technology will allow an incinerator to maximise efficiency, reduce volumes of rubbish and minimise the negative impact on the population.

Building an incinerator requires only a relatively small area of land compared to expansion of landfills. Hong Kong, with its extremely high population density, cannot cope adequately with the increasing amount of waste produced every day without an incinerator in the next few years. If all of our landfills have reached capacity, where can we discard our rubbish? 

Moreover, the negative impact of an incinerator will be much lighter than that from the landfill expansion plan. An incinerator, which requires only a small area, can be located on an island far away from urban areas.

The emission of harmful gases could also be reduced through better incinerator design. Landfills have a direct impact on the environment and cause air pollution problems and bad odours that affect nearby residents.

An incinerator can also serve as a green energy producer, with energy generated during the rubbish burning process recovered and turned into electricity.

I hope that this letter will encourage the public to support the incineration project, as it is the most   suitable way to solve the waste problem of our city. 

Lee Wai-lok, Hung Hom


Digital books encourage reading

I think it is possible to rekindle people’s interest in literature. 

While Hongkongers’ obsession with smartphones and tablets is the main reason  that fewer books are being borrowed from libraries, these devices can also offer benefits.

Tablets can provide an enhanced reading experience, combining electronic text with video clips to help readers understand the content more easily and to raise their interest in literature.

Moreover, e-books are available to download in different languages, which can help people learning foreign languages. Also, a reading device can hold a whole library worth of books, allowing  people to read whenever and wherever they like.

While the growing trend of using lightweight digital reading devices could result in fewer books, it could also serve to increase interest in literature.

Carrie Chan, Tai Wai


MTR’s failing was lack of information

I refer to the letter by Pang Chi-ming (“MTR needs specialist treatment”, May 11) in reply to my letter (“Passengers left with no information”, May 3).

Your correspondent is correct, I do not have an engineering background, but I do have a communication background. Of course commuters understand that delays happen and that the cause is not immediately apparent. His doctor’s analogy is unnecessary and patronising.

My complaints, as I pointed out, were firstly a lack of communication (no explanation was given in English but only in Chinese, which was frustrating to those of us not fluent in Chinese) and secondly incorrect information. The figure the MTR mentioned of an eight minute delay was totally arbitrary and meaningless. If it is so hard to assess the problem, as he says, then why give an inaccurate figure?

With regards to employers’ tolerance, that all depends on the company. My employer requires documentary proof if I am late by even a few minutes. This I requested at Central station but the staff there didn’t even know there was a delay. Even internally there is a total lack of communication.

Cecilia Li, Fanling


Hospital attacks reflect moral decline

It was harrowing to learn of the murderous attacks inflicted on hospital doctors in China for what perpetrators believe to be substandard care. I agree with Lijia Zhang that a decline in (public) morality could be contributing to escalating patient anger and aggression (“Surgery required”, May 7). 

As violence towards doctors occurs with regularity even in countries with free government-funded hospitals, China’s less-than-affordable commercialised care cannot be solely to blame. Australia’s public hospitals require no direct payment for treatment and diagnostics. In spite of this, the recent “Medicine in Australia: Balancing Employment and Life” survey found that three-quarters of doctors had experienced aggression related to their work.

It is appalling that doctors are so frequently subjected to threats from those whom they are charged to help and heal. As an emergency physician, Zhang’s report compels me to be more vigilant than ever about my personal and staff safety, and angry about the time and resources necessarily diverted from other patients. The aggression towards doctors and nurses testifies to the critical devaluation of health care.

In addition to efforts to enhance aggression minimisation and de-escalation, we need to examine and apply preventative corrections to societal factors that contribute to violence in health care in the first place, which encompass increasing self-absorption and self-entitlement. We need to recognise the detrimental effects of aggression on staff well-being, safety, work satisfaction and staff retention. By making medicine a violence-prone vocation, patients could well be driving away ethical and competent doctors, who remain in the majority.

Joseph Ting, clinical senior lecturer, division of anaesthesiology and critical care, University of Queensland Medical School, Brisbane, Australia


Hongkongers must act to ease tension

A mainland child answering the call of nature on a Hong Kong street has sparked controversy recently. Disputes between mainlanders and Hongkongers are on the rise and the government should take measures to deal with the problem.  

While Xinhua’s list of dos and don’ts for mainland tourists is a step towards alleviating the tension, Hongkongers must also adopt a harmonious attitude towards mainland visitors. The government should design brochures about ways for us to get along with mainland tourists to help ease conflict and improve our relationship.

Wong Siu-kwan, Sha Tin


Falling visitor numbers do not help city

Starting from May 1, the number of mainland tourists coming to Hong Kong has decreased slightly. 

The benefits of this are that it will help to ease both the mounting conflict between Hongkongers and mainlanders and the congestion on the city’s streets.  On the other hand, Hong Kong’s economy may be damaged as a result.

In 2013, one third of Hong Kong’s total retail income came from mainlanders. Fewer mainland tourists will mean that the income must be reduced as a result. 

In addition, the underlying problem behind the clashes between Hongkongers and mainlanders will not have been resolved. Unless the real reasons are addressed, the problem will just get worse and worse every day.

Angus Lui, Ma On Shan