Letters to the Editor, June 14, 2014

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 June, 2014, 4:25am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 June, 2014, 5:52am

Lawmakers right to show discontent

I fail to see the basis on which the chief executive wrote to the Legislative Council president, reminding him to "take lawmakers' unruly behaviour seriously" ("Leung Chun-ying writes to Legco president over unruly sessions", June 1).

Leung's criticism in the letter targets those legislators who had shouted insults and thrown objects at government officials in Legco meetings.

Leung has missed an important fact: radical legislative councillors like Wong Yuk-man and "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung have the requisite political mandate they need to express their discontent with the administration.

Hurling remarks (however abusive) against government officials is a means of expression.

It must not be forgotten that both Wong and Long Hair were re-elected in the 2012 election, which means that their mandate from voters was renewed, a mandate to adopt rather radical means of expression in the Legco chamber.

By contrast, the chief executive was selected by only the 1,200-strong Election Committee. He has no public mandate to govern the city.

It is therefore particularly important that his government and cabinet should come under scrutiny by the legislature. This is a common feature in political systems.

That scrutiny by these elected lawmakers has added importance because of the functional constituencies in Legco.

The lawmakers representing these functional seats are pro-Beijing and pro-business. Many are elected unopposed.

They will always try to ensure the easy passage of legislation, including the annual budget bill, introduced by the government. What the radical lawmakers [from geographical constituencies] are left to do is condemn officials if they think they are doing something wrong.

If C.Y. Leung wants an example of an orderly legislature, he can look to the National People's Congress, which rubber-stamps anything introduced by the ruling Chinese Communist Party. Can you imagine a US president writing a letter to the speaker of the House urging him to deal with the behaviour of certain members of Congress? If Leung blames the radical lawmakers for the poor performance of his administration, he is entirely mistaken. He has only himself to blame.

If I were him, I would rather work harder at the way I am governing. I would try to win back people's trust and confidence in me. Also, I would take the initiative and try to mend the damaged relationship between the administration and legislature.

Michael Ko, Tsing Yi


Election process must be workable

There continues to be heated debate in Hong Kong about the 2017 election for chief executive and how it should be organised.

There are differing opinions about how candidates should be selected, with some wanting a public nomination without interference from the central government.

Beijing has said it wants someone who loves Hong Kong and loves China and who will not damage relations between the SAR and Beijing, in other words, who will not resist the central government.

Different political groups try varying methods to promote their proposals, such as Occupy Central. I think some of these organisations are too extreme.

It would not be feasible for Hong Kong to make a decision on the 2017 election unilaterally, without consultation with, and agreement from, Beijing.

We have to think about the long-term future of the city. And we must come up with an election process that is realistic and workable.

Ngun Ka-wing, Tsuen Wan


Time for HK people to show true colours

Beijing's white paper on Hong Kong seems to have more than a touch of red about it, indicating that the "one country" is increasingly controlling the "second system" ("Beijing emphasises its total control over Hong Kong in white paper", June 11).

The efforts of the Hong Kong people on July 1, 2003, helped to bleach away the blue on the Article 23 ordinance [blue paper]. Hong Kong people need to ensure they show their true colours.

Jennifer Eagleton, Tai Po


Police need to remove unruly vagrants

I am sorry to write this letter; however, the time has come for the police to take action.

Homeless people have been sleeping in the underground walkways between Queen's Road East and Happy Valley racecourse. I have no problem with homeless people looking for somewhere to sleep; however, this area has become a permanent camp, and the problems associated with it are mounting daily.

On Wednesday morning, as I was making my way to work, I was passing under Wong Nai Chung Gap flyover to get to Queen's Road East.

A homeless man was urinating against a wall that people walk past.

This was at 7.35am and, to put it into context, there were young schoolgirls walking by who were shocked and probably scared at this disgusting act. It is worse when you consider that there are public toilets nearby.

This is not an isolated incident. I have seen numerous fights break out between the people sleeping there and have seen many people use the path as a toilet. Some of them actually sleep naked in full view of passers-by. The smell has become unbearable and it is very common to see women wait for a man to accompany them through this walkway as they feel vulnerable.

The people sleeping there have no respect for anyone else, and the time has come for the police to remove them.

Dermot Cooper, Causeway Bay


Mirrors more effective than cycle helmets

Only too often we hear about another death of a cyclist on our roads, so how can we protect ourselves?

While a cyclist's crash helmet might well save a few lives, I prefer not to wear one and take my chances. But what I would not be without is a mirror. It really makes a big difference, saving far more lives than any helmet.

A mirror fixed to the right-hand side of your handlebars gives you ample warning of any kind of vehicle that might be endangering you, and gives you time to stop or carry out any other manoeuvre that helps keep you safe. People should wear a helmet if they feel the need to do so.

Roy Cuthbert, Kam Tin


Fans must rest eyes during World Cup

Like the rest of the planet, Hong Kong is gripped by World Cup fever as the greatest show on earth is currently under way in Brazil.

Football fans of all ages will be glued to their TVs watching blanket coverage of the beautiful game being played on the world stage.

In Hong Kong, that's going to mean sleepless nights for many people, as Brazil is 11 hours behind Hong Kong, which means most of the matches here will take place at midnight, 3am or 6am.

It is important for these football fans to remember that watching all these games will put a strain on their eyes as they battle to stay awake overnight.

Here are some eye care tips to help prevent straining your eyes over the next month:

  • Don't wear contact lenses over a long period of time, especially when you are watching television, because it causes fatigue to eye muscles and dryness of the eyes;
  • Don't watch TVs, handsets, or a computer monitor in the dark and make sure there is sufficient surround lighting;
  • Take intermittent rests during the match and when there's a break in the action try to look off into the distance to relax eye muscles; and
  • Get as much rest as possible, and if any eye problems persist seek advice from your ophthalmologist.

Dr Jeff Hui Yung-lam, ophthalmologist, Hong Kong Lasik


Pedestrians at risk on roads in mainland

Road safety is a real problem on the mainland because traffic systems are in such disorder. This leads to inconvenience for pedestrians and also to many serious traffic accidents.

Because of a lack of coordination of these traffic systems, pedestrians find they have long waiting times before they are allowed to cross.

Many of them therefore become impatient and cross when they should not. Of course, they then face the risk of being knocked down. Also, in cities and towns, there are not enough pedestrian crossings or footbridges and this adds to the problem for people.

Unlike Hong Kong, roads are longer. People may have to walk a long way to find a safe place to cross. Otherwise, they walk straight across the road and in between moving traffic, again increasing the risk of accidents.

Congestion on roads is made worse by hawkers plying their trade and setting up their stalls on the road.

The authorities have to recognise this is a problem. They have to get illegal hawkers off the roads and have more pedestrian crossings and footbridges. Convenient and safe traffic systems are needed.

Joyce Chung Nga-lok, Kowloon Tong


Send to a friend

To forward this article using your default email client (e.g. Outlook), click here.

Enter multiple addresses separated by commas(,)