Letters to the Editor, July 17, 2014

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 July, 2014, 4:45am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 July, 2014, 4:45am

Members of silent majority must vote

I refer to the letter by Ng Hon-wah ("Nobody listens to people stuck in the middle", July 9).

Such people, who are seen as the silent majority, people like me, can and must act. We should vote in elections to ensure extremists like most of those currently in the pan-democrat camp do not occupy seats in district and legislative councils. Some hypocritical pan-democrats think the only way to attract the attention of the press is to be disruptive - just veto and oppose anything the government proposes.

Is the Occupy Central movement the most constructive idea they could come up with? It is also absurd to ask foreign powers to interfere in the internal affairs of Hong Kong. If you are not anti-establishment and do not take part in demonstrations and marches, then you are not "in" and not trendy.

Our chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, has certainly been more effective than his predecessors. C. Y. and his team are doing their best to right the wrongs of past regimes, including problematic legacy issues left by the British. Those of us in the silent majority in Hong Kong are not easily fooled by the antics of the pan-democrats and those who court foreign powers to undermine Hong Kong and China. We need to give nation building a chance.

Like many in Hong Kong, I am against blatant human rights abuses in China, the misuse of land that causes serious environmental problems, rampant corruption and the use of ill-gotten gains that drives up property prices in Hong Kong. I am worried about the overwhelming power of the largest property developers in the city. I support efforts to improve housing, the environment and education and to help small entrepreneurs make a decent living.

As I said, those of us who are neither outright pro-establishment nor outright pro-opposition should vote at the next district and Legislative Council elections and in the 2017 election for chief executive.

Nip Kin-keung, Tai Hang


Revealing Patten's true loyalties

Brian Stuckey states in his letter his endearing support for our former governor Lord Patten ("Britain turns blind eye to white paper", July 11).

How misguided his view is is evidenced by his belief that while Patten was governor, he served the needs of Hong Kong people over and above the aspirations of Westminster. Patten does of course share a common thread with Beijing; he was never elected by the people of Hong Kong and ruled over the fading vestiges of colonial power in the territory. He was given the post to make up for his humiliating election defeat in his constituency in Britain.

Beijing is Hong Kong's ruler, as London once was; cities are subservient to the countries that rule them. Patten has spent his career being loyal and should remember this before he needlessly seeks to stir sentiment.

Mark Peaker, The Peak


Unfounded mistrust of Hongkongers

I refer to Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee's column ("The roots of our rage", July 6).

Her argument that the political divide in Hong Kong "is about whether Hong Kong people are willing to support the national goal of safeguarding sovereignty, security and developmental interest, or insist on going the other way" is an assertion unsupported by facts.

Mrs Ip gives no evidence at all - nor is there any - that allowing Hong Kong people the right to elect the leadership of their choice will in any way threaten the country's sovereignty or security.

Without solid evidence, her argument simply reflects the same paranoia and unfounded mistrust of the people that gave rise to the absurdly draconian national security bill she championed [more than] 10 years ago, which was soundly and rightly rejected by Hongkongers.

Rod Parkes, Tai Po


Why some teens lack work skills

Children who were born in the 1990s are now joining the workplace.

Some prospective employers have complained about their attitude and abilities. The employers say these young people have an irresponsible attitude and lack problem-solving skills.

Some of them may take a couple of days off work without phoning in.

I think this phenomenon is the result of many parents having been overprotective while their children were growing up. They would take care of everything and the children became overdependent.

Hong Kong parents need to learn when to let go and give their children the chance to take care of themselves sometimes. This will help teenagers develop problem-solving skills.

Tina Zheng, Lam Tin


Chinese enjoy Japan despite tensions

The relationship, past and present, between Japan and China is complicated.

There are ongoing disputes over the Diaoyu Islands and the air defence identification zone.

And yet despite these differences, and aggressive protests against Japanese businesses on the mainland in 2012, Chinese tourists still flock to Japan.

Even when there were proposed boycotts of Japanese-made goods, Chinese citizens still purchased cameras and food products from the country. One of the reasons for this is the concern over food scandals in China, such as tainted milk powder.

The two countries do help each other economically. Japan lost a lot of its tourist trade following the Fukushima disaster in 2011. The large influx of Chinese visitors helped maintain economic growth.

However, Chinese tourists will have to pay more attention to their behaviour. They are often considered rude and unruly in a country which is clean and where the people are very disciplined and polite. There are different levels of education between the two countries.

The central government needs to focus on education and ensure its citizens behave correctly when in Japan.

Vanessa Leung, Sha Tin


Beijing not out to conquer and enslave region

Curtis Chin incorrectly compared President Xi Jinping's "New China" with that of "Old Japan" ("Xi's 'Asia for Asians' mantra evokes expansionist Japan", July 14).

China has no plans to conquer Asia, or kill millions of innocent victims from continental Asia and Southeast Asia to the borders of Australia. It has not called any Asian race the "weak man of Asia".

Instead China wants to exert economic and political influence within its immediate sphere, and this is similar to the Monroe Doctrine that the US has pursued in the past in its own backyard.

Fredric Teng, Repulse Bay


No acts of aggression in modern era

I refer to the article by Curtis Chin, former US ambassador to the Asian Development Bank ("Xi's 'Asia for Asians' mantra evokes expansionist Japan", July 14).

His notion is gravely misplaced and his premises at fault and misconceived.

Imperial Japan repeatedly took aggressive military action against China during the Qing dynasty, then resorted to full- scale war with the intention of occupying and colonising China in 1937, under the guise of Asia for Asians.

China has never engaged in acts of aggression against other sovereign states or its neighbours in the modern era.

President Xi Jinping reiterated that China would not export revolution, nor would it interfere with the internal affairs of other sovereign states, including avoiding military action.

Curtis Chin's observations as an everyday American are par for the course, but as an expert adviser and ex-diplomat are absolutely ill-founded.

He should read more about the modern history of China before categorising it with the expansionist policies of imperial Japan.

K. S. Chiu, Discovery Bay


Caged docks in court are inhumane

There were reports in a number of newspapers worldwide, including India, about the jailing, on a drug possession charge, of the youngest son of Mohammed Mursi, leader of the banned Muslim Brotherhood party in Egypt.

I was shocked to see footage on television news of Abdullah Mursi in court nervously pacing back and forth in a specially made soundproof cage.

I have seen similar pictures of docks with bars or glass frontage on reports of cases in Western nations, such as France, the UK, and Australia.

A confined area was used to hold the singers from the band Pussy Riot when they were put on trial in Russia.

I do not see how this can be justified if the defendants pose no security risk or are not at risk of being harmed.

These kinds of caged docks have been condemned by courts in the United States, by the International Criminal Court in The Hague and by the European Court of Human Rights, which has described them as degrading and inhumane.

Putting someone in a cage like this in a dock while they are standing trial amounts to punishing the defendant even though that person has not been pronounced guilty by the court. Some officials argue that these caged docks keep in check the violent behaviour of suspects, and keep them safe from a hostile public.

However, I agree with the European Court's assessment.

Deedayal M. Lulla, Mumbai, India