Letters to the Editor, June 03, 2015
New bridges can help open up Lantau
Lam Chiu-ying makes some good points in his letter ("Call for flats in country parks not feasible", May 18) in reply to my letter ("Let's look at unused land in housing issue", May 8).
Of course it makes sense to build where there is established infrastructure. Unfortunately, other factors have to be borne in mind particularly the acquisition and clearance of the land.
At Tin Shui Wai, this was not a problem but other things were wrong in the development of Tin Shui Wai. He mentions Sea Ranch and that is another not dissimilar story.
What I am saying is that the huge expanse of land in the so-called country park in south Lantau is a virtually barren area with negligible private land and no established villages. But your correspondent deliberately avoids mention of Discovery Bay with its 450-seat ferries and other comparisons, like Sydney Harbour and ship-like ferries to the north shore.
I would like to revive an idea raised by Sir Gordon Wu Ying-sheung to build bridges from Green Island to Kau Yi Chau, Sunshine Island, Hei Ling Chau and thence to Lantau.
This would open up Lantau to all manner of ideas and opportunities, including access to the south island park. Your readers may think this idea is another rose garden but it would be for Hong Kong and its people and the future.
We have seen how easy it was to build a tunnel to Container Terminal 9, so we know it can be done.
Why not do this as it would capture the imagination and give us a vision?
David Akers-Jones, Yau Ma Tei
Extra seats will add to congestion
The Transport Advisory Committee has supported a plan for the government to study increasing the seating capacity of minibuses in Hong Kong.
However, I think making a decision to allow more seats to be fitted to our public light buses could lead to problems on our roads.
Take Mong Kok, for example, where there are so many red minibuses.
I can understand the argument, from the minibus operators, that having more seats means accommodating more passengers. But most of these vehicles wait until they are full before setting off on their trip.
If they have more seats, they will need to park for a longer period.
This could lead to increased congestion on our roads, especially in crowded areas.
Also, it would be wasteful on those routes which are not the most popular and are even now seldom fully utilised.
Rather than launching a survey to look into having more seats, it is better to enhance monitoring of illegal parking on our roads and to curb the practice of minibuses waiting for long periods in congested areas until they are full.
Perhaps there also has to be a review of minibus routes to decide if a more efficient allocation of vehicles in different routes is needed.
Stephen Yip Chak-sang,Tseung Kwan O
Mobile ban in classroom is necessary
I refer to the letter by Tang Wingkar ("Students need smartphone self-control", May 29).
Your correspondent referred to some schools and teachers not allowing pupils to bring in smartphones to the campus or the classroom.
I agree with such a policy. Youngsters, for the most part, use these devices for entertainment. They download social communication applications on their phones, such as WhatsApp and Facebook.
With such apps, it is easier for them to chat with friends online while in the classroom and this will adversely affect their studies and the overall teaching and learning process in class.
There is the argument that students can use their smartphones for academic purposes. However, the problem with that is that it is difficult for teachers to know whether the pupil is using the phone to study or to talk to friends.
It can be too much of a temptation for young people.
For those students who want to conceal their actions, with new technology, it is very easy to do this. As the teacher approaches you to check you are studying, you can switch swiftly from an entertainment website to the one you are supposed to be looking at as part of your studies.
Where they need to check spelling, traditional dictionaries can still be allowed in class. In general they should avoid using too many electronic devices to help them with their studies.
Desmond Chan Chun-fai,Tseung Kwan O
Tight controls on elderly care homes vital
Care homes for the elderly should be an oasis of calm for their residents, where they can be with people of the same age group and get all the help they need from medical staff and caregivers.
However, recent claims of shows of disrespect and sometimes physical abuse in some of these facilities indicates that this is not always the case.
While many are focusing blame on the homes, other people must take responsibility for incidences of neglect.
The fact is that individuals turn a blind eye to claims of substandard care homes. Some people do not visit elderly relatives often enough so are not even aware that abuse is ongoing.
They need to make frequent visits and ensure the level of care is what is to be expected. The sooner alleged abuse by a caregiver can be reported, the sooner it can be stopped.
There is also room for improvement on the part of the government. In the case of a care home in Tai Po, it had "been inspected 96 times and received 15 warning letters" from the Social Welfare Department over the past five years ("Calls for tighter checks on homes for the elderly", May 28).
There will be times when a home needs more than a slap on the wrist. The department has to tighten how it conducts official inspections.
I hope a concerted effort can be made to improve the quality of elderly homes in Hong Kong.
Emily So, Po Lam
Cleaner energy is worth the extra cost
I would support the government using cleaner energy, such as natural gas and more nuclear power, and relying less on coal consumption.
This can help to reduce air pollution in Hong Kong, with lower levels of carbon emissions.
While developing a new and cleaner combination of energy use is not cheap, it is worth the expenditure. Hongkongers will face higher electricity bills, but again I think it is worth it if, thanks to a better energy consumption policy, we can live in a cleaner environment.
Apart from the government having a concerted strategy, it should also encourage citizens to try and save energy where possible. There are simple things we can all do to protect the environment.
Shirley Wong Ching-lee,Sheung Shui
Trading area would harm environment
I am against the proposal to establish a border sales area for parallel traders.
I believe such a measure, if implemented, would only act as an encouragement to these traders.
If this area was set up, we would see a large influx of these traders. Their numbers would skyrocket.
Areas next to border towns like Yuen Long would likely be earmarked as locations.
Some of them are green areas so there would also be environmental destruction.
Having a border sales area will generate a lot of money, but who will be the beneficiaries?
It will increase the anger many people already feel towards these traders.
These areas are home for many residents and they do not want to see their home lives disrupted.
Timothy Siu Tin-hang, Ma On Shan