Letters to the Editor, October 03, 2015
Kindergarten talk got very little publicity
The Education Bureau organised a talk with non-Chinese-speaking parents on the subject of "Quality Kindergarten Education" on September 11 in Tuen Mun.
It came as a surprise to NGOs and parents as very little notice was given.
The bureau e-mailed Hong Kong Unison and asked us to let it know if there were any parents who would like to join the seminar. We urged it to post a notice of the meeting on its website, but it only did so four days before the talk and we then forwarded the information to other non-governmental organisations.
A day before the parents' talk, during a meeting with the Equal Opportunities Commission, fellow NGO workers serving ethnic minorities expressed their exasperation, wondering why they were not informed earlier about the bureau's talk.
They said that it would be difficult at such short notice for interested parents to make childcare arrangements. It appeared that Unison was the only NGO from all the NGOs at that meeting with the commission that had received the e-mail from the bureau.
At the talk on September 11, a bureau official, when asked why there was not more publicity, said, "We asked Unison to promote the talk." We had no knowledge that the bureau expected us to be the sole body disseminating information about the meeting.
We are always happy to meet with bureau representatives, but surely the bureau will concede that, in future, when similar meetings are planned, it is its responsibility to contact all the relevant NGOs well in advance so that they, and parents, can make the necessary arrangements.
The bureau's work should at all times be visible and proactive, especially when it comes to supporting non-Chinese- speaking students.
Phyllis Cheung, executive director, Hong Kong Unison
Tell us about diesel tests done in city
I find it difficult to believe that Volkswagen was the only diesel manufacturer to fake its environmental test results, and am also puzzled why this only involves car engines.
So what of Hong Kong's diesel buses and trucks?
So far, we have had total silence from the Transport Department, Environmental Protection Department and the bus companies about tests undertaken here. Surely, some kind of statement would be appropriate.
R. E. J. Bunker, Lantau
Residents on island must be given help
I refer to the report ("Geopark tourism drive 'neglects needs of villagers'", September 21).
The island of Tung Ping Chau is part of the Hong Kong Geopark and, as such, attracts tourists from all over the world.
However, while the government spares no effort providing them with what they want and enhances our status globally, it is failing to address the needs of indigenous villagers.
They lack a sustainable electricity and fresh water supply and I feel sorry for them.
Hong Kong is an international city and yet these villagers are having to endure third-world conditions. I cannot imagine what it is like living like that.
The must provide the necessary assistance to the residents of Tung Ping Chau.
Amy Leung, Hung Hom
Recalling Pele's magical goal in HK
At the launch of an exhibition in London to mark his 75th birthday, Pele talked about some of his greatest goals ("Costa a lightweight villain, Pele scoffs", September 24).
For me, his most memorable goal has to be one of the three goals he scored for Santos in their 4-2 win over Newcastle United in an exhibition match in Hong Kong on June 4, 1972.
I was one of the lucky 28,000 fans at the rainswept old Government Stadium in So Kon Po to witness Pele's brilliant footwork in a tight spot.
Surrounded by Newcastle defenders in the box, Pele managed to control a cross from the right on his head and to allow the ball to roll down his chest to his feet before putting away a low shot past the Newcastle goalie.
It brought everyone to their feet. The goal was captured on film as I remember shortly afterwards, local theatres put on a full-length feature film on the game.
K. Y. Tsui, Lai Chi Kok
Taxis and Uber can cooperate
I agree with correspondents who say that taxi drivers need to have more competition.
With more competition, they can begin to examine the problems the public has with the services they offer and hopefully try to make the necessary improvements.
For example, they could do a whole lot better when it comes to attitude and communication skills. If they raise their game, they will get more passengers and more income.
I think car-hailing app Uber and taxis can coexist in Hong Kong and cooperate with each other. They can meet different needs.
Also, Uber will never be as extensive as the taxi services, which have a network covering the whole of Hong Kong.
That is why I see them as a perfect match that will offer greater variety for visitors.
Kylie Kwan, Tseung Kwan O
Throwaway culture must be stopped
There needs to be an improvement in Hongkongers' sense of citizenship.
During the Mid-Autumn Festival on Sunday, many people will have spent much of the night in parks viewing the full moon and playing with glow sticks.
Unfortunately, when they went home, many of them will have left these used glow sticks and other rubbish in the park, which is wrong. It is a good time for people to spend time with loved ones, but they should put refuse in bins.
It is the same during National Day or Chinese New Year fireworks displays at the waterfront.
A lot of rubbish is left on the harbourfront after the crowds have dispersed.
Even on public transport, you find some people have left things like used tissues on the seats.
Hong Kong is an international metropolis. We are improving, but we need to do better if we want to maintain a positive global image of Hong Kong.
We must get rid of these bad and wasteful habits and develop a society where citizens start acting more responsibly.
Poon Wing-man, Yau Yat Chuen
Change law to encourage more donors
I refer to the letter by Fong Chung-yin ("Donation of organs should be promoted", September 19).
Many Chinese in Hong Kong believe that it shows a lack of respect for the dead if their organs are harvested for organ transplants. Therefore they are reluctant to sign up on the organ donor register.
I think we could see an increase in the number of donors through legislation.
The government could introduce a law which says that opting out and declining to be on the donor register would reduce your chances of getting a transplant if you needed. Those who were registered would have higher priority in receiving a deceased donor organ if they needed a transplant.
This is what Singapore did when it brought in the Human Organ Transplant Act in 1987.
It has seen an increase in the number of donors since it introduced this priority system.
I think if Hong Kong introduced legislation which included this priority system, we would see an increase in the number of donors.
This is a very important issue that the government must deal with.
Melody Ho, Tseung Kwan O
MTR right to ban bulky Chinese zither
Last month, a photo of a girl being told she could not use the MTR because the Chinese zither she was carrying was too large was shown on social media.
There were a lot of comments online about whether or not such bulky musical instruments should be allowed in carriages, for example, harps, organs and bass drums. When it comes to luggage size regulations, I do not think cumbersome musical instruments should be given exemptions.
I believe they pose a potential risk to those carrying them and to other passengers.
It is quite common, especially during rush hours, to see MTR carriages packed with commuters. It may be difficult for some passengers to board if there is already someone there with a large musical instrument.
I would also be concerned about the safety of someone carrying something so bulky on an escalator.
Also, the MTR Corporation has to consider the issue of liability. If an expensive musical instrument was damaged, might the owner seek damages?
Some people argue that they could buy a special ticket, but that does not solve the safety issue. The public interest must always be put before personal interest.
Finally, the MTR must ensure that it applies its luggage size regulations to all passengers to avoid claims of double standards.
Winnie Cheung, Sha Tin