Letters to the Editor, October 27, 2015

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 October, 2015, 4:56pm
UPDATED : Monday, 26 October, 2015, 4:56pm

Cooling measures must be maintained

A year after introducing property cooling measures Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said they would be maintained and there would be no exemptions for certain groups of buyers.

He sees these measures as the only way to deal with Hong Kong's housing problem in the long term.

I agree with the chief executive that these cooling measures have to be maintained.

The housing problem in Hong Kong is still serious and flat prices keep increasing. Being able to buy an apartment is the ambition of Hongkongers. The government should do something to deal with this problem.

The cooling measures can stop some people from buying a second flat, which may help a bit to keep the property market stable.

Some may think that these cooling measures are futile as the property developers continue to find new ways to attract customers buying first-hand properties. They may not be as effective as the government would wish, but it cannot just stand by and do nothing. It has to stick with the measures.

However, it needs to keep monitoring these measures to ensure they are effective.

Scrapping them would only make things worse.

The government also has to start thinking of new ideas to improve the housing problems faced by Hong Kong. There is always room for improvement.

Sabina Lam Siu-yin,Yau Yat Chuen

Business tourism is important

There has been a call for more exhibition centres to be built or the present ones expanded.

I think that developing business tourism is important as tourism is one of the four pillars of Hong Kong's economy.

Some Hong Kong people have become opposed to the growth of leisure tourism, in particular mainland visitors, because of the inappropriate behaviour of some of them.

They look at the negative effect this aspect of tourism has had on the city and on their lives.

I think this mindset would change if the business tourism sector was developed further. Business tourists mainly focus on business activities, like a conference at an exhibition centre and will only spend a small part of their time shopping or visiting one of Hong Kong's tourist spots.

They will therefore not add to the overcrowding at these spots and at malls.

Also, business tourism is not seasonal and limited to public holidays.

These visitors can help increase occupancy rates in hotels, because they will also be here during non-peak periods.

Also, these people tend to have quite a large disposable income and will spend it on luxuries like limousines.

This is a kind of tourism that should be developed.

Leung Sze-nga, Kowloon Tong 

Opt-out law will lead to more donors

I refer to the letter by Kwok Tak-ming ("Public will resist opt-out donor scheme", October 22).

The organ donation rate in Hong Kong is rather low when compared with countries around the world, such as Italy, Spain and France. Countries with a higher rate have an opt-out system. Under this scheme, you are considered to have your organs harvested for a transplant unless you opt out.

There has been discussion on this topic in Hong Kong since the late 1990s. I think it is now time to bring in legislation allowing the opt out system to be put in place.

There is clearly a real need for a higher organ donor rate to exist in Hong Kong.

A survey has shown that more than 60 per cent of citizens are willing to have their organs harvested for donations after they die.

In most cases, families refuse to donate their dead relatives' organ not because of Chinese tradition, but they dare not make the decision for their dead relatives without knowing what their wishes were.

If people can make their own wishes clear when they are alive, more families would allow donations to go ahead.

In view of this, the opt-out donor scheme will be the right way to help people make their wishes clear.

As a result, there will be more organ transplant operations and more lives can be saved. It's hard to argue that the whole of society will benefit from this.

Chiu Yik-hei, Sha Tin

We must raise public awareness

I refer to the letter by Polly Lo Ching-in("Against organ donor opt-out rule in Hong Kong", October 20).

I agree that education and having an advanced registration system are the keys to make people in Hong Kong register to be organ donor. However, I think an opt-out organ donation system can also help promote the importance of organ donations in Hong Kong.

Some people feel their bodies should remain intact after they die, so they do not want to have their organs harvested. Such people will have the option under the scheme to opt out.

At the moment people have to opt in, in other words, join the organ donor register.

It is important to make people know about organ donations and understand how important they are.

At the moment people just do not get round to donating their organs. That problem will not exist with an opt-out law.

An opt-out organ donation law can help to raise public awareness about the needs of patients who are waiting for an organ transplant.

Hazel Chan, Ma On Shan

Britain turning a blind eye to abuses

The case of Bao Zhuoxuan, the 16-year old son of prominent human rights lawyer, Wang Yu , is revealing.

While China's President Xi Jinping was welcomed with open arms in Britain last week, the Chinese Communist Party's unremitting crackdown on Christians, rights lawyers and intellectuals has shown little sign of diminishing under his watch.

That Prime Minister David Cameron and his finance minister George Osborne have maintained silence on China's dismal human rights abuses, while pressing for increased trade with Beijing, is hardly encouraging.

If Britain is genuinely concerned about the plight of China's political prisoners, the evidence is hardly convincing.

Mr Bao, who was abducted in Myanmar while attempting to escape China, has committed no crime.

What appears to be a flagrant violation of human rights - the Communist Party's ill-conceived campaign to target family members of Chinese dissidents - can no longer be tolerated.

That Britain is committed to "business as usual" with Beijing, while turning a deaf ear to the plight of Bao Zhuoxuan and his grieving parents, is simply beyond reprehensible.

Brian Stuckey, Denver, Colorado, US

NETs essential part of school system

Contrary to the views of some people, I believe the native English-speaking teacher (NET) scheme is a necessary part of the education system in Hong Kong.

NETs prove a real English-language learning experience and are not exam-oriented. NETs do not focus on students mastering the skills needed to do well in exams.

As native speakers NETs can speak English fluently. They are able to focus on real-life English rather than the mastering of exam skills.

They provide students with a fundamental English learning environment, which is lacking in Hong Kong's education system.

In other English classes the focus is on learning exam skills and doing a lot of tests. NETs make learning English more interesting.

During lessons they sometimes focus on English-language films and songs. My grades have improved thanks the help I have had from NETs.

NETs can help to reduce the burden felt by other English teachers.

Hong Kong's education system requires teachers to cram knowledge into student's brains. This can leave the teachers exhausted.

I do not see anything wrong with the NET scheme, especially when it is bringing so many benefits to public schools.

I can see a case for having some changes introduced to the system, but overall I think it is good for Hong Kong's education system.

Stephanie Ng, Aberdeen

More shelters needed for homeless

I agree with correspondents who argue that more shelters should be provided for street sleepers.

The government has to recognise that the problem of homelessness is serious in Hong Kong and measures must be taken to alleviate it.

Providing them with more help is essential. The government needs to provide more welfare allowances. With rents rising people have difficulty having enough to pay the rent for a flat, even a subdivided unit, and so end up sleeping on the streets.

If they had enough to pay for the essential items such as rent and food, the quality of their lives could improve. Some NGOs already provide shelters, but there are not enough of them.

The government has to provide some dormitory accommodation and vocational training so these people can get work.

Street sleepers are entitled to be given help. They should not be discriminated against.

If they get suitable training employers should be willing to give them a job.

Rainie Chou, Tseung Kwan O