Letters to the Editor, November 28, 2015
Learning a trade is worthy career move
I refer to Bernard Chan’s article (“You don’t have to wear a suit to be a success”, November 13).
I agree with him that many Hong Kong people prefer high-paid and high-status jobs because they are symbols of success. In this city, there is undoubtedly a bias against non-professional jobs.
It is really common for citizens to have the wrong mindset, assuming those who have non-professional jobs are poor and unsuccessful. One reason for this is the difference in wages between professional and non-professional jobs.
People generally think that the better their living standards, the more successful they are. Being materialistic, they therefore prefer having professional jobs with a higher salary.
They snub non-professional jobs providing lower salaries. Also, young people are put under pressure by their parents who want them to work hard for a university place and pursue a professional career.
Success is not only determined by status or wages. According to Chan, skills in creating and working with “actual things” are a sign of success.
People in non-professional jobs may earn less, but there is no doubt they are as important to society as people in professions.
If you love what you are doing, you can be successful. Enthusiastic workers enjoy what they are doing and so give their best.
We should appreciate the efforts of all those who contribute to society.
Gloria Tse, Tsing Yi
Don’t let this spare land go to waste
I was disturbed to read about the many hectares of land around the territory being wasted due to empty schools (“105 disused school sites going to waste”, November 19).
I would like to suggest that the sites be handed back and redeveloped for housing. Some sites could include a new school or other facility constructed within the new podium, depending on specific community needs. Others could just be for housing.
The benefits of using these sites are clear: they can be redeveloped quickly, they already have utility and infrastructure connections, they will be close to transport links and other community facilities and they will provide housing where tenants will want to live.
The redevelopment of brownfield and village housing sites can still be pursued in parallel but redeveloping empty school sites has the most advantages.
Patrick Wilson, Happy Valley
Public safety is priority when tree is diseased
There has been a lot of debate about which trees should be felled if they pose a potential danger, or if efforts should be made to save them.
I think if it is thought there may be any risk to the public, a tree should be cut down. It is a pity when this happens, but sometimes it is necessary.
I understand the misgivings some people have when this happens as they are part of the city’s green heritage, especially older trees which have survived through generations. A balance must be struck to ensure heritage trees are preserved where possible, but public safety is also guaranteed.
The government needs to urge people to be vigilant and educate them about what to look for in a tree that may be diseased. When they are out walking, if they see a tree that looks to be at risk, they should report it to the relevant department.
The earlier officials are alerted, the better the chance of saving the tree so it can be treated rather than cut down.
Desiree Lam, Kowloon Tong
Parallel traders still a problem in some areas
Parallel trading is still creating problems in Hong Kong and citizens remain strongly opposed to it.
The activities of these traders, with their heavy, overloaded trolleys, cause a lot of problems for local people. They block passageways and make conditions worse in public transport that is already overcrowded.
They generate a great deal of public resentment and this is why we have seen protests against them in various places in the New Territories, such as Sha Tin.
They are not helping Hong Kong’s economy and because they buy goods in bulk, this can lead to shortages of some daily necessities, such as milk formula, for local residents in some areas of Hong Kong, especially near the border. When there are shortages, then prices of these commodities go up.
The traders also exacerbate the strained relations between local citizens and mainlanders, even those people from north of the border who are genuine tourists and have nothing to do with parallel traders.
These traders are still a problem and the government must do more to curb their activities.
Becky Tai, Kwun Tong
Hong Kong’s leaders scored an own goal
I am a supporter of the Hong Kong football team. However, I do not think the behaviour of some fans at the World Cup qualifier against China earlier this month was appropriate.
They should not insult a team and the nation that team represents, even if they have strong political feelings.
Some of these fans shouted abuse at China’s players using foul language and this was not acceptable behaviour. It is not what you would expect from citizens of what is supposed to be an international city. Also, acting in this ill-mannered way makes the political strife and disharmony in society even worse.
Some senior members of the government were vague when asked if they would support the Hong Kong team in this match and this laid the administration open to public censure. I can understand that they saw themselves as being on the horns of a dilemma, given that we were playing against China, but by taking this non-committal stand, they just made things worse.
We were the underdogs against a much more powerful team. It would have been seen as natural for our leaders to back our team. So, while I do condemn those fans who were insulting towards the China team, I also think the response of the Hong Kong government to the match was the wrong one.
Our chief executive should not have been afraid say, “I support our hometown team”.
Joyce Li, Yau Yat Chuen
Pedestrians must assert their rights
The entrances to the parking facilities of large malls in Tsim Sha Tsui, such as Miramar, K11 and The One, are over the public pavement. This means that pedestrians have right of way and approaching vehicles should slow down and wait for the pavement to be clear before driving over it.
However, in Hong Kong, the driver is king and expects pedestrians to get out of the way when his lordship arrives. The car-park attendants pander to this sense of entitlement and hold back pedestrians to let the privileged proceed unhindered. It is about time that pedestrians asserted their right of way.
We pedestrians are the majority, yet we allow drivers to set the agenda by – double parking with idling vehicles on congested streets; blasting us with hooting horns if they are held up by other drivers; parking on zebra crossings, forcing us to climb over the bonnet to get across; and enveloping our kids with fumes outside schools.
It does not help that the police turn a blind eye to the many blatant violations of the road and traffic regulations that we observe every day.
Pedestrians must stop accepting the role of second-class citizens and assert their rights. Standing meekly to one side should no longer be the norm.
The next time some arrogant motorist drives onto the pavement expecting pedestrians to jump out of the way, hold your ground and point out that on the pavement, the pedestrian has right of way both on the footway and the dropped kerb.
Paul Kumar, for Tsim Sha Tsui Residents’ Concern Group
Beautiful waterfront area neglected
A recent walk from the Star Ferry to Sai Ying Pun along the waterfront reminded me of a similar walk I took some while ago.
There have been some improvements with a boardwalk to the Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, but then it peters out and becomes a vast waterfront lorry park and one has to cross to Connaught Road to proceed towards Kennedy Town.
This boardwalk is used by people to stroll by the harbour and runners who pound their way along the path even in the midday sun. All very well but there is nowhere to stop to sit with a drink or a snack and take in the wonderful view. So much is wasted by using the space for things that could easily go elsewhere.
There is also a noticeable lack of maintenance with overgrown borders and untended broken fences that are meant to be decorative. The area is under-utilised because it seems it is deliberately made inaccessible.
We have a great harbour, but like most things, the concentration is on the Central environment.
Norman de Brackinghe, Pok Fu Lam