Letters to the Editor, December 04, 2015

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 December, 2015, 5:58pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 December, 2015, 5:58pm

Time to bring rude students into line, too

I admire Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor for taking a stand against unruly members of the Legislative Council.

I also back her for opposing calls from Democratic Party lawmakers for the “anti-bribery law to be amended to make it a criminal offence for the chief executive to solicit or accept any advantage without the permission of a statutory independent committee” (“CY anti-bribery law move vetoed”, November 12).

We need unwavering top ­officials like Mrs Lam to put a stop to the political nonsense and hostility we are witnessing in Hong Kong.

Take the behaviour over the last few months of some ­students attending the University of Hong Kong. They have­ ­reflected an alarmingly low level of culture in what is supposed to be Hong Kong’s elite academic institution. It has had a reputation for producing good-quality and respectable graduates.

There have also been instances of student activists, for example from Lingnan University, using abusive language at a forum on academic freedom.

Perhaps we need to look at the benchmark for admitting undergraduates. Maybe we should ask if the bar has been set too low.

Hong Kong has a reputation for being a great city to work and study in, with good education and a safe living environment. But we need to ask why some of the younger generation now ­behave in such a smug, undignified and uncouth manner. It worries me that they are so ­misguided and undisciplined.

We face stiff competition from the likes of Singapore. We cannot let the city degenerate and be downgraded.

We need to have high standards in our education system and halt the decline in standards of English in primary and secondary schools, and in universities. I hope the government has some strategies planned to reach these goals.

We also need to re-educate our educators so that they can instil in our young people the importance of morality and ­ethical values.

We must not allow young people to bring warped and uncouth concepts of culture and politics into the classroom. This applies to all levels of education. Even at tertiary levels, vice-chancellors should be vigilant and be willing to take a stand rather than trying to protect their own positions.

Mary Chan, Tai Tam

Ending child limit was wise move

I refer to the article by Verna Yu (“The countless tragedies of the one-child policy”, November 16) about the decision by the central government to end the one-child policy.

Perhaps some Hong Kong citizens think that as this was a policy that existed solely on the mainland, it did not affect us. However, we will become completely integrated with the rest of China in 2047 and so we have to think about how the central government implements policies.

A policy change can have a drastic effect on the lives of ordinary people in a country. ­­

I think the decision to scrap the one-child policy was the right one. It was not so much about population control, but to me it was a moral issue, as women were having to kill their unborn children when they did not want to do this and had to live with ­the regret they felt.

I can see so many benefits coming from the scrapping of this policy.

Kelly Leung, Tseung Kwan O

Think smarter to outsmart online crooks

There is growing concern about the leaking of personal data and you see news reports about ­cybertheft from bank accounts and data stolen from people’s smartphones.

Many people are still too willing to give personal information online, for example, when offered a lucky draw or a free gift. They might also give inform­ation they shouldn’t when ­receiving a cold call.

This makes it easy for criminals to get people’s private data and then use it to their advantage.

Also, people often use simple passwords, which makes it relatively easy for hackers to get into their accounts.

There must be more education by the government to make the public aware of the importance of protecting their privacy. They should learn to protect themselves from the ­online criminals.

Adverts could be broadcast­ on TV advising people to ensure they have a higher level of ­security on their computers.

We have to become more aware of the potential risks as the online swindlers are getting smarter.

Wong Ka-ki, Kowloon Tong

Ecotourism can boost visitor dollars

A drop in sales in the retail sector has highlighted the need to ­diversify the tourism sector and not rely so much on those mainland visitors who come here to shop.

Hong Kong is an international city and still has a competitive edge compared to other holiday destinations. We need to make potential visitors more aware of tourist attractions­ ­other than our shopping malls.

Ecotourism has a great deal of potential. Even though Hong Kong is small, it has a remarkable array of natural beauty that is unique and contains diverse animals and plants. The government must promote these sites abroad.

This should be part of the sustainable development of ­tourism.

The government also needs to promote the city’s historical sites and buildings.

Chung Miu-shan, Yau Yat Chuen

The varying degrees of success

I agree with Bernard Chan (“You don’t have to wear a suit to be a success”, November 12) that someone should not be deemed successful just because, for example, he has a university ­degree.

Someone who has acquired the skills that enable him, as Mr Chan puts it, to work with ­“actual things” should be valued in our society and yet often this does not happen. We can learn from countries like Germany, where a mechanic is shown the same respect as a professional.

It is worth noting that some of Hong Kong’s most famous ­tycoons, such as Li Ka-shing, did not go to university.

There needs to be a change of mindset in Hong Kong, so that we stop thinking that someone who wears a suit must be successful. People who, for ­example, work in factories make an important contribution to the economy

Aldi Chan Wai-yan, Sha Tin

Small-house court ruling is a big deal

The small-house policy has been a long-standing bone of contention in Hong Kong, especially with urban dwellers who view this as an arbitrary and discriminatory situation, and basically unfair.

It was initially a short-term initiative to allow indigenous ­villages to have their own houses so they could continue to live in their family’s village.

However, this so-called ­policy has been wantonly abused for many years and has been primarily a money-making scheme with influential middle-men acting as brokers to ­connect villagers with ­deve­lopers.

Many of these villagers have never actually lived in their ­village. The government has been reluctant to grasp this thorny issue and has virtually ­allowed the Heung Yee Kuk a free hand to administer the New Territories.

I thought that since 1997, Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories were all under the sovereign power of China, so I cannot understand this “softly, softly” approach to such a ­divisive issue.

Hong Kong is proud of its rule of law, and it is astonishing that this policy has never been tested in the courts by the ­government. I was therefore ­interested to read the report, “Developer, 11 villagers ­engaged in homes scam” (November 28).

That a court ruled against the villagers and the developer is important news for Hongkongers. Since 1972, probably many hundreds, and possibly thousands, of villagers have acted in a similar way to these 11 ­con­victed villagers.

I was disappointed that the South China Morning Post saw this as such a minor matter, ­placing it at the bottom of page three of the City section.

This was headline news. ­Instead, what the Post served us as the lead story on the front page was “Nervous investors head for the exit”, which is ­mostly about the mainland.

K. Y. Leung, Mid-Levels

Highlight the need for more organ donors

I refer to the letter by Nikita Chan (“Education can help generate more donors”, November 24).

Hong Kong’s organ donation rate is 5.4 patients per million population, which is very low when compared with the US, Britain and Australia.

The rate is low here, because of traditional Chinese beliefs where people want to keep the body whole after death.

Secondly, people have to volunteer to donate their organs by joining the organ donor register rather than the system in some countries where you opt out or you will be an organ donor.

The government must use education to make more citizens recognise the importance of registering as donors.

Yoyo Li, Sham Shui Po