Letters to the Editor, December 06, 2015

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 December, 2015, 12:15am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 December, 2015, 12:15am

Any climate deal will need reviewing

We should not assume that the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris will be successful, but success is within our grasp.

As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pointed out, there is a new momentum coming into these talks.

During last Sunday’s climate marches, millions of people took to the streets around the globe to make their voices heard. This chance we have in Paris may not come again. “You are here to write the script for a new future,” Mr Ban said.

Before the official start of COP 21, I prepared for a meeting at the COP 21 venue of the Youth Non-Governmental Organisations, that provides a platform for youth organisations to be ­involved in the climate change conference process.

The 200 young people attending the meeting shared the common goal to safeguard the interests of our future generations at the conference.

I am optimistic that an agreement can be reached during COP21, but that is not enough.

The agreement must be ­lasting and include long-term commitments.

Also, it must be dynamic, able to adapt to different situations and strike a balance, taking into account the different needs of developing and developed countries.

There must be solidarity, with agreement reached by all parties, including those developing nations most affected by climate change.

Finally, a credible reporting and reviewing mechanism must be created.

Kan Cheung-heng, Paris

Clockenflap beer choice a big let-down

I attended Clockenflap and thought it was a fabulous event and incredibly well presented. However, I have one serious gripe.

Although the organisers go all out to have as wide a range of food outlets as possible there is one pervasive pilsner that monopolises the beer side of things. I don’t like Carlsberg, I never have, it gives me a headache. But if I wanted a nice cool beer on a hot dry day, this was my only option.

Actually, I could have had a Kronenbourg, but let’s be honest, that’s more of a pudding than a beer.

If Carlsberg is so good, why must they monopolise every event in Hong Kong? Are they afraid of competition?

Sorry Clockenflappers, this seems like a major commercial sell-out to me and you will soon be doing a Rugby Sevens to us ­local Hong Kong fans.

John Dainton, Pok Fu Lam

Hindus in India feel neglected

Kevin Rafferty’s article (“India can’t let extremism hold back progress”, November 12) is very one-sided.

First of all this is entirely ­ an Indian internal affair and Rafferty should refrain from making such reports handpicked from India’s media.

Since the 1947 partition of India, Hinduism itself has come under threat.

The Hindu population has ­declined whereas Muslim and Christian populations have ­increased many fold and ­continue to enjoy special privileges and appeasement by government. Basic core ­demands of Hindus have been neglected.

Rafferty has not shed any light on why and how all these events occurred or given any mitigating circumstances but squarely laid the blame on Prime Minister Narendra ­Modi’s government and rising Hindus. All these incidents took place in states not governed by Modi’s ruling BJP but the opposition Congress party.

Despite India’s secular constitution, the core values of its majority Hindus have not been respected.

Gradually, every fibre of Hinduism is being eradicated in the name of secularist democracy. Hindus are living as strangers in their own country.

The rape of a nun in West Bengal was initially blamed on Hindus but police later arrested Bangladeshi Muslims. But religious harmony can be maintained in India if the ­media does not sensationalise and lets ­justice take it course.

All religions have to respect each other’s rights and values Since 1947, the Muslim population in India has soared from 7 per cent to 20 per cent while the Hindu population in Pakistan has fallen from 19 per cent to 1 per cent. Ethnic ­cleansing is occurring in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Arab countries.

Hindus have been very ­tolerant and non-violent and will continue to live peacefully with all religions.

Vijai Jeandani, To Kwa Wan

Pedestrianised roads healthier way to go

I refer to Bernard Chan’s article entitled ‘No good reason to choke idea for car-free Central’ published in the paper on November 27.

He said the proposal to pedestrianise Des Voeux Road should be backed by every stakeholder for the city’s greater good. True, our community is now too congested, especially the business district, and something has to be done to alleviate the problems.

The initiative is reasonable and fair. Most tourist spots and business centres of Hong Kong like Mong Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Central face chronic over-congestion, especially in peak hours. Pedestrians struggle to walk safely on crowded footpaths and public transport is packed with many passengers who would walk if they could enjoy a better environment. The proposal to pedestrianise can clearly solve this problem. ­Sitting areas and greenery will help improve the environment and trams could still run.

Environmentally speaking, pedestrianising Des Voeux Road undoubtedly could improve the air quality significantly. According to the Hong Kong Environmental Protection Agency, Central has always been the most polluted district with the air pollution index of PM2.5 units far higher than the standard of the World Health Organisation.

The Occupy Central movement last year vastly improved air quality. Pedestrianising the area would create a linear park with greenery and a wider road space for people to walk on.

Critics may argue that it would cause great inconvenience if the area were pedestrianised but these stakeholders are mainly the commuters and businesses.

However, the proposal isn’t all or nothing, and there must be room for give and take. Deliveries can be made at certain times and the government should also take the responsibility to ­promote low-carbon transportation such as the MTR, or even bicycles in order to minimise carbon dioxide emissions.

This proposal could be our very first step to saving our own community.

Muji Castilho, Kowloon City

Visit Myanmar for business and pleasure

The two stories on Myanmar on November 30 (“Reforms are coming for foreign firms in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal adviser says” and ­“Myanmar’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi inspires ­refugees to return home”) come at an opportune moment.

One of the barriers to entry for Hong Kong people was ­finally eased with the start of a ­second direct flight between Hong Kong and Yangon, and the first at a sensible time.

As one of the few Hong Kong-linked investors operating in Myanmar, we would encourage more people from Hong Kong to visit, whether as tourists or for business.

Yes, it’s a land of ­challenges, but also of wonderful sights and rich opportunities.

Josephine Price, managing director, Anthem Asia, Yangon, Hong Kong