Letters to the editor, January 19, 2016

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 19 January, 2016, 5:17pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 19 January, 2016, 5:17pm

Drain leakage recalls the lessons of Sars

Hong Kong people are aware of the importance of hygiene, particularly in the wake of the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2003. Breeding germs in dirty drainage pipes, for example, can greatly affect everyone’s health, as we found out after Amoy Gardens became a breeding ground for the Sars virus.

For this reason, I am concerned about the Housing Department’s policy for checking drainage seepage.

I observe domestic hygiene and always keep my flat clean. Unfortunately, I noticed severe seepage from my bathroom floor recently. After thorough checking, a technician told me that the sewage pipe installed in an unknown unit of my building block might be damaged, leading to the severe leakage. I immediately sought assistance from the Housing Department to locate the source of the leak.

Two officers from the department’s Independent Checking Unit came to my flat to check. However, I was disappointed to be informed by the said officers that, after looking through the tiny inspection panel on the tiled wall outside the pipes, they did not see any defects on the sewage pipes in my bathroom, as well as those in the bathroom in the flat above mine.

Since more than 80 per cent of the pipe area could not be seen, I requested that the officers conduct a water test by pouring water from the drainage in the unit above my flat and simultaneously checking how it affected the seepage at the affected area of my flat, so as to locate the source of the leak. Yet, my reasonable request was turned down by the said officers right away.

I do hope that the Housing Department can reveal its existng policy and procedures for checking drainage seepage, so that public health could be safeguarded. We learned a lesson from the Sars outbreak. We should not let history repeat itself.

Barry Kwok, Wong Tai Sin

Many issues await outside ‘belt and road’

What great people the Hong Kong people are, and what a great place this is that you call home. I’m all for a stylish “belt” and a smooth “road” ahead, but it feels like your chief executive Leung Chun-ying doesn’t quite see (or hear) you. He doesn’t mention recycling once in his policy address, yet all landfills are drowning in rubbish and, somehow, people still think it’s OK to burn plastic.

I’m sorry your (over) working hours aren’t standardised, and that families still live in cage homes. It’s a pity you cannot choose your own leader despite having some of the highest collective IQs in the world. It’s mind-boggling that Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor thinks that improving the economy will magically improve roadside and regional air pollution. It’s farcical the chief executive thinks that adding (even) more Wi-fi will “connect” everything and everyone, when all it will really do is create more socially awkward “device zombies” with deteriorating interpersonal communication skills.

CY, if you want people to join you on the “road”, you need to adjust the “belt” you’re tightening around Hongkongers, because it’s not fitting properly.

Nick Anderson, North Point

Where does governance feature in HK?

I am sure that other readers have their own list of words missing from the chief executive’s policy address, as analysed in your back-page graphic, “Big talk, small talk” (January 14).

Here’s mine: governance, accountability, transparency, archives (legislation), access (to information). Need I say more?

Don Brech, former Government Records Service director

City should not host convicted racist

I was horrified and shocked to read that a private event will be held on Cyberport property hosting an entertainer who promotes slander, racial hatred and advocates terrorism (“Hong Kong’s French and Israeli consulates condemn race-hate comic’s visit”, January 17).

Dieudonné M’bala M’bala is a bitter French political activist of Cameroonian descent who is a committed fascist, under the veil of a comedian. He was convicted in Belgium and France for inciting racial hatred. As a staunch anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, he shared common views and close friendship with the previous French National Front leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who held extreme views regarding minorities.

One wonders who is sponsoring the invitation of such an angry and evil spirit to perform at a private event at Cyberport. Are we allowing such negative and destructive elements to sow the seeds of hatred towards law-abiding and constructive elements of our society? Should we allow such a nasty individual to exploit the weakness of our democratic freedom in Hong Kong and stir up trouble in our society – trouble that we can ill afford?

Aren’t there enough reminders of shocking events of tragic slaughter of innocent victims all over the world caused by brainwashed terrorists who are influenced by destructive angry people who might have the gift of the gab, such as our invited guest entertainer Dieudonné?

Are our police and immigration authorities totally helpless in stopping a previously convicted hate promoter and terrorism advocator from plaguing us with his negative influence ?

To my mind, inviting Dieudonné to our territory is not an option.

Shalom Levy, Tsim Sha Tsui

Link to HK Island judged impractical

I note that the government’s development plan for Lantau includes a “possible strategic road” and a “possible rail corridor” which end in the Kennedy Town area on Hong Kong Island (“Disneyland expansion part of massive Lantau land reclamation project to house 700,000 more by 2030”, January 11).

Are the proponents of this plan aware of a government-sponsored study about 25 years ago which concluded that such links were not practical? If so, what has changed since then to make them “possible” now?

Ronald Taylor, Pok Fu Lam

Officials are right to defend the dollar peg

I believe market punters are working on bets against the Hong Kong dollar losing its peg fixture. When the renminbi was weaker than the Hong Kong dollar and free to strengthen from 2005, the local government did not seek a peg with it.

Now that the renminbi is continually weakening, the government should not allow de-pegging against the US dollar. The dollar peg is the most important reason for stability in Hong Kong’s economy.

The authorities are right to assure Hong Kong citizens that there is nothing to fear about the Hong Kong dollar losing its peg (“HKMA head Norman Chan vows to defend Hong Kong peg with HK$3.3 trillion war chest”, January 18). Hong Kong must defend its currency in times of a currency crisis across the border. At least this should be guaranteed to the people of Hong Kong who keep their savings and believe in the local currency.

Rishi Teckchandani, Mid-Levels