Letters to the Editor, February 03, 2016
Observatory’s app was very informative
I do not agree with Alice Wu’s criticism of the Hong Kong Observatory (“Observatory slipped up by not warning us about the big chill”, February 1).
I was following the Observatory app on the day in question and was fully aware of what would happen in terms of weather. The app did an excellent job in keeping me informed of what to expect. I sensibly took heed of the Observatory’s advice and didn’t go out.
I have no sympathy with anyone who went up Tai Mo Shan for frost watching and got into trouble, except for our excellent government rescue services staff who in difficult circumstances performed magnificently.
Living in a society where people are blindly dependent on the government for everything they do is not healthy. Isn’t it about time some of our residents started to think for themselves and took responsibility for their own actions, because at the moment, we appear to be living in a nanny state where everyone expects to be spoon fed and rescued when they mess up?
Unfortunately there is no cure for stupidity, but I guess one remedy would be for the Observatory to add an extra section in its reports from now on, entitled the “Idiot’s Guide to Today’s Weather”.
Alice Wu is normally a good observer of life, but in this case, I think she’s got it wrong. In fact, she’s miles off target. Well done Observatory. Keep up the good job.
Kevin Law, Peng Chau
It makes sense to shut down Disneyland
Now that the mainland is about to get its own Disney amusement park, in Shanghai, perhaps in Hong Kong we ought to have a grown-up discussion about what we should do with our Disneyland.
The proportion of Hongkongers making up visitor numbers is minimal. It is telling that my 13-year-old daughter thinks it is pretty limp and much prefers the other theme park down near Aberdeen.
Furthermore, the city has a shortage of land for building. We have been told this not only by government spokespeople, but the editorial writers of this paper.
The obvious solution is to close Disneyland and turn it over to the property developers.
If we did that, then vast swathes of outstanding natural beauty would not need to be wasted.
I implore the city’s leaders to do what they are paid for and explore a win-win solution for us all. We owe it to our grandchildren and their kids.
Jason Ali, Lantau
Students are standing up for democracy
I refer to the letter from David Akers-Jones (“Protesting students crossed the line”, January 30).
Some people feel that if we do not protest to protect our rights they are at risk of disappearing. I feel that Hong Kong people now face real threats. This was highlighted by the disappearance of bookseller and publisher Lee Po.
When it comes to talking to the government I am not sure that normal dialogue will work any longer. Look at the chairman of the council of the University of Hong Kong, Arthur Li Kwok-cheung. I do not feel he was sincere in wanting to talk to the student protesters.
I agree with those who argue that the students should remain open-minded, but they are defending democracy and that is very important. Students should have a right to have some say in the administration of the university. When they feel something is wrong with that administration they are right to speak out.
They are not just protesting over their personal freedom, but in defence of a democratic society in the university and in the wider context in Hong Kong.
Leo Sin, Sheung Shui
Still in the dark about missing bookseller
I refer to the report (“Missing bookseller meets his wife in secret location”, January 25).
The disappearance of bookseller Lee Po and the subsequent news that he was on the mainland raises fears for Hong Kong people. There was a letter apparently written by him, but I have some doubts about this. The problem is that we do not really know the facts of the case.
However, given the political content of the material that Causeway Bay Books sold, this raises questions about freedom of speech in Hong Kong.
I am worried that the central government is trying to limit our freedom of speech.
Iris Leung Tsz-ki, Tseung Kwan O
Walking not safest option on escalators
I refer to the letter by Colin Bosher (“Escalator walkers are in no danger”, February 1).
The live test in which he was involved, when an escalator at an MTR station suddenly stopped, is not enough to convince everyone that it is safe to walk on escalators.
Nowadays, people walk while looking at their mobiles. They are distracted and do not pay attention to what is happening around them. They may not be able to act quickly enough if an escalator suddenly stops.
I do not think the results of the live test he described proved it is safer for people to walk on moving escalators. Elderly users are especially vulnerable.
Exhorting people to stand still and hold the handrail is still the best way to prevent injuries.
Samuel Cheng Ka-ho, Sai Kung
Parents must give children time to rest
Many parents complain about the Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA). They say it forces their children at Primary Three level to have too much homework and they want it scrapped.
However, a lot of these parents make things worse by signing their sons and daughters up for so many extracurricular activities. This makes the children even more tired.
Teachers may give students TSA-related homework to do during the long holidays, but it is generally not that much.
If some “helicopter” parents cut back on the out-of-school activities their children would not face too heavy a workload. Even with the TSA they should be able to get enough rest.
Jason Luk, Tseung Kwan O
Long wait in HSBC queue unacceptable
It is difficult to understand how the community simply accepts the woeful service provided by HSBC in Hong Kong.
If more people complained or voiced their discontent publicly, it is possible that service deficiencies would be addressed.
On Monday I waited 72 minutes in a queue at the commercial accounts section in the basement of the HSBC head office, in Central, to see a teller for counter service that cannot be provided online.
It is difficult to understand, in this fast-paced, time-strapped society, how the community can accept this treatment, and how HSBC believes this is an acceptable service to provide to its valued commercial accounts customers.
Talking with some others in the queue, and overhearing comments of discontent, it seems a usual expectation is to queue for at least one hour for counter service in the basement of the head office.
Graham Player, Lantau