Letters to the Editor, March 12, 2016

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 March, 2016, 12:15am
UPDATED : Saturday, 12 March, 2016, 12:15am

Mainlander tourists must be lured back

I refer to the article by Ken Chu (“Warmer welcome”, February 29).

There is no doubt a growing number of mainland tourists are visiting other places such as Bangkok, Seoul and Tokyo ­instead of Hong Kong.

Occupy Central and the riot in Mong Kok last month have ­affected mainland tourists’ view towards Hong Kong. ­Besides, the antagonism of some Hongkongers’ towards the mainland is also a major reason other destinations are being favoured.

Compared to other places, Hong Kong is certainly worth a visit. Hong Kong Disneyland and Ocean Park are suitable for families.

With so many large shopping malls, mainlanders can buy their souvenirs easily. Besides visiting a modern city, mainland tourists can travel to the New Territories for the greenery of country parks or ­relax on a beach.

Tourism is an important contributor to the economy and is one of Hong Kong’s economic pillars. Any significant drop in tourist numbers will have a ­major impact on our economy.

Falling numbers means shops lose valuable income so it’s important to increase tourist traffic into Hong Kong.

In the short term, Hong Kong should develop some new destinations which can provide a convenient and exciting experience to tourists.

Not only would these attractions lure new tourists but would persuade those who have been here before to return.

Kassandra Wong Hiu-tung, Tseung Kwan O

Road fee can’t solve problem of congestion

I would agree with the letter by Dani Hui Chui-shan about ­traffic congestion in Central (“Electronic road pricing is not the answer”, March 3).

Unfortunately, it follows the same pattern that the government uses to solve many problems. When the Cross-Harbour Tunnel reached saturation point, the government’s answer was to double the toll and pocket the added charge.

When it seemed that Hong Kong would have the world’s largest parking lot if all vehicles were on the road at the same time, the government’s answer was to raise the import duty as high as 100 per cent, again ­gaining more revenue for itself but not solving the problem.

The roadways through ­Central were laid out more than 160 years ago when traffic was horse-drawn carriages. Over the ensuing period, high-rises have been built on either side. Goods vehicles and people working there need access.

This has brought us to the ­situation we have today making the whole idea of taxing vehicle entry to ease congestion ­ludicrous.

The government has to think of the future, not add more tax burdens on the people that ­accomplish nothing.

If the situation is bad now, think what it will be 10 and 20 years ahead.

If we keep the same ­roadways, then double decking them must be considered. ­Expensive, of course, but absolutely necessary now and into the future.

Instead of charging the ­public for every problem, the government must plan longterm solutions.

Hal Archer, Tai Po

Cram schools not the way to go for all

More students are attending cram schools in Hong Kong, ­because of the pressure ­imposed by our education ­system.

As a student who will face the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE), I attend extension classes to ensure my results will get me into a university.

However, some students participate in excessive extra courses. They usually can’t ­benefit much because they are too tired from the heavy workloads from their own school and the cram school. It’s a waste of money and serves no purpose.

Cram schools are popular because most parents regard studying as the most important priority for their children and are anxious to send them to extra classes. Another reason is insufficient resources from their own school. In cram schools, there are mock exams, as well as oral practice with strangers.

This helps candidates of the DSE prepare well for the exam but university does not have to be the ultimate goal. There’s an old saying, “You can distinguish yourself in any trade.”

Myron Eng Man-him, Sau Mau Ping

Tolerance and respect is a basic right

I agree with the letter by Sabrina Li Wan-hei(“We should respect sexual minorities”, February 26) that we should show tolerance and respect for the lesbian, gay, ­bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community.

Due to traditional moral ­values and mindsets, people from the LGBT community still cannot be generally accepted by the public.

Lack of understanding and negative preconceptions make the public discriminate against LGBT people, intentionally or unintentionally. Facing this prejudice , LGBT people are forced to hide their true selves in a bid to be what the general public call “normal”.

Educating the young generation to be more tolerant ­towards sexual minorities is ­important and same-sex ­marriage should be legalised in Hong Kong.

LGBT people should be ­respected and accepted by the public.

There is a fallacy that if same-sex marriage is legalised, there would be more homosexuality in society and this would lead to an even lower birth rate than we have now. How could that be true?

In fact, the proportion of the population that is homosexual in society is almost static and would not easily be increased due to social tolerance.

There are still some misconceptions and misunderstandings of the LGBT community. They cannot enjoy the freedom of love and marriage, which should be the right of all of us.

Yuki Wong, Tseung Kwan O

Fresh ideas needed for TV industry

I am concerned about developments Hong Kong’s television industry.

As the troubles of Asia Televison highlight, there is a lack of competition and the quality of programmes produced by local stations has declined.

What the city needs is a new player with new, with talented people in key positions to give viewers original programmes. Younger people can hopefully come up with fresh ideas.

The importance of a local TV industry cannot be neglected; it can play a key role in promoting tourism. South Korea is a prime example – the country helps promote its culture through successful dramas and their ­most popular actors become idolised.

Hiring the right talent is essential and some of our artists need to improve or step aside to let experienced actors take on leading roles.

Also, we need better quality game shows.

Viewing figures will increase with better quality output from our local TV stations.

Katie Lee Hoi-kei, Kowloon Tong

Light pollution should be priority issue

I refer to the report (“Science sheds light on sleep disturbances”, March 7).

A study in the US has shown that night-time light affects sleep duration. It was seen to be significantly associated with sleep disturbances because study participants in areas where there was very strong exterior lighting were more dissatisfied with sleep quality.

Light pollution is a rising problem in the modern world and needs to be addressed.

Not only does it cause sleep disturbances but also causes other health problems since it has also been shown that both bright days and dark nights are necessary to maintain healthy hormone production, cell function, and brain activities.

I hope the government will continue to back campaigns aimed at reducing this kind of pollution.

Trisha Tobar, Tseung Kwan O