Letters to the Editor, March 16, 2016

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 March, 2016, 3:51pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 March, 2016, 3:51pm

Time to weed out disruptive lawmakers

Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee so ­cogently pointed out that the legislature is not working (“Being popular isn’t enough”, March 13). And that is because many of the voters didn’t know what they were doing and ­repeatedly voted in all these bad apples who are now making the legislature dysfunctional.

As in the case of those who voted for Edward Leung Tin-kei in the New Territories East by-election last month, they most probably did so to vent their anger which arose out of the many social inequalities.

They have been led to believe that the one-man, one-vote direct election, fixed tenure system, or “full ­democracy”, is the panacea for all such social ills. But it does not help net the best leader.

It only gives you the chance to kick him out if he turns out to be a bad leader, but after the damage is done, and only if he/she does not turn into a dictator managing to stay in office for three or four decades.

Our bad-apple legislators make themselves out as ­champions of democracy but ­almost fit exactly the description of Donald Trump in the article by Michael Edesess (“Democracy gets a bad name”, March 14) quoting the journalist Martin Wolf who called Trump “a narcissistic bully”. Yet these ­lawmakers argue that they ­represent the will of the people.

So, while the headline to Mike Rowse’s article is correct (“No good reason why HK ­systems won’t endure”, March 14), some systems, such as the legislature, have to change the way they are constituted.

We need to introduce nomination of the Legco candidates by a creditable committee, for election by universal suffrage, as we intend to do with the election of the chief executive.

As it is still universal suffrage, nomination notwithstanding, there is no need to change the Basic Law.

The present known bad ­apples must be screened out, by denying them a place in the list of candidates for the Legco election in September, if the nomination ­process cannot be introduced in time.

Peter Lok, Chai Wan

Government not listening to citizens

I refer to the article by Gary Cheung (“Hong Kong government is making a mistake by dismissing the causes of Mong Kok violence”, March 7).

I was shocked by the Mong Kok riot as I never thought ­anything like this would happen in Hong Kong. The behaviour of these rioters was irrational and has damaged the city’s ­reputation.

I am worried that we will see more disturbances in the future, but I am also critical of the way in which the government has dealt with what happened.

Also, I agree with what Cheung says, that “sending those arrested to courtrooms and jail cannot guarantee the long-term stability of our society if the roots of the troubles are not identified”.

Surely, the government should be asking what caused this riot to take place. Instead of listening to the many voices of dissent in society it seems to ­prefer inhabiting its own ­comfort zone.

If it wants to maintain a peaceful society the administration should start listening to ­citizens and the grievances that they have. If it refuses to do this then I dread to think what might come after Mong Kok.

Elaine Leung, Kowloon Tong

Road at school is in appalling condition

I refer to the report (“Harrow International School vows to tackle traffic congestion by ­reducing private car permits”, March 6).

The article does not mention the appalling condition of the road leading up to the school and how the road is regularly blocked by cement mixers and trucks at peak hours.

Most recently, it has been narrowed so far that there are areas that are only adequate for one-way traffic, yet these areas are not monitored. ­

Fencing around a deep hole in the middle of the road was also knocked down on Monday, because the road is far too ­narrow for trucks and buses to pass by.

The construction company responsible for The Bloomsway property development is ­causing unnecessary chaos and congestion and needs to be monitored going forward to ­prevent further disruption and accidents.

Daniela Haworth, Lantau

We can curb light pollution after midnight

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

In densely populated Hong Kong, there is a wide variety of lighting, including lamp posts, neon signs and advertising ­billboards, especially in urban areas. When it is very bright it can have an adverse effect on humans and some animals.

As your report pointed out, studies have shown that areas where there are intense lights can disrupt some residents’ sleep patterns.

As a student with a heavy workload, I am aware how you feel the next day if you have not been able to get enough sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep ­enhances learning and problem-solving skills and makes it easier for you to pay attention to the tasks you have to perform.

Also, nocturnally migrating birds can be disoriented by bright lights at night.

In addition to the health issues, light pollution is a waste of energy.

Action needs to be taken to alleviate this problem.

Late at night there are only a few people on our streets.

Companies could easily turn off their neon signs and advertising hoardings after midnight. And at home we should be trying to save energy by switching off lights when we do not need them.

Hebe Ng Yik-huen, Tseung Kwan O

Women need family-friendly measures

Many companies are now ­making changes in their offices so that employees who are mothers can have some privacy when breastfeeding, such as a curtained area with a socket for a milk pump.

However there are still workplaces with no facilities and women have to use unhygienic locations such as cubicles in a public toilet. This can cause them stress, especially if a queue forms outside the cubicle.

Women’s concern groups want the government to offer companies incentives to introduce family-friendly policies.

If I were a breastfeeding mother I would certainly want the government to introduce such measures, such as ensuring firms provided a separate area for mothers to breastfeed.

It is tough for mothers to take care of children and have a ­career. The welfare of women should be a priority in our ­society.

Alison Yu Tsz-man, Sham Shui Po

Dumping problem must be resolved

I am writing about the huge quantities of waste dumped on land in Tin Shui Wai (“Danger: Hong Kong government departments rule that massive Tin Shui Wai ‘waste hill’ is potentially ­unstable”, March 8).

There is a need to deal with the problem of dumping, ­because as in this case, it can pose a threat to nearby residents. With so much soil being dumped they are worried about dust blowing towards their homes and how it could affect residents, especially those with respiratory diseases. In this case it has been described as a “waste hill”. What might happen to it during the rainy season?

The government needs to come up with an effective strategy that prevents dumping, especially when it is on such a large scale. It should have hotlines so people can report a case as soon as they see it and the relevant department can act swiftly.

There also has to be an education campaign so that operators of all construction sites ­behave responsibly when disposing of construction waste.

Chang Wing, Kowloon Tong