Letters to the Editor, April 16, 2016

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 April, 2016, 12:15am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 April, 2016, 12:15am

ERP system would help traffic flow

The government is looking into the possibility of introducing an electronic road pricing (ERP) system in Hong Kong.

The aim of ERP is to rationalise traffic flow in targeted areas where severe congestion occurs almost daily. It works based on the “user pays” principle; ­motorists have to pay the ­charges only when they use the roads in the charging areas at specified times.

There are 568,000 private cars in Hong Kong, and the number is increasing by 3 per cent a year. Because of the large number of private cars on the road, central business district has had persistent congestion for the past three decades.

The average speed vehicles can manage on some road sections there is around 10km/h during peak hours on normal weekdays. Obviously, this is not much faster than the average walking speed of an adult of 4 to 5 km/h.

An ERP system has been successfully implemented in a number of overseas cities, including Singapore in 1998 and London in 2003. Since ERP is an extra levy, motorists will avoid driving into such areas if they can. After the first year of ERP operation, traffic volume across the charging points or inside the area during the charge period has been found to drop by as much as 16 per cent.

Since Hong Kong’s traffic scale and road planning is quite similar to Singapore’s, by ­imitating the ERP systems that were implemented in Singapore, I am sure Hong Kong’s ­serious congestion in the CBD area would be eased.

Christy Chan Hoi-ching, Kowloon Tong

Deliveries of food by drone worth a try

I refer to the report (“Sky’s the limit for drone food deliveries”, March 15).

In the past, takeaway food was only handled on foot or by people driving motorbikes. I think deliveries by drone could be a good alternative.

It sounds like a very convenient service – a machine can replace a man in this case, ­freeing up restaurant staff and offering greater convenience to the customer.

Hong Kong, though, offers some challenges for such a ­service, with its densely populated and built-up areas. If, for ­example, a drone hit an unexpected obstacle, would it know how to correct its direction and quickly continue to its destination with the food deliveries?

Then, there is also the matter of air regulations. The government would need to relax the rules for such a business to take off.

Kelly Wong, Cheung Sha Wan

LGBT groups are on the wrong track

I refer to the letters by Callan Anderson (“Church’s moral high ground not acceptable”, March 22), Ryan Yeung Wai-yen (“Church should listen to LGBT community”, March 19) and Lee Faulkner (“LGBT groups just want equal treatment”, March 18), in reply to my letter (“LGBT groups’ tactics harm their cause”, March 15).

They erred in their arguments against the Catholic Church’s position on this ­subject. The St Jude’s Church forum was open to any individuals but they had to pre-register. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender group not only did not register, but forced its way in, not to mention yelling to disrupt the forum. It just aimed to get media attention, and not to have calm and open discussion.

While discussing the ­storming of the church by LGBT groups, it is irrelevant to bring up the charges against the church for its wrongdoings. The past mistakes of some church ­members do not rationalise the violence by the gay activists.

All major religions in the world, not only the Catholic Church, are fundamentally against the acts of sexual minorities (although Christians try not to condemn the people).

It doesn’t need high-level theology or doctrines to figure out that minority sexual acts ­adversely affect the social institutions of marriages and families, and eventually the prosperity of the human race.

Religious leaders are determined to safeguard long-term human interests and human ­existence. Some call that “moral high ground”, others could call it “common sense”.

On the question of whether the law should override the morality of the church, people should know that the establishment of most human laws was originally for protecting human morality. Imagine important moral values such as no murder of man, no abortion, no rape of women, – all these were made into laws to make sure all men upheld such universal and ­absolute truths against injustice.

Lee Yiu-chu, Central

National Party needs basic reality check

I refer to the report (“Hong Kong National Party is born: will push for independence, will not ­recognise the Basic Law”, March 28).

I do not think it will be an appropriate practice for the newly founded group, Hong Kong ­National Party, to not recognise the Basic Law.

The Basic Law is generally ­regarded as the mini constitution of Hong Kong and it ­protects many of the core values of the society. The administration was established and developed based on the law.

If there are citizens who no longer ­recognise it, the law could lose its authority in protecting citizens’ rights and regulating their behaviour.

I agree with some politicians that the new group may not be able to sustain and achieve its ultimate goals. It can undoubtedly gain support from citizens calling for independence of Hong Kong, yet there may be more people who wish for a steady life.

In reality, I am afraid that Hong Kong does not have the ability to be fully independent.

There should be other priorities than fighting for independence.

Carol Mo Ka-wai, Tseung Kwan O

Respect the role of women at home

I think undervaluing domestic work is a kind of gender discrimination.

It cannot be doubted that for most men, going out to work is hard but for women staying at home, doing housework is definitely a job which should not be underestimated.

Many women, in fact, are more than capable of doing many jobs other than being a domestic worker but they give up those career opportunities just to look after their children. It is not about whether women have the ability to do jobs ­outside or not, but whether they choose to stay at home.

Another controversial topic is whether running a household should be viewed as “non-work”.

I totally disagree with this description since women have to do a series of tasks, like cleaning, cooking and even repairing. While the man of the house is away in an office, driving a truck, or on a job site, it is often left to the woman to repair, maintain and keep things working at home

In my point of view, everyone should respect all jobs in Hong Kong, including being a housewife, since for all of us meeting our daily responsibilities is not easy.

Many netizens believe that men are always the most capable in the family and women should only stay at home. There can be no doubt women make invaluable contributions to home life and the economy.

Cathy Yuen Tsz-wai, Tseung Kwan O

Tests have key role but not the only tool

I refer to Perry Lam’s A article (“On second yhought: Hong Kong is not the only place where standardised tests anger ­parents, students and teachers’, April 7) .

I can’t agree more that the Territory-wide System Assessment is a very important technique to push up the education level of students.

I do not agree with those who say that the test is useless and puts students under more pressure. But I also think tests or ­exams should not be the only way to assess our students. Like Perry said, good teachers rarely teach to the test and incorporate hands-on projects, field trips, classes on art, music and pop culture, elective courses, ­student clubs and after-school programmes.

What we students need is to clearly know what weaknesses or strengths we have.

Tsui Yuen-lun, Yau Yat Chuen