Letters to the Editor, July 7, 2016

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 July, 2016, 4:31pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 July, 2016, 4:31pm

Backing home proposal for terminally ill

It is heartening to note that the government is considering giving an option to dying ­patients to spend their final ­moments in their house among their family and in familiar ­surroundings.

I support this excellent suggestion as it benefits everyone. The patient can spend his/her last moments with dignity and in a happy frame of mind. The family can take more personal care of the patient and spend more precious moments with them.

The hospital will release beds for the more needy.

The medical staff will be able to give quality time to the other patients who are struggling for life.

Finally, society benefits because of the resultant ­improved health care delivery.

At present, if the patient passes away at home, the family has to go through so many complicated formalities with the ­coroner’s office and ­police over documentation.

I hope the government moves quickly to make the procedures simple so that there is no need to go to the police or the coroner’s office.

The recent call by the Active Global Specialised Caregivers to create a special category of visa for caregivers to look after patients at home would complement the dying patients receiving treatment at home and would be highly beneficial to all Hongkongers.

Gary N. Harilela, Tsim Sha Tsui

Don’t wait five years to ban ivory trade

Why has the government ­decided on five years before the ivory trade is completely outlawed in Hong Kong?

Why can’t the ivory trade be banned sooner?

It might be too late in five years and elephants in the wild might already be extinct.

I think that the trade should be banned as soon as shops have run out of their supply and they should not be allowed to buy any more. High fines should be imposed if they are found to be continuing to sell ivory products and that ivory should be confiscated.

Salo Joseph Billingham, Pok Fu Lam

Having a tantrum over Brexit result

I refer to the letter by Jason Brockwell (“Whatever the Brexit mitigation, a bad decision is still bad”, July 3).

While we old but neither uneducated nor xenophobic English/Welsh voters are gratified by your correspondent’s interest in our affairs, it is extraordinary that he compares a series of bad decisions in history, known to have been bad because the outcomes are known, with the decision of the citizens of the UK to leave the EU, where the outcome is unknown.

The outcome would also have been unknown, if we had voted to stay in the EU. However, the majority thought the outcome looked distinctly less favourable in than out, which is why the vote went the way it did.

How dare Brockwell, from the comfort of Hong Kong, choose to tell us how we should have voted; and how dare he attempt to muddy the waters by suggesting that the EU has responsibility for defending the Baltic states from Russia.

He should know that this is a responsibility of Nato, not the EU, and the UK remains as committed to Nato as it always has been.

Like many Remainers over here, Brockwell is having a tantrum because the democratic process delivered the answer he didn’t want. Others accept the democratic decision, and wish to work with it to deliver the best possible outcome for the citizens of the UK. Good for them. Down with the whingers.

Christopher Heneghan, Abergavenny, Wales

There should be no set age for retirement

Last year, the retirement age of newly hired civil servants was raised from 60 to 65 under a government plan to tackle the ­ageing population and shrinking workforce.

I do not think any limit should be set on retirement, because some people may want to work for longer and be reluctant to ­retire for various reasons, such as a fear they will have nothing to do.

Of course it should still be possible for people who wish to retire early to do so.

For example, they may have health problems, or they just want to enjoy more leisure time for such things as travelling.

Law Wing-sze, Ho Man Tin

Our firefighters are definitely real heroes

I refer to Peter Kammerer’s ­column (“Firefighters who died were brave and courageous, but not heroic”, July 5).

I do not see why our firefighters who died should not be ­regarded as heroes.

While I take Kammerer’s point that for most of the time, firefighters are involved in training, such as fire drills, and doing checks of equipment and residential buildings, their jobs become demanding and dangerous when a fire breaks out. They deserve praise for the high professional standards they maintain.

In the case of the blaze at the Amoycan Industrial Centre in Ngau Tau Kok, the firefighters faced extreme difficulties, with temperatures in the worst areas being as hot as 1,500 degrees ­Celsius.

This was an extremely dangerous situation, which claimed the lives of two of our brave firefighters, Thomas Cheung and Samuel Hui Chi-kit.

They and the other firefighters who fought the blaze were indeed heroic, risking their lives to protect citizens’ property.

Some people have “questioned the strategies and commands used in the operation” (“ ‘Ignore rumours and back our firemen’ ”, June 25) and implied that no firefighters needed to perish in the blaze.

That will have to be looked at as part of the inquiry. Even if it transpires errors were made, the fact remains that our firefighters who battled the blaze were heroes.

The problem they faced was not knowing what was stored in the subdivided mini-warehouses, and what was flammable and what was not.

My family rented one of the units on the third floor. I can understand how the fire could have spread rapidly with so many of these units and the ­absence of a sprinkler ­system presented another ­obstacle for the firefighters.

The government clearly needs to revise fire safety regulations in old industrial buildings like the Amoycan Industrial Centre.

Samantha Lee, Ngau Tau Kok

Parents should avoid being overprotective

Attitudes of parents when it comes to bringing up children have changed over the years.

In the past, parents would scold their children if they had misbehaved and even sometimes resort to corporal punishment. But now, they seem to have gone in the opposite direction and shield them, even ­trying to shift the blame to another child if their son or daughter has done something wrong.

Although being regularly too harsh is not appropriate, it is also not good for parents to be overprotective. There are cases of “monster” parents here. For example, they will blame teachers for the children’s poor academic performance, even if the accusation is unfair.

This can lead to youngsters developing negative personality traits and it will not be helpful if, as a result, they have a bad work attitude as adults.

Parents often sign children up for lots of extracurricular activities. Instead they should try and find what really interests them and allow them to choose.

Lovelyn Wong, Tsing Yi