Letters to the Editor, August 19, 2016

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 August, 2016, 1:37pm
UPDATED : Friday, 19 August, 2016, 1:37pm

The enduring appeal of Pokemons

This summer, you can see so many people walking around Hong Kong with their heads down, staring at their phones. That’s because they are playing Pokemon Go, a game that has the world going crazy. As an avid player, I am reminded of how far this game has come.

Pokemon is a media franchise featuring creatures called “Pokemons” that their human “trainers” catch and put to use in battle. The first Pokemon game was created in 1995, which was played on Game Boy. Later on, we played it using the Nintendo DS console and the computer. But those Pokemon games were only 2D versions, and players needed to really use their imagination.

But now we can play the game on our phone. This mobile game means people can play it anywhere. With the help of GPS, players can walk around and catch the Pokemons, unlike previously when we played sitting at home.

Although the Pokemon franchise has been around for so many years, it is still thriving, and I know many Pokemon ­online communities where people share memes and new information about the game.

As a player, I think it is a very good game. Today, it combines the use of many mobile technologies such as GPS and the camera. I believe the success of Pokemon Go will bring mobile games to a new level.

Fan Ka Wing, Tseung Kwan O

Government should ban mobile game

An American man recently came to Hong Kong as part of a global quest to catch all Pokemons (“Pokemon master arrives in Hong Kong on worldwide quest to complete his collection”, August 13). Should we cheer on this Pokemon master? I think not!

I am not a player and I support any move for the government to block the playing of this game. Firstly, I know of students who failed a test during the summer holidays because they were too busy playing the game.

Secondly, many people are so wrapped up playing the game while walking around that it is likely to put them in danger of getting hurt.

Thirdly, I am annoyed that they are blocking the streets. I jog at night and, when I am out, I find many players blocking the streets, forcing me and other runners to go around them. Their actions are so annoying and disturbing.

I wish the government would take action to block this game soon.

Jocelly Tse, Tseung Kwan O

Adjusting to new realities holds the key

I refer to the article, “The South China Sea shadow over Beijing’s ties with Singapore” (August 15).

The peace that Southeast Asia has enjoyed since the last world war has enabled countries to embark on their developmental paths. Much has been made possible because of United States engagement in the Pacific with its patrolling fleet.

We were gripped with fear that the region might fall like dominoes, as Cambodia fell to an invading Vietnam. As a child, I recall hearing adults talking about the grim prospect of us turning into refugees. Of course, China took on Vietnam in a short but decisive war that ­restrained the would-be aggressor. We were kept off the boats.

Singapore’s success has very much to do with the peace that it has enjoyed in the region, however that has been achieved. Of course, much of the geopolitics has changed over the past half century. Our relations with the dialectically dissimilar powers of our time will seal our fate.

The US is a superpower. Its reach and influence around the world on many fronts are without equal. It sets the trends and agendas of our time. We look up to it and send our brightest to learn from it. Invariably, our political thought has been greatly influenced by it.

China is a rising power that has joined the fray pretty late in the game. Much of the post-war order had been set by the time it awoke from its ideological cleansing. Thus, it needs to catch up. But this power is different from the one that we have been used to.

China is a civilisation state. Amid natural calamities, plagues, wars and ceaseless revolutions, it has not been decimated to the brink of extinction. Instead, it is the most populous country in the world that enjoys a diaspora far and wide.

Thus, our dealing with a 5,000-year-old civilisation cannot be the same as a 240-year-old nation. They were founded on drastically different principles, and have different world views. We have to imagine a new order. The learning curve is steep for all nations to adapt to this new geopolitics while China tries hard to join the international community.

Operating under a Thucydides trap will prove challenging for all nations in the region.

Lee Teck Chuan, Singapore

Let Beijing appoint Hong Kong’s leader

A friend had a very good suggestion and I fully support his idea: do away with elections for a chief executive in Hong Kong. ­Instead, China should follow the way the UK governed Hong Kong.

China should appoint a governor or a chief executive for Hong Kong. He or she would have no vested interested and would have no political affiliations. The chief or governor would report directly to China, and his or her mandate would be to make Hong Kong a stable and economically strong city, just the way it was under British rule.

E. Fung, Mid-Levels

Enough of dripping air cons

In the first six months of this year, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department has ­received nearly 10,000 complaints about dripping air conditioners (“Leaky and pesky: dripping air cons continue to plague Hong Kong streets as little is done to punish negligent owners”, July 23).

Dripping air conditioners is a persistent problem. In the past, however, it was not really serious. Now the problem is everywhere in Hong Kong, especially in crowded areas like Mong Kok and Sham Shui Po.

I recently went to Mong Kok with my friends for a session of street photography. While we were taking photos, water was constantly dripping on us. This made us really impatient. After this experience, I could understand how pesky dripping air conditioners can be.

The government should take action.

The government can get building proprietors to promise that they will fix the problem in their building. If the problem persists after they made the promise, the government should act.

Michelle Ho, Kowloon Tong

Marriage takes work, here and elsewhere

I refer to the article, “Divorce proves to be hardest break for expatriates in Hong Kong” ­(August 6).

I appreciate your article’s highlighting of a common phenomenon found in expat communities in Hong Kong: the decision to divorce. As a marriage counsellor, I often meet couples convinced that Hong Kong roots their relationship in divorce, as if living here inevitably leads to relationships coming under different stresses and breaking up.

The narrative then takes shape: couples have no choice, and self-responsibility becomes a distant idea – one they did not pack in their suitcases coming here.

The reshaping of this narrative requires a commitment to seeing beyond the often binary portrayal of marriage – that it is either perfect or doomed – and demands that both people in a relationship accept that with choices come responsibility.

I often wonder how many of these couples would have ­divorced if they had remained in their home countries. Stressors and protective factors may change form based on geographical context, yet neither equate to fate.

The couples I work with who are most fulfilled in their relationships are the ones willing to not only recognise their strengths, challenges, temptations and protective factors, but also work towards being a team, not bystanders. This teamwork transcends location.

Allison Heiliczer, Mid-Levels