Letters to the Editor, August 20, 2016

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 August, 2016, 11:30am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 August, 2016, 11:30am

Action on TV marred by constant jabber

I can’t agree more with Philip Yeung’s article (“Cantonese TV coverage of Olympics is yet another display of ill-informed, nauseating amateurism”, August 16).

I was comfortably ensconced one night to watch my favourite event, synchronised swimming, hoping to enjoy world-class aquatic acrobatics that would be a rare treat for viewers. However, my enjoyment was greatly marred by the constant and pointless banter between the commentators in the background.

The music that accompanied the performance was an important component, as each elaborate movement was executed with grace and artistry in precise timing, but, sadly, the accompanying music was drowned out by constant jabber and trivial remarks, to the point of one commentator comparing the tan between two swimmers!

I feel sorry for the expert on the panel who had to put up with such amateurism and who I feel had to compete for air time to offer her expert commentary.

The same is true in the coverage of badminton, in which viewers were subjected to superfluous comments and endless analysis of every point played, as if viewers were blind to see and judge for themselves.

It is too late for TVB to improve the professionalism in its Olympics coverage now. I wish the station could have at least told their commentators to keep quiet to leave more air time for the professionals and experts, and spare viewers to enjoy the games without their pointless verbiage.

Karina Fung, Wan Chai

There must be zero tolerance for doping

Chinese swimmer Chen Xinyi has been kicked out of the Rio Olympics for failing a drug test (“Chinese swimmer Chen Xinyi booted out of Olympics as doping ban is upheld”, August 19).

The 18-year-old competed in the 100-metre butterfly event, placing fourth in the final. However, after the competition, she tested positive for the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide, which is banned.

Another Chinese swimmer, Sun Yang, was also involved in a drug controversy. In 2014, he tested positive for the drug trimetazidine, which he said was used to treat his heart condition. Consequently, he was stripped of his first-place finish in the 1,500m free at the national championships and made to serve a three-month ban from swimming.

There must be zero tolerance for athletes who used drugs. Such conduct is totally unfair to the other athletes who use their own abilities to perform their best.

Even when there may be legitimate reasons for the use of drugs, the coaches, medical teams and the athletes themselves must know what can be taken and what should not be. It would be ridiculous for an athlete to fail a drug test because he or she didn’t know any better.

The Olympics is where the world’s best athletes come together in tough but fair competition. If athletes take drugs because of their ambition, it would destroy the original meaning of the Games.

Vivian Lo, Tseung Kwan O

Do not deny students right to the truth

I was disappointed after reading the report, “Watch what you say about Hong Kong independence, CY Leung warns local schools” (August 16)

Government officials are trying to stop students from talking about Hong Kong independence. This is not fair to the students.

Hong Kong people have a right to know about the situation that affects them. Also, there is freedom of the press in Hong Kong. Everyone should know the facts.

Teachers should present all the facts to their students instead of hiding the facts, or stopping the students from joining a social movement. I am not saying teachers should encourage their students to join the movement. However, teachers should respect the opinion of their students.

Students should also think for themselves and not only follow other people’s opinions. It is most important for them to pursue the truth.

We Hong Kong people should protect and fight for our rights.

I truly hope Hong Kong can be a city with freedom, even after 50 years.

Carrie Chong, Tseung Kwan O

Stop offering plastic bags for umbrellas

As we carry on with our busy urban lives through typhoons, black rainstorms and torrential downpours, the daily deluges are exacerbated by the ubiquitous single-use plastic umbrella covers that overflow from our waste bins.

Several times in the past few weeks, I have been chased down by anxious property management staff manning the umbrella bag machines at the entrances to office buildings and malls and chastised for not accepting the free plastic bag on offer. I stopped to assure them that I had taken 30 seconds outside the front door to shake off my umbrella, which was no longer dripping.

Plastic bag use has dropped marginally since the government introduced a levy on them in 2009, yet here we have practically every building in town offering free plastic bags! The simple act of entering a public building is now a source of creating unnecessary garbage.

On a typical rainy day, many people easily go through half a dozen of these offensive umbrella covers. Having been used for at most a few hours, these bags are thrown into overstuffed landfills where they will take hundreds of years to disintegrate. Or, worse, a huge percentage of these umbrella condoms will end up in our oceans where they are poisoning all life.

The culture of convenience is killing our environment and our health. The umbrella bag machines should be banned, or at least taxed just like plastic bags.

Simple signs that ask people to shake the water off their umbrellas outside and a non-slip PVC mat inside the building or store entrance would address most of the water. It’s your choice: doing the 30-second shake, or taking responsibility for adding extra plastic to our seas and landfills.

For me, I will continue to do the shake and offer a smile to others I see doing the same.

Ame M Engelhart, Central

‘Gift’ of plastic surgery is misguided

I read in a Chinese-language newspaper recently that some parents are encouraging their children, some as young as 16, to have plastic surgery. Some even offer surgery as a “gift” to their children for making it to university!

Cosmetic surgery poses all kinds of risks and, if there was a mistake, the child would suffer for the rest of her life. Encouraging young people to have cosmetic surgery does not help to build their self-confidence.

Not only that, it infringes on the child’s rights. What if the child does not want surgery but feel compelled to obey her parents?

Even if the child wanted to have plastic surgery, their parents should not be so eager to pay for it. They should talk to their child to understand her concerns.

Cosmetic surgery is not an appropriate gift to celebrate a place in the university. What children really want is love and care from their parents.

Fu Pui Yin, Kowloon Tong

Grateful for marine police’s timely help

I want to express my thanks to the crew of the Hong Kong marine police vessel 6 for their prompt and efficient actions in giving assistance in a potentially tricky situation. Last Sunday, my boat lost power in the Lamma channel and was drifting in rough seas. The marine police responded quickly and towed us to safety.

They were professional and courteous and ensured our safety was paramount. I cannot thank them enough.

G. Hunter, Mid-Levels