Letters to the Editor, September 02, 2016
Radical change of attitude can clean up city
I refer to Alex Lo’s column (“Why we should take waste management personally”, August 29).
The Hong Kong government has removed some rubbish bins from country parks and a nature reserve with the aim of getting people to take their rubbish with them after visiting these places.
It has also introduced bins with smaller openings in urban areas to discourage citizens from dropping bulky items into them. These changes are meant to raise people’s awareness of the importance of proper waste management.
Some critics say the smaller openings are not helping. This policy was in force in Taipei, but some bins have had the opening widened to make for more efficient handling of refuse.
There is no misuse of these bins in Taipei. People pay refuse charges and sort and separate their rubbish. They recognise the importance of doing this.
Hong Kong people also need to develop the right attitude to handling refuse. They must get out of the bad habit of discarding rubbish on the pavement and in the sea and country parks.
If attitudes change with the adoption of a higher moral standard, Hong Kong will look better. And the size of refuse bin openings will no longer be an issue.
Michael Chow, Tseung Kwan O
Biting medal is not a dignified celebration
The last decade or so has seen a depressing trend develop that is associated with the awarding of trophies and medals at major sporting events such as the Olympics and Wimbledon.
Why do the victors feel the need to pose with the relevant lump of metal purposely wedged between their bared fangs?
On August 25, the South China Morning Post featured Justin Rose gnashing away on the spangly trinket he had picked up for winning the men’s golf gold at the Rio Games. If you think about the time and effort that the athletes put into securing their gongs, why would they want to celebrate in a manner that for eternity will make them look ridiculous?
I suspect that the knighted sporting giants from the past, people like Stanley Matthews, Gary Sobers, Don Bradman, Roger Bannister and Colin Meads, would find the whole thing entirely disagreeable. I propose that it now be actively discouraged.
Jason Ali, Lantau
Voting a way to make your voice heard
I encourage all citizens who have the legal right to vote to do so at tomorrow’s Legislative Council election and thereby fulfil their civil responsibilities.
Every vote represents the voice of a citizen and it is time for all Hongkongers to use that voice.
I am not suggesting what party they should vote for, that will be up to each individual, just get to the polling station.
Susanna Leung Tsz-shan, Tseung Kwan O
Cathay should review its pricing policy
One wonders whether your prolific correspondent Mark Peaker has a connection with Cathay Pacific or is a substantial shareholder, as he again defends the airline (“City’s airline has been dealt unfair hand”, August 30).
While appreciating that Middle East airlines obtain fuel at a highly discounted cost, surely a reason for Cathay’s 82 per cent profit decline is that the airline’s fares are way more expensive than the competition.
This no doubt is due to Cathay’s attempt to recover the cost of its disastrous fuel hedging decision when oil was over US$100 per barrel.
Cathay has since neglected the quality of service, particularly in the economy cabin, by increasing the density of seating in its Boeing 777 aircraft and by refusing to fly the more spacious Airbus A380 used by much of the competition on long-haul flights.
On short haul, many cost conscious passengers prefer to save money and bear the minimal service sacrifice by flying with budget airlines which are not government subsidised.
Furthermore, fares charged by Cathay are more expensive compared with other non-budget flag carriers, many of which like Cathay have very modern fleets. I urge Cathay to review its pricing policy and compare the quality of service that it used to provide, particularly in the economy cabin, in order to enhance value, and increase load factors and profitability.
Eric Edwin Taylor, Sai Kung
Traditional belief deters organ donors
I refer to the report (“Chinese University student dies after complications following urgent heart transplant”, August 31).
Although Ma Cheuk-long passed away, his story highlighted the importance of organ donation. Many Hongkongers still refuse to register as donors so that their organs can be harvested after they die. This is because of the traditional belief persisting in many families that the body should stay intact after death.
There are still many patients suffering from chronic diseases waiting for a transplant and I hope more citizens will shed this traditional belief and join the register.
Kasey Ku, Kwun Tong
Investing in sport makes financial sense
Hong Kong citizens are proud of the athletes who represented the SAR at the Rio Olympics.
I believe that more resources have to be allocated to the development of sport.
It has been neglected in the past because Hong Kong is seen as primarily a centre of finance and free trade. But so much has been spent on white elephant projects like the high-speed rail link to Guangzhou.
We are losing some business now to Shanghai and Shenzhen, which has hurt us economically and we would be worse off than we are if the Hong Kong dollar was not pegged to the US dollar. It is important now to diversify investments in Hong Kong and one area to look at is sport.
It can help bring citizens together as they show their loyalty to Hong Kong.
I am sure there is a lot of potential sporting talent in the city. It would be sad if so much of that talent was to go to waste.
If the government tries harder to promote sport then hopefully more citizens will be encouraged to lead healthier lives.
May Chong, Tseung Kwan O
Burqini ban in France insults Islamic citizens
The controversy surrounding the burqini ban in France is attracting attention around the world.
I am against the imposition of such a ban on beaches in the country.
These costumes have been designed specially for Islamic women so that they can go swimming, but a number of local councils in France imposed a ban on them being worn within their jurisdiction.
Frankly I find this policy to be ridiculous and I can understand why Islamic citizens in the country feel victimised.
In fact the burqini was designed to give more freedom to Islamic women, so they can swim, and enables them to integrate their culture and religion. The ban restricts their freedom of choice and is disrespectful.
The government should not be allowed to decide what people can and cannot wear as long as they are doing no harm to other citizens. A burqini is simply another kind of swimsuit, so it should not be illegal.
I appreciate France has suffered from serious terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists and this is tragic, but that does not justify targeting innocent Islamic citizens.
A society should be based on mutual trust and respect between different cultures and religions, and in such a society a ban like this is not appropriate.
Ben Wong, Sai Kung