Letters to the Editor, September 18, 2016

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 September, 2016, 12:18am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 September, 2016, 12:18am

Status of HK is clear and will not change

I refer to the letter by Tony ­Harding ­(“Not illegal to back changes in Basic Law”, September 15) about Hong Kong independence and the mechanism to change the Basic Law.

In response to his remarks, I would like to point out that, ­according to Article 159(4) of the Basic Law, no amendment to the Basic Law shall contravene the established basic policies of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) regarding Hong Kong.

In accordance with the Constitution of the PRC, the ­National People’s Congress ­enacted the Basic Law, prescribing the systems to be practised in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), in order to ensure the implementation of the basic policies of the PRC ­regarding Hong Kong, that is, “one country, two systems”, “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong” and a high ­degree of autonomy.

Article 1 of the Basic Law clearly stipulates that the HKSAR is an inalienable part of the PRC. Therefore, any amendment to the Basic Law shall not touch on this basic policy of the HKSAR being an inalienable part of the PRC, and shall not be allowed to be used as a means to attain the independence of Hong Kong.

Ronald Chan, undersecretary for constitutional and mainland affairs

Bullfighting cruel and must now be banned

Earlier this month, the BBC ­reported that thousands of ­people had joined a protest in ­Madrid to call for bullfighting to be banned in Spain.

Bullfighting, in its present form, is a tradition in the country that goes back centuries, but it is now very controversial and a lot of citizens are opposed to it.

The protest in Madrid was organised because so many Spaniards believe it is cruel and a source of national shame.

Supporters argue that bullfighting is an ancient art form and deeply rooted in the nation’s history.

I agree with the Madrid protesters that it is cruel, because of the torment caused to bulls ending in their death.

It is also very dangerous and puts the matadors at risk of ­serious injury. We should ­respect life, ­including the lives of bulls.

Children can learn about and appreciate the history of Spain even if there are no more bullfights.

It sends the wrong ­message to Spanish children if their government does not ban this cruel event. There are many other ­traditional events which can be kept alive and enjoyed.

Kitty Lui Sze-ki, Tseung Kwan O

Nothing wrong with wearing a burqini

I agree with the letter by Christy Ma (“Burqini ban leaves ­Muslims feeling isolated”, ­September 12).

In a modern nation state, the government cannot decree what kind of casual wear can or cannot be worn by its citizens. This goes hand in hand with freedom of religion.

I do not understand why the authorities would ban the ­wearing of burqinis when they cause no harm whatsoever to other users of the beach.

I would certainly be against any ban being extended to other countries. I would be opposed to this kind of dress code restriction being imposed in Hong Kong. The city has a tradition of being friendly and welcoming to people of all races, cultures and religions.

I feel that a restriction like this burqini ban in France ­encourages stereotypes of ­Muslims. Too often they are characterised as being ­extremists and connected with acts of terror when in fact the vast majority are law-abiding, peaceful, easy-going and considerate. Many Muslim organisations do a lot of charity work and help those in need.

Chiu Ka Lam, Tsuen Wan

Let’s restore old airport’s checkerboard

I am lucky enough to have ­arrived in Hong Kong approaching Kai Tak airport descending to the northeast over Kowloon City as the 747 steeply banked in front of Checkerboard Hill.

It will remain one of the ­most remarkable commercial flight landings in memory and one which is still remembered with great respect and enthusiasm (not to mention terror) by passengers and pilots alike. The spectacle of watching laundry being hung out a few feet away from the wing tips was incredulous to any newcomers of this city.

It remains in the collective memory of many of Hong Kong’s residents and visitors. As such, it is an invaluable asset to Hong Kong’s heritage in almost the same way as Victoria ­Harbour.

It therefore comes as a shock and disappointment that the chequerboard [used as a visual reference point by pilots] which is such an important part of the city’s cultural and historical ­heritage is being lost to future generations.

I took photographs which show how this important landmark has slipped into total ­disrepair and is hardly recognisable today except to those of us who have lived in Hong Kong for more than 20 years.

I suggest the government preserve Checkerboard Hill, and specifically its red and white graphics, as a sight of high ­importance and that this hillside, once restored, is promoted to graded landmark preservation status.

I would like the relevant government department to ­respond to my letter, through these columns and confirm its appreciation and understanding of this landmark and explain how it will preserve and restore Checkerboard Hill for future generations.

Barnaby Paul Smith, Central

Stop children buying toxic glow sticks

I think one of the reasons so many glow sticks are wasted every Mid-Autumn Festival is because of peer pressure.

Children see other youngsters holding these glow sticks in parks and so they go out and buy some. Afterwards, they are thrown away and leak toxic chemicals which is bad for the environment.

Education is the key here. Children should be taught about the damage the glow sticks can do to the environment and that buying them runs counter to what we should all be aiming for, which is sustainable development.

Adults must be good role models and discourage youngsters from buying them.

Joey Li, Sai Kung

Parents can help reduce stress levels

I refer to the letter by Kitty Chung Hoi-ching (“Students get to ­university and think that’s it”, September 9).

I agree that students are now under a great deal of pressure in Hong Kong, because of the exam-oriented education ­system.

They often focus too much on exam results and ignore their mental health. This psychological pressure can get worse if they are not talented academically and hate their studies.

Things can get worse if they also have to attend tutorial ­colleges and have no time to ­relax. And parents will make stress levels worse if they have unrealistic expectations of academic success. This creates ­tension in the family home.

The right kind of parental support is very important. ­Without it, youngsters will often feel isolated. Parents must help their sons and daughters cope with the pressure they feel.

Lydia Woo, Lai Chi Kok