Letters to the Editor, October 17, 2016

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 October, 2016, 5:40pm
UPDATED : Monday, 17 October, 2016, 5:40pm

Slide in Legco standards goes back long way

Your editorial (“Legco must put its house in order”, October 13) was understatement of the year.

The Legislative Council was already not an orderly house but a zoo three terms ago. It and society have since become more and more of a rebellious zoo through the permissiveness of the Legco president and secretariat, and the government in general.

By nature, the antics of the likes of Leung Kwok-hung, Wong Yuk-man and Albert Chan Wai-yip have to be continually escalated in order not to lose impact. Thus, events went from the councillors getting away with mutilating their swearing-in oaths and hurling verbal insults at Tung Chee-hwa addressing Legco, to showering paper slogans on Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, and throwing hard objects at Leung Chun-ying; and peaceful protest marches escalated to the 79-day Occupy Central campaign, then to full-scale riots in Mong Kok.

Now we have new-generation copycats like Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching emulating Leung Kwok-hung/Wong/Chan, with four-letter words mixed with the disjointed oath proper, while being draped in “Hong Kong is NOT China” banners.

Such unruly and unpatriotic behaviour is inconsistent with their being Chinese citizens. They deserve the toughest punitive actions, such as being stripped of Chinese citizenship. They would de rigueur lose their permanent residentship under Article 24 of the Basic Law, ­together with the right to vote and stand for election. Don’t worry about the judicial reviews they might seek. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Peter Lok, Chai Wan

Foul-mouthed leaders are no role models

I refer to the article, “War games with US go on despite Duterte tirades” (October 5). In a world with so much war and ­hatred, so much displacement and mistrust, the last thing we need is a leader who has no class.

Let’s face it, politics is politics but there is such a thing as diplomacy – and diplomacy is crucial if you lead a country.

We are supposed to be teaching tomorrow’s leaders, our children, that communication, cooperation and compassion are essential life skills to run a country, lead a nation.

Instead, we get leaders like Duterte, who uses foul language, name-calling and cat-and-mouse games to run his government. Now, on the opposite side of the world, we have Donald Trump. What more can I say?

What are we teaching our children? That bullying and swearing are what make a great leader? That stereotyping, ­gender inequality and religious intolerance are important? Whatever happened to running a country with class and dignity?

Duterte goes off on his ­tantrums and Trump on his ­tirades. What is going on with our leaders? Kids, please take note – this is not what you should aspire to.

Sherina Utamchandani, Kowloon Tong

To stop teens drinking, lead by example

I am writing to share with you my views on the article “Children drinking alcohol as young as 10, study finds” (October 3).

The alarming situation is that youngsters are attaching no ­importance to adverse effects brought by alcohol drinking.

In their mind, drinking alcohol is a sign of maturity, which is what youngsters are longing for: they want to be accepted and appreciated to be mature and independent enough.

This mindset is further ­promoted by media, from soap operas to music videos, and from alcohol advertisements to films. Since the media mainly places importance on the bright side of alcohol, it would be easy for immature adolescents to be influenced and simply neglect the adverse effects drinking could bring.

For example, this would worsen their learning abilities and nervous systems. Alcohol drinking is just putting youngsters’ health and future in jeopardy.

To address the issue of alcohol drinking, socialisation, family influence and peer influence are key. In teenagers’ lives, people who can influence them the most are peers, their family and the media.

If family members can take the initiative not to drink alcohol, they can be role models for teenagers to follow.

Having family members, especially parents, as an example to follow would help teenagers to resist the temptation more easily. However, if their parents engage in alcohol abuse instead, teenagers would relate to alcohol drinking, or worse, alcohol abuse, more easily.

This linkage shows how ­important parents’ behaviour is when it comes to stopping alcohol drinking among youngsters.

Roxanne Liu, Ho Man Tin

Formula E race flagged double standards

When banners are hung on some remote outcrop of rock by political activists, they are quickly removed by the Hong Kong government within hours out of “safety concerns”.

Yet when the organisers of the Formula E race drape the walkways of Central days before to boost the paying audience for their toy car race, it apparently poses no danger. Why?

And can someone advise how much the ePrix organisers are paying the citizens of Hong Kong for the privilege of ­commandeering some of the city’s busiest streets and pedestrian thoroughfares for their ­private, profit-making venture?

Mark Waterhouse, Ap Lei Chau

Preserve local shops or city will lose edge

I am writing to express my concerns about local small stores closing down.

In recent years, there have been more and more headlines about the plight of those owning small shops.

Locally owned stores in shopping malls being replaced by international chains seems be the current trend.

Local shops can build a city’s identity. Hong Kong, as a shopping paradise, is attractive also for its traditional local goods, such as lanterns. If all local stores are replaced by retail chains, Hong Kong will lose its unique attraction.

Also, local shops are the only place to find a human touch. In such shops, owners and staff ­often share funny anecdotes and care about each other. We must preserve this warmth.

Being international is indeed necessary for a city like Hong Kong. However, I would like to live in a city with its own identity and human touch.

Therefore, it’s time for us to stand up and prevent more local shops from facing closure, by shopping at these stores and spreading the word.

Fu Pui-yin, Yau Yat Chuen

Talk to village leaders about housing crisis

I am writing in response to the letter on the Wang Chau housing saga from Hilton Cheong-Leen (“Cooperation between the Hong Kong government and Legco is essential”, October 10).

The Wang Chau project was to have yielded 17,000 flats, but the government now says only 4,000 will be provided in the first phase.

First, I am disappointed with the government because it has the responsibility to provide more flats, especially for low-income families. We know that the housing problem is very serious in Hong Kong and the government should be proactive in solving the problem.

I suggest that the government try to discuss the matter with village representatives to find a solution, instead of taking back sites of finished buildings, such as the Jockey Club Kitchee Centre in Sha Tin.

Leung Pak-hong, Tsuen Wan