Letters to the Editor, October 28, 2016
Despicable behaviour in Legco chamber
Numerous views have been put forward by different sectors of the community regarding the circus-like oath-taking performances in the Legislative Council on October 12.
Except for those in the camp of the pan-democrats whose main concern is political gain, most people have condemned the behaviour of Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang, who are neither mature nor experienced enough to take up the job of being legislators.
The juvenile and despicable way they used the oath-taking ceremony for political posturing is unacceptable and is an insult to Legco. Being young and ignorant is not an excuse for such behaviour.
What I find even more disgraceful is the cop-out put forward by some of the pan democrats afterwards to counteract any criticisms directed at this pair. I know full well that Yau and Leung have been elected by a fair number of voters but they certainly don’t represent most Hongkongers who find their behaviour abhorrent.
I therefore applaud the Hong Kong government for taking a legal stand in this matter and the Legco president’s latest decision disallowing Yau and Leung from retaking their oaths until there is a judicial review ruling.
Cecilia Clinch, Mid-Levels
Government is guilty of hypocrisy
A great dishonour has been brought on Hong Kong, when legislators representing some tens of thousands of citizens can be prevented from doing their job, by ones that at best represent a few hundred tycoons and company owners.
Moreover, there is the massive hypocrisy of the government and its supporters in [possibly] forcing a by-election.
When some pro-democrats foolishly resigned to force a de facto referendum, these same groups derided them for wasting public money that could have been used to help the poor and elderly. What a mess.
David Jones, Shouson Hill
Using offensive word was unacceptable
The two new lawmakers, Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, are entitled to express their views.
However, using the word “Cheena” (for China) during the oath-taking ceremony in the Legislative Council was unacceptable.
It triggered painful memories for Chinese all over the world, because it is a variation of the derogatory term “Shina” used by the Japanese before and during the second world war. It reminds us of one of the darkest periods of China’s history.
They need to think more carefully about what they say in public and recognise that some comments can offend others.
Billy Sit, Tseung Kwan O
Pope will have to recognise Beijing
I refer to the report, “Vatican and China in final push for elusive deal on bishops” (October 21).
A further improvement of bilateral ties between the Vatican and China? Yes, maybe, but not before Pope Francis has annulled the diplomatic status of the Vatican’s delegation in Taipei and has recognised Beijing as the only legitimate government of China, Taiwan included.
Francis Vrijmoed, Yuen Long
Formula E race had strong green message
I agree that the presence of local celebrities helped to attract more people to come and watch Hong Kong’s first Formula E race (“Star power makes up for lack of power in electric cars as Hong Kong celebrities race in Formula E event”, October 8).
I also think the event was significant, because it had a strong environmental message.
It emphasised the important role of electric cars in helping to clean up our air, as they have no emissions.
I hope it will have encouraged more people who are thinking about buying a new car to choose an electric or hybrid model.
However, one obstacle to seeing a marked increase in electric car ownership is the lack of charging stations around the city. The government should recognise this is a problem and ensure there are a lot more of these stations in convenient locations.
It should also offer subsidies to people who purchase electric vehicles.
The race will have given a boost to the tourism sector, with fans coming from abroad and spending money in the city’s restaurants and shops.
I hope the government will try to attract more of these kinds of events to the city, especially if they have an environmentally-friendly message. Because they are international events, they raise the profile of the city globally.
Cynthia Sum Sin-yiu, Kwai Chung
Instagram’s alert button can really help
As an Instagram user, I am glad to see that it is trying to play its part to try and reduce the suicide rate in Hong Kong, which is a serious problem, especially among teenagers (“Instagram suicide report button ‘could have real impact on life and death’ of Hong Kong’s social media users”, October 20).
It is creating a new report button which will enable Hong Kong users to send an alert about a post they have been sent if they think a friend or relative on their feed could be at risk.
I think that this new report button could help to prevent some cases of suicide as there could be posts on social media that might indicate someone is in trouble.
Tragedies can be prevented if people are able to share their feelings with close friends and relatives. However, it is not possible to tell at this stage whether this button will make a big difference.
Unfortunately, many people who are very depressed and are contemplating suicide will not use social media to share their feelings because they dread an intervention.
Also, given the traditional nature of our society, even if someone is concerned about an individual, they may not use the button because they do not want to meddle in what they consider to be that person’s private business.
While the button will help, it is likely suicide rates will not drop significantly until we can address some of the root causes, for example, academic pressure felt by school students.
As I said, it is not possible to tell how effective the Instagram button will be, but we should still appreciate that it is making the effort to help tackle this serious problem.
Priscilla Ko Ka-ying, Tseung Kwan O
Following trends adds to waste problem
Many people flocked to Apple stores in the city to buy the new iPhone 7 when it was launched last month.
I wonder how many of them asked themselves if they really needed it when the older version of iPhone they owned was still in good working order.
For so many people nowadays, especially teenagers, it is about following trends. Often, they are motivated by the desire to impress their peers.
I wish these young people would give more careful thought to these decisions and recognise that when smartphones that still work are thrown away, this adds to the city’s waste problem.
We should all be trying to reduce the volumes of waste we generate, whether it is phones or ordering too much food in a restaurant, and trying to reduce the pressure on our landfills.
Suki Lee, Hang Hau