Letters to the Editor, November 17, 2016

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 November, 2016, 4:42pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 November, 2016, 4:42pm

Banned duo should give up and grow up

It was revealing to read that ­Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching have “vowed to keep fighting” against the decision to disqualify them from the Legislative Council.

It is revealing in that they do not yet seem to have evaluated their performances to date and continue to act like spoiled children who do not get their way.

The reality is that they ­betrayed the trust of the voters, who ­expected them to take their seats and fight for their cause. But, ­instead of promoting the cause, they wasted their opportunity and, in the process, damaged the credibility of every young ­person who wants to contribute to the future of Hong Kong. And instead of acknowledging the uselessness of their actions, of re-evaluating and ­rebuilding, they have vowed to keep ­fighting.

My message to them: give it up and grow up. The voices against them are not conspirators from Beijing or Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, but the voices of the Hong Kong people.

They are not voices against the disqualified lawmakers’ cause – which seems to have got lost in the carnival of their ­actions – nor are they voices against young people and their ideals. They are voices against Leung’s and Yau’s immaturity and their demonstrated lack of ability to provide any kind of leadership, or to ­formulate any strategic plan of action.

They were given the chance to do something useful and they squandered it by indulging in selfish and ineffective behaviour which has provided ammunition for those who say Hong Kong does not have the maturity to handle its own affairs.

Dave Osborne, Wan Chai

Legco pair’s disrespect wrong tactic

As a teenager I was disappointed by the behaviour of the now ­disqualified lawmakers, Sixtus ­Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching, during the oath-taking ceremony in the Legislative Council last month. They used language that was disrespectful to the Chinese people and sought to belittle China which is their country. Although many citizens have arguments with the central government, we should not use the tactics they employed to express our views.

The oath-taking ceremony is a solemn ritual and they should have shown respect for it.

­Because they were so disrespectul , they have now been disqualified and this will leave the people who voted for them ­feeling ­disappointed.

They have promised to appeal through the courts, but given the intervention of the ­National People’s Congress Standing Committee on the oath-taking, I doubt if they will be successful.

They could have put forward the grievances they have against Beijing, as lawmakers, after they had correctly completed the oath-taking ceremony.

Winnie Hon Wing-lam, Tsuen Wan

Grim times ahead after Beijing ruling

I agree with Ruby Ho Sum-yu about the decision of the ­National People’s Congress Standing Committee to rule on the Basic Law with regard to the oath-taking ceremony incident in Legco (“Beijing should not have interfered”, November 14).

I disapprove of the behaviour of the two localist lawmakers ­during the ceremony, but also strongly disagree with the Standing Committee’s decision to interpret our Basic Law.

There was no excuse for Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang to use the term “Chee-na” for China. From a historical perspective, it insults the Chinese race, but that is no excuse for Beijing to usurp the authority of our judicial system and basically change Article 104 of the Basic Law. For decades, Hongkongers have been so proud of the rule of the law and this has been ­undermined.

The NPC’s decision to take this legal move is just an excuse to suppress the growth of the pro-independence movement of Hong Kong. As we know, ­Beijing tries to suppress any challenge to its authority. What I find so sad is that our chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, has fully backed the central government and by implication the undermining of Hong Kong’s judicial independence.

Some citizens may not ­appreciate that this interpretation of the Basic Law has caused irreversible harm to our judicial independence. I am concerned that it might be just the beginning as the central government tries to exert more control over Hong Kong. If this happens, Hong Kong people will soon lose faith in “one country, two ­systems”.

Many citizens already think it is a joke, as is the core value of “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong”. I want to try to strike a more optimistic note, but I fear that the city is embarking on some of its darkest times.

To Yan-miu, Wan Chai

Oath-taking protest not acceptable

I agree with the ruling by Hong Kong’s High Court that the two Youngspiration lawmakers ­involved in the oath-taking saga must give up their seats.

They have vowed to appeal, but I doubt they will be successful. They were disrespectful ­towards China when making their pledge so they are not ­entitled to remain as legislative ­councillors.

I believe many people felt that their behaviour was not ­acceptable.

The Basic Law makes it clear that the oath must be taken in a respectful manner and one ­cannot insult China. These lawmakers failed to adhere to the rules ­required of all legislative councillors taking this oath.

Chan Ching-fai, Tseung Kwan O

Trump, Brexit raise doubts on voting system

Many people were completely taken by surprise by Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.

Virtually everyone had been predicting a win for Hillary ­Clinton.

It reminded me of the referendum in June in Britain on ­continued EU membership.

Many were taken aback by the result to leave (Brexit) when most newspapers in the UK had confidently predicted that ­voters would choose to remain.

The US and the UK have different voting systems, but are both governed by the principle of universal suffrage.

However, after these two ­totally unexpected results, I wonder if people in Hong Kong still think universal suffrage would be the best way to elect our chief executive.

What if one of the candidates was totally unsuitable, a Hong Kong version of Donald Trump, with absolutely no political experience whatsoever and that person actually won the ­election?

We have to ask if that is the right kind of voting system we want, to ensure we can have an ideal society in Hong Kong.

Shirley Lee, Tseung Kwan O

Playgrounds not exciting enough

When I am hanging out with my friends, I do not see any children in playgrounds, only elderly people sitting around.

Therefore, it did not ­surprise me to read the results of a survey of parents and children who want playgrounds to be more exciting (“Game plan needed for Hong Kong’s old playgrounds, study finds”, ­November 6).

They complain about equipment not being exciting. For example, the slides are too low and short. They also have too long a wait to use the swings.

The government says safety is a priority, but there is far more variety in playgrounds in countries such as the US and they are safe.

Even in the safest of playgrounds, children will sometimes have accidents, but they learn from the experience.

Playgrounds should not just entertain children, but also help them learn life skills. I urge the government not to be so ­overprotective of children.

Jenny Sit, Tiu Keng Wan