Letters to the Editor, November 22, 2016

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 November, 2016, 3:54pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 November, 2016, 3:54pm

Taxpayers’ money wasted on Apec trip

What was the purpose of having Hong Kong’s leader, Leung Chun-ying, travelling to Lima, Peru, for the Asia-Pacific ­Economic Cooperation (Apec) 2016 Leaders’ Week?

What kind of cog in the wheel of trade did he offer to other ­nations? Hong Kong is not a nation, only a transshipping port for goods imported or ­exported mainly to and from the mainland.

Hong Kong does do the paperwork and is certainly ­capable of taking care of such shipments, but has nothing to offer in the realm of exports, as almost nothing is manufactured here.

Perhaps C.Y. was offering some of our polluted air (which won’t improve much until buses stop using diesel fuel, tunnel fumes are filtered before ­releasing their toxic gases into the surrounding urban and ­suburban areas and rubbish is not dumped into the sea, as not all of it is from China.)

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist, just stand in any bus queue waiting for whatever bus you want and breathe in the toxic air, enough to ruin your lungs. Yet C.Y. has managed to spend taxpayers’ funds on TV adverts telling us all how much the air has improved. Just ­another way of wasting funds.

Then again, he may have been offering our rather overpriced office rentals to potential tenants, although I doubt he acted as a real estate agent.

He managed to get interviewed and get his picture taken with many of the ­attending world leaders. It would have been great for his scrapbook.

At what cost to Hong Kong taxpayers was his trip to the Apec summit? How many were in his group? Was any of it paid for by C Y?

In my mind, this was wasteful, as the funds spent on this trip should have gone where they are needed – to improving education facilities for our young; getting rid of our very polluted air; making certain we all have clean drinking and ­bathing water; ­expanded facilities for the ageing population; much more aid for the disabled; creating new job opportunities for the young and old; and, much needed housing. He is one of the big-time spenders, but not from his ­own pocket.

Stewart Martin, Tseung Kwan O

HK can learn from K-pop’s success story

I agree with the views expressed by Bonnie Lo (“Why so many HK teenagers prefer K-pop”, November 18).

There is no doubt that K-pop has become very popular over the past few years, not just in Asia, but in other parts of the globe and I am not surprised by this trend.

Korean entertainment firms invest a lot in production and they provide a wide range of choices for audiences, ­including, for example, music programmes, reality TV shows and dramas.

In all areas of a production, including sets, make-up, even post-production, they spare no expense and so they produce high-quality entertainment that proves popular with viewers in Korea and other countries.

In Hong Kong and other Asian cities, the production quality is not as good and many TV programmes lack originality. Recently, Taiwanese singer/actor Aaron Yan Ya-lun complained about insufficient resources for filming dramas and so they get low ratings.

For example, this year, three productions by a well-known cable TV network in Taiwan were turned down by other ­markets in the region which, in the past, had bought their ­drama ­series. Korean entertainment firms make good use of the social ­media to promote their ­K-pop artists.

They also cooperate closely with famous cosmetics and fashion brands and duty-free stores, and this helps them to successfully promote established and emerging stars and reach a wider audience.

The government has also helped, organising cultural ­exchange concerts with other countries, including China. This offers K-pop stars an even wider market and more venues to demonstrate their ­talent.

There is a need in Hong Kong to have greater cultural diversity.

Our entertainment sector should try to learn from the ­achievements of the K-pop ­phenomenon.

We should adopt the elements that have made K-pop so successful. I am not talking about straight copying, but we can still look at how the Korean entertainment sector has ­become so successful and emulate it in some ways. If we don’t improve, TV companies in Hong Kong will have to buy even more ­Korean programmes in ­order to keep ­viewers.

Ariel Leung, Jordan

Competitive edge lost as city stands still

I refer to the letter by Rachel Chan about the tasks facing the next chief executive (“Hong Kong needs to nurture talent for global outreach”, November 18).

Our next leader will have to ­enable Hong Kong to become a major Chinese city, but also Asia’s most international city.

Hong Kong now faces many challenges in the region, for example, from Singapore and Seoul. Shanghai is also in strong competition with Hong Kong. While these cities advance, Hong Kong just seems to be ­standing still.

The government should be doing more to nurture people with talent as they can help the city with its global outreach and further development, to make sure it stays competitive.

Tsui Yuen-lun,Yau Yat Chuen

High-pressure school system chief culprit

I hold a similar view to that ­expressed in your editorial (“All must address student suicides”, November 18).

It is not easy being a student in Hong Kong. There are so many demands placed on you, with so many ­different things to learn, including in extracurricular ­activities.

Often, some youngsters have so much to do that there is not enough time to relax or even get a good night’s sleep. If they are tired all the time, it becomes more difficult to ­concentrate on their studies and this can easily lead to depression.

If you apply too much ­pressure to a balloon, it will burst and it is the same with Hong Kong teenagers.

For some, the pressure has become ­unbearable and they have taken their own lives.

Although all stakeholders admit this high level of stress is a problem, they do not appear to be inclined to do anything about it.

Teachers keep giving out a lot of homework and tests, and there is no coordination ­between teachers of different subjects to ensure the overall workload is not too heavy for students.

While I would not say that the education system is solely to blame for the high student ­suicide rate, it must take most of the responsibility.

I hope that, eventually, ­officials and schools will try to make the necessary changes to the system so that pressure levels are eased.

Percy Hon Pui-sze, Ngau Tau Kok

Beijing is struggling to curb pollution

The authorities are making slow progress when it comes to ­cleaning up Beijing’s serious levels of air pollution.

Many residents continue to rely on coal for heating their homes and the capital is also ­affected by pollution in nearby ­cities, which make the smog worse. It affects the health of many residents who suffer from a variety of respiratory diseases.

An ambitious programme was announced to clean up the air, but this now appears to have been scaled back. Mainland ­cities do set pollution reduction targets and yet every year, at ­different times, smog returns to the capital. The central government should set realistic targets and try to stick to them.

The country’s gross domestic product is important, but the government must not ignore its environmental problems.

Chloe Hung Yee-ching, Kowloon Tong