Letters to the Editor, November 24, 2016

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 November, 2016, 4:42pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 November, 2016, 4:42pm

Future of HK is inalienably linked to China

The so-called protesters for ­democracy must realise that without China, Hong Kong would deteriorate into a backwater, a polluted harbour city. China has reclaimed its sovereignty over Hong Kong, a sovereignty which cannot be disputed or challenged.

The Communist Party has succeeded in putting the ­country back on the world stage in an economic sense, with a ­remarkable speed that has made Western powers envious.

Consequently, they do not hesitate to criticise China at every ­opportunity through their ­media.

There is nothing wrong with believing in democracy with Chinese characteristics. After all, from its birth in ancient Greece, there has been no single form of democracy, but permutations, and different movements calling for democracy, such as the French Revolution and the US War of Independence. These countries and other nations in Europe developed their own forms of democracy with different characteristics, without interference from other nations.

In the same vein, China should be allowed to develop at its own pace without external ­interference.

I am sure most Hongkongers want be allowed to go about their business and earn a decent living in a society where the rule of law prevails.

Hong Kong is recognised as an international financial centre, but can that global reputation remain untarnished when there is constant brawling with Beijing over independence?

What leadership, policy or strategy can the “umbrella movement” or similar protests offer the populace of Hong Kong? These protesters do not seem to realise that social disruption and economic instability will destroy the livelihood of the most vulnerable citizens and the city will lose its status as an internationally recognised financial centre.

Hongkongers must realise that their future is inextricably and inalienably linked to China. Friendly and sincere discussions should aim to find ­common ground with Beijing.

Esther Lee Wong, Central

British played key role in shaping city

I refer to the article by Liu Jia (“Thank Mao for the success of Hong Kong”, November 15).

I agree with Liu, but not for the reasons given in the article. Shanghainese industrialists ­relocated to Hong Kong to avoid Mao Zedong’s ( 毛澤東 ) communist regime, along with the thousands of people who fled China to seek refuge here – giving the industrialists’ new factories a supply of low-cost labour.

I think that it is stretching ­patriotism and credibility too far to say that “Hong Kong’s rise to a global financial hub is not due to its history as a British colony” but due to Mao’s farsighted leadership and Chinese cultural wisdom.

Britain had a long-established trading base here, and supplied the expertise in ­banking, civil service administration and jurisprudence.

Since 1997, we have seen a deterioration in banking and ­administrative standards, and, due to China’s Basic Law interpretations, there are now ­questions about our legal ­system.

P. C. Law, Quarry Bay

Road to e-car revolution not without bumps

I agree with David Dodwell that Hong Kong would be the perfect city to become one of the world’s biggest per capita markets for electric cars (“Hong Kong, China in pole position to lead electric car revolution”, November 20).

However, there are still a few major challenges to be overcome before electric vehicles dominate our roads.

Electric cars are relatively high-priced due to the lithium-ion battery packs that power them. Also, they have to be ­replaced every three to five years.

Inconvenience is another negative factor. It takes a lot longer to recharge an electric car than fill up a tank with petrol. This is an important issue in a fast-paced metropolis like Hong Kong. And while there are petrol stations all over the city, there are far fewer recharging points for your electric vehicle.

Your electric car can be ­recharged overnight, but not all of the car parks in Hong Kong have recharging stations.

The government should ­encourage the use of electric vehicles. It should provide subsidies for research and development to improve lithium-ion batteries. Also, more recharging stations can be set up throughout the city. This would mean there would be a charging station within easy reach of all ­residents.

Chloe Ko, Sha Tin

Underground is the way to go in urban crush

I agree with your editorial (“It’s time for HK to go underground”, November 21).

Planned underground spaces in designated urban areas would free up more space at the ground level for community use, and so the living environment would be ­enhanced. This could help alleviate Hong Kong’s problem of the lack of available land for housing.

Underground spaces would also leave more areas free for the launch of experiments to ­improve air quality and give the government a better chance to ensure we can eventually breathe cleaner air.

Some of the underground spaces could be used to build shopping malls. This would ­enhance Hong Kong’s ­reputation as a shoppers’ ­paradise.

South Korea has many underground malls and they have proved popular. The malls could sell traditional Hong Kong products. Also, new underground museums would prove popular with visitors from abroad.

It makes sense for the ­government to explore the ­possibility of having these ­caverns in certain urban areas of the city.

Wing Kwok, Tseung Kwan O

Bigger Disney is good news for tourism

I back the planned HK$10.9 ­billion expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland (“Superheroes ­recruited to rescue Disneyland”, November 23).

I think the new attractions will bring in more visitors. Tourism is ­booming globally, with more people enjoying a higher ­standard of living and having a larger disposable income.

If Disneyland does well from its expansion, then other related sectors in Hong Kong will also benefit.

I realise it now has more competition in the region, especially from Shanghai Disneyland, but I think the ­quality of the theme park here is ­better than its counterpart on the mainland.

Mia Chu Mei-kau , Kwai Chung

Playgrounds falling short on fun and games

I back calls for improvements to be made to the unimaginative playgrounds in Hong Kong.

A survey has found that the city’s playgrounds are boring and outdated. For example, the slides are too low and there are not enough swings.

The government needs to take on board the criticism and make playgrounds more attractive to children of all ages, ­including those in older age groups.

For example, there should be slides with different heights, and playground designers should come up with more challenging and creative features, such as play and climbing nets using ropes.

The older playgrounds should be upgraded, as some of the equipment is rusting.

I am sure it is possible for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department to come up with a programme to provide children in the city with more interesting ­playgrounds.

Jeana Cheng Ka-yi, Kwai Chung