Letters to the Editor, January 1, 2017
Nations should oppose China’s bullying tactics
In 2016, we saw China kidnap booksellers from Hong Kong, a story that strangely disappeared from the news, lock up protesters in Wukan, Guangdong, jail lawyers defending dissidents, continue to develop islands in the South China Sea, ignore international rulings, and generally show itself to be paranoid in its fear of criticism.
It also continues to take the primary school playground attitude of “If you are friends with them then we won’t be friends with you”, regarding the likes of Taiwan and the Dalai Lama.
Do the people of Hong Kong wish to be associated with that sort of behaviour? Does it give them credit to kowtow to Beijing and go along with everything it says and does? Wouldn’t it be nice if someone in the Hong Kong government had the guts to stand up and suggest that we may be one country but their system is not the way civilised nations behave? But none of our legislators have the backbone to do that.
On the other hand, US President-elect Donald Trump has suggested that the US need not be bound by the “one China” policy. I am not a fan of Mr Trump, nor of American foreign policy, but this is one of his better tweets. China is a bully, just as other nations in the past have been bullies. The best way to deal with bullies is for everyone to stand up to them. If governments stood up to Beijing and told them what they can do with their one-China policy, the world would be a better place and China could worry about more important issues.
Unfortunately, governments want the money China offers and so Mr Trump will probably find himself alone on this one.
Andy Statham, Happy Valley
Jasper Tsang will be good chief executive
Jasper Tsang Yok-sing should now announce he is running for chief executive.
As president of the Legislative Council, he proved to be an effective mediator. He showed respect for the pan-democrats and the pro-establishment parties. He in turn was respected by both sides. This mutual respect is what Hong Kong needs without the controversies.
He should take a stand if Beijing declines to endorse him.
People care about Hong Kong’s identity and he is the public face of that identity.
I am sorry to say that if Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee was elected as chief executive, she would not last half a term as she is not popular. Everyone knows she leans towards vested interests.
Also, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah sat on trillions in reserves and did not attempt to alleviate poverty.
If there was a run-off with retired judge Woo Kwok-hing, then that would be all the better for Hong Kong.
Peter den Hartog, Tuen Mun
Keep our civil servants away from top job
The government of Hong Kong must necessarily be managed by the civil service, under the leadership of the chief executive. It therefore follows that the most important quality of the chief executive is strong leadership and the most important personality trait is unimpeachable personal and professional integrity.
For the following reasons, however, I am of the opinion that civil servants should be ineligible for the office of chief executive of the city.
They suffer from bureaucratic inertia and deficiency in initiative. They are complacent and enjoy the status quo.
At the same time, they are skilled at following orders and instructions, but are unqualified policymakers, weak leaders and poor administrators.
Finally, they are unconcerned about the interests and well-being of the masses.
Alex Ng, Sham Shui Po
Government has dreadful track record
My new year wish is that Hong Kong will soon have a truly responsible and competent government, that, like Singapore, thinks about the interests of residents and the city’s future.
Hong Kong has not had a good government since 1997. So many officials have seen their jobs as sinecures.
They have drafted poor policies in areas such as planning, housing and public hospitals. The long queues for a public housing flat and treatment in a public hospital are ridiculous. Some people might die before they can be seen and treated by a specialist.
If this irresponsible and incompetent way of governing continues, there will be no future for Hong Kong people.
Nelson Ng, Tseung Kwan O
Eviction from subdivided units a bad idea
The lack of housing supply has been a major concern in Hong Kong for many years.
Given the size of the territory, we simply do not have enough land to build all the public housing flats that er need. The wait for applicants wanting a public flat is getting longer, as much as four years.
While they endure this long wait, many people have no choice but to live in a subdivided unit, because they cannot afford the high rent for a decent private apartment.
Rents in these flats have gone up by 13.6 per cent over the last two years.
The financial pressure faced by the poor cannot be ignored and yet the government is pledging to shut down illegal subdivided units, which could leave people homeless.
Their plight will not be eased by throwing them out of subdivided units. Officials must find ways to build more public estates.
Coco Tsang, Yau Yat Chuen
Education best way to raise recycling rate
Due to materialism and consumerism, most Hong Kong students do not treasure what they have.
Unlike Eunice Li Dan Yue (“Get Hong Kong students to embrace recycling culture from early age”, December 26), I think the city has enough recycling bins. However, most people still throw all their refuse into the ordinary rubbish bins.
What is needed is more education, so citizens start separating waste and using the recycling bins. Having a lot more of these bins all over the city is of little use if they are ignored or misused. With education, the many recycling bins we already have will be fully utilised.
Quality is more important than quantity. And it is important to get the recycling message across to students at an early age.
If this is done, then they will more readily embrace recycling culture as children and then as adults.
Kathy Ho, Tseung Kwan O
Make overseas students more aware of HK
Academic Michael O’Sullivan suggested ways to attract more overseas students to our tertiary institutions (“Promoting the unique qualities of city can get students from abroad”, November 28).
If Hong Kong mounts some promotions overseas. it could attract more foreign students to come to our universities.
Once they learn about the city’s greatest strengths, its culture and arts and East-West heritage, young people will be keen to spend some time studying here.
Our tertiary institutions may be less attractive than those on the mainland or mid-range universities in the US, but it is a case of boosting our image, so that young people become more aware of the city.
Universities here must forge links with staff from the international offices of universities in a number of countries.
Christy Lau, Kowloon Tong