Letters to the Editor, February 6, 2017
Next leader will face tough challenges
There is fierce competition between the four candidates for the post of chief executive and there is a lot of public interest in the race.
All the candidates are very experienced in their fields, with three ex-officials having spent a long time in government. However, our society is unstable and sometimes chaotic and the next chief executive will face a lot of challenges.
I think the winner’s greatest concern after being elected will be Hong Kong’s economic prospects. In the US, the new president, Donald Trump, has pledged to bring in reforms that could have a dramatic effect on the global economy. He may implement import tariffs against Chinese goods.
This could affect Hong Kong especially as our currency is pegged to the US dollar. The economic status of Hong Kong could be seriously affected. Therefore, the new chief executive will have to implement measures which can ensure its economy remains successful.
The new leader will also have to tackle the issue of prevailing tensions between some locals and mainland visitors. There has been tension in the past because of what is considered unacceptable behaviour by some mainlanders.
Another reason for the tensions is the massive number of parallel traders who continue flooding into Hong Kong. This harms our pillar industries and the retail trade. The new leader will have to find some solutions that enable all stakeholders to benefit.
Many citizens are upset about the chief executive election because they do not have a vote. Because chief executives are not elected by universal suffrage, many citizens do not think well of their performance.
In opinion polls, they are often deeply unpopular. This means any future leader will face an uphill battle trying to gain the support of Hong Kong people.
This can hinder the ongoing development of Hong Kong.
I accept that the next chief executive will face a lot challenges. However, I hope the new leader will ensure Hong Kong has a successful future.
Desmond Chan Chun-fai, Tseung Kwan O
Legislation for beauty sector long overdue
More people in Hong Kong are visiting beauty parlours to have different kinds of treatment.
There have been calls for tougher laws to regulate treatment that requires medical procedures. At present, there is no legislation governing such treatment.
The government has been slow to regulate the beauty industry, even though in most cases, customers are treated by beauticians, not doctors. This presents a threat to customers .
The government needs to introduce stringent laws and ensure they are enforced and obeyed by all beauty centres in the city. All treatment involving medical treatment should be carried out by people who have the necessary professional qualifications. The government also has to introduce an education campaign so citizens are aware that some treatment is risky.
I understand that some people want to improve their looks, but they should not ignore health implications, as they could be serious. I think anyone considering such procedures should first see a doctor. And I think inner beauty is more important and lasts forever.
Mak Pui-sze, Kowloon Tong
Jury still out on new food truck scheme
There was a lot of discussion regarding food trucks and they finally got off the ground.
It is too early to say how successful the scheme will prove to be. Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung has said that he hopes these food trucks could attract more tourists. However, I would question if it is realistic to expect these trucks to actually boost Hong Kong’s economy or attract more visitors.
The government is eager for the scheme to be successful. However, as one truck owner said, he will need to earn HK$140,000 not to lose money.
The government has to introduce a raft of measures if it wants to boost the economy. With a number of different measures, it might be able to attract more tourists, not only from the mainland, but also from a number of overseas countries. It also has to encourage more potential participants who cannot afford the high implementation cost.
Brian Heung, Hang Hau
Stress levels for young people unacceptable
I am concerned about the high suicide rate among young people in Hong Kong. We have ask if it is acceptable for a society to put some citizens, younger and older, under so much pressure.
Something that makes this problem among young people more difficult to solve is the denial by the Education Bureau that pressure is a major cause of suicides and that it should be addressing this.
If young people take their own lives, we should be trying to work out why this is happening and seeking to address it with effective measures that seek to lower the levels of stress experienced. Having so many young people suffer from so much stress is not normal.
Michelle Mai, Sau Mau Ping
Laws needed to protect employees
I am concerned about the continuing exploitation of labour in many developing countries, including China. In these nations, this exploitation is a very serious problem.
It is important for governments to have a strict monitoring system to stop any exploitation.
Laws must be put in place ensuring protection of labour if they do not presently exist and they must be strictly enforced. Some legislation already exists on the mainland, for example, on working hours, but is not being strictly implemented.
If it was, then the working environment for many workers would improve and they would enjoy better safeguards that offered them all greater protection. There is also a lack of monitoring and following up of complaints of exploitation.
This is a real problem with companies that have created a poor working environment in a plant and might even employ child labour.
Or conditions may be very bad inside some factories, for example, with little ventilation and that are too hot.
Workers who are victims of exploitation must speak out about it so that governments can take appropriate action. And there should be organisations that can help them with their complaints. Even in Hong Kong, workers might not be aware of their rights.
Hebe Ng Yik-huen, Tseung Kwan O
Helping out small firms will be a bad idea
There have been calls for the government to help traditional local businesses that are struggling to survive in the competitive business environment, for example, because of high rents.
I believe there would be more disadvantages than advantages if these measures were introduced.
Subsidies of this kind go against the principles of Hong Kong being a free market economy. Goods are sold according basically to the law of supply and demand.
Direct subsidies should not be given to businesses that fail, because they are inefficient. I do not think society would gain from the implementation of such measures.
This would be a sign of an inefficient economy and the incorrect allocation of financial resources in what should always be a free market.
Wing Kwok, Hang Hau