Letters to the Editor, February 12, 2017
Use fund for events that will be big hits
The Mega Events Fund was set up in 2009. It aims to promote tourism, raise the profile of Hong Kong internationally and promote Hong Kong as an events capital of Asia.
It has been used to sponsor numerous major events such as pop concerts and sports tournaments. However, I have doubts about its effectiveness regarding some of the events.
I accept that the Dragon Boat Carnival is popular with a lot of tourists. But some events got a lot of money from the fund, with little to show for it. The UBS Hong Kong Open gets HK$15 million fund sponsorship, but compared to the dragon boat festival, does not get that many foreign visitors. This raises questions about whether the money is being allocated in the right way.
The fund committee should be considering other events such as K-pop concerts and friendlies between English Premier League teams. These would prove popular with locals and tourists and people of all age groups.
A monitoring system should be implemented to ensure the most appropriate events are selected, and the Mega Events Fund committee must be satisfied a sufficient number of tourists will want to come for them.
Daniel Hui Yin-hang, Sha Tin
Visitors and locals benefit from new line
I am glad that the new South Island Line is attracting more people to that part of Hong Kong Island (“Ocean Park credits new MTR line for surge in visitors”, February 3).
With more tourists visiting the theme park because of this new line, this will help the Hong Kong economy. And I am sure this is also helping local businesses in the area.
The line has proved convenient for residents, who before had to rely on mainly buses and minibuses.
I hope the government and MTR Corporation can agree to build more MTR lines, for example, to Stanley, and further improve our public transport network.
Oscar Mak, Tseung Kwan O
Education and laws can curb cyberbullies
With so many teenagers using smartphones and computers, there has been a marked increase in cases of cyberbullying.
This is an obviously negative use of the internet by some teenagers and it causes the victims a lot psychological problems. Social media sites are used by the cyberbullies to harass, intimidate and threaten youngsters.
Surveys show that a lot of young Hongkongers have been victims. It is not as serious here as in other places, but we need to act before it gets worse.
Basically, teens who have a tendency to bully and before did so in the playground, now use the internet.
The motivation for doing this can vary. Sometimes, it is an effort to fit in with a clique and to be accepted.
It can also be a manifestation of social status. Teens who are popular often make fun of teens who are less popular.
Legislation aimed at cracking down on the bullies is important. Like all good laws, it can act as an effective deterrent and it aims to protect victims from further harm. The right kind of legislation can alleviate the problem of cyberbullying.
However, education also plays a crucial role. Children must be taught from an early age about cyberbullying.
They must be made to understand that it is wrong and the devastating consequences it can have on young people.
Education should certainly be starting from the point where youngsters first get access to smartphones. The message must be got through to young people that you will gain nothing from another person’s mental anguish.
Peter Tam, Po Lam
Jaywalking campaign has limited effect
I backed the decision by police to launch a five-day operation throughout Hong Kong against jaywalking.
I am sure accidents have been caused by people using a pedestrian crossing when the red light is on.
They were targeted by this campaign and will face fines. Hopefully, this will encourage more pedestrians to wait for the green light and then we will see fewer accidents.
The only problem is that it is a brief campaign. Yes, pedestrians will think twice when they seen a police officer on patrol. But what happens when they are at a crossing and there is no officer? Many will continue crossing when the light is red.
The government should set up CCTV cameras at crossings and make people aware they are in operation and pictures will be forwarded to the police.
Amy Ng Cheuk-ka, Tseung Kwan O
Brownfield land clearly the best option
I agree with Andy Statham about the best way to deal with Hong Kong’s housing problems (“Develop brownfield sites and old factories, but not country parks”, January 29).
The government should build homes on brownfield sites instead of encroaching on country parks.
With a growing population, there is a greater demand for open spaces and people have become more aware of how important our country parks are and that they must be protected.
For many Hongkongers, these parks are a source of pride and they want them left alone. But there is also the issue of feasibility. Most of these country parks have valleys and steep, wooded slopes, so any developments would have to be low in density and expensive, which is not the government’s aim in its efforts to substantially increase the housing stock. There is also the lack of adequate infrastructure, such as roads.
The rural environment would be damaged and sometimes destroyed and there would be substantial deforestation, leading to soil erosion.
Finally, citizens would have fewer places to go in their leisure time to enjoy nature for free.
Hongkongers lead fast-paced lives and often their jobs are very stressful. They need to be able to relax so they can get some release from the pressure they are under. Having these rural retreats and ensuring they are preserved for future generations is a quality-of-life issue. These parks are not there for building homes.
Brownfield sites are perfect for this purpose. And the government should also speed up the development of old districts.
Once these precious rural areas in our country parks are turned into construction sites, they are gone forever.
Michael Chow, Tseung Kwan O
Desalination plants can work in HK
I believe that desalination plants should be built in Hong Kong.
I see them as part of an overall programme of sustainable development with regard to our water resources.
We rely heavily on Dongjiang water, but I do not think this is consistent with having a sustainable water supply for Hong Kong.
If we could supply all our needs through these plants, there would be less chance of future price fluctuations.
We would also have control over quality and with desalination plants could ensure good-quality fresh water. This is especially important, given that water pollution is a serious problem in the Pearl River Delta.
If such a plant was built in a suitable location by using the most advanced equipment, we could ensure that there was no damage to ecosystems.
Eve Wong, Hang Hau