Letters to the Editor, February 22, 2017

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 February, 2017, 4:19pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 February, 2017, 4:19pm

Next leader must respect LGBT rights

The issue of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) rights is not a core concern for any of the chief executive candidates.

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s perceived hypocrisy (“Lam angers both sides in same-sex marriage”, February 16) is founded in her ignorance of the issue, coupled with her own religious beliefs. Should she become chief executive, she will need to understand the values that the LGBT population living in Hong Kong add to the fabric of our society and comprehend how not being an LGBT-tolerant society diminishes our international reputation and economic prowess.

No chief executive can avoid the issue of developing Hong Kong into a world-class society that is inclusive for all its citizens. Roger Wong Wai-ming, ­convenor of the Family School Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ordinance Concern Group, is wholly flawed in his logic that a more tolerant society weakens traditional family ­values. It strengthens them, it ­allows all members of a family to be honest. Since when has ­honesty been a betrayal of ­conscience?

The facts speak for themselves. In the past 15 years, the acceptance of LGBT by those aged between 18 and 32 has grown from 51 per cent in 2003 to 70 per cent in 2016. These young people, born since 1980, are the future of our society and, unlike members of Roger Wong’s concern group, represent a future based on education, understanding, tolerance and humanity.

Hong Kong claims to be Asia’s world city, so our next chief executive must embrace diversity as we seek to unite our city into a place where the ­aspirations of all are treated equally.

Mark Peaker, The Peak

Sports ground well-equipped for athletes

I agree with Joey Leung ­Man-nga’s letter (“Schools and athletes rely on sports ground”, February 20).

As a student and athlete, I was shocked to read about the redevelopment plans for Wan Chai Sports Ground. Athletes use if for training every day and regularly for competitions. I see it as almost like a second home.

I and other students practise there every week. We value it not just because it is so well equipped for track and field training, but because we have been going so frequently that it is part of our collective memory.

Natalie Poon, Yau Tong

Dreadful state of Olympic venues is tragic

There was so much controversy about Rio staging the Olympics last year and now it appears to have been a waste of money (“The end Games”, February 17). As the photos on your back page illustrate, some of the ­venues have been abandoned and fallen into disrepair.

Following its successful bid, the Rio authorities decided to build 14 venues, mostly from scratch. They also launched infrastructure projects such as road networks and transport links. The decision to do this was controversial, because many Brazilians said they would prefer taxpayers’ money to be spent ­alleviating the dire poverty in the country. They wanted the ­Brazilian government to take care of the poor instead of ­building these sports venues.

However, the government did not listen and now we can see that it has wasted the money it spent. For example, the ­Maracana Stadium has been looted, with windows smashed and worms have damaged the ­playing surface.

What the Brazilian government has done is the opposite of how we should look at sport, which should embrace the best ideals of human endeavour.

Instead of standing for these ideals, it has allowed corruption and mismanagement to ruin what should be a valued legacy from the Games.

Alice Cheng, Yau Yat Chuen

Trump trying to protect Americans

US President Donald Trump made comments at a rally in Florida on Saturday, suggesting a security incident involving ­immigrants in Sweden (“Trump ridiculed over non-existent ‘Sweden attack’ ”, February 20).

As it turned out, there had been no incident. Trump said later on Twitter that he was actually referring to a Fox News story on immigrants in Sweden.

Clearly, Trump was misinformed, but I think Swedes would admit they have a severe refugee problem.

Trump is concerned about people being admitted to the US who pose a threat to citizens. He may appear to be harsh, but what he is doing is motivated by his desire to protect Americans.

Li Sui-lun, Hang Hau

Handouts to local firms may be wasted cash

Some people say the government should offer subsidies to preserve traditional local businesses, because of their cultural importance. I am not convinced that is a good idea.

Many of these firms have failed to keep up with changing trends and new technology and are no longer viable. Take, for example, companies making cheongsams. These are low-tech enterprises and while the cheongsam is traditional attire, women usually only wear one now for special occasions such as Lunar New Year, so there is not a lot of demand.

There is no point in the government giving a subsidy to a firm that has little chance of surviving. If it goes out of business, the grant will have been wasted. Offering subsidies is not getting to the root of the problem.

It is argued that citizens feel an increased sense of identity when these traditional firms stay afloat. But I think people are ­losing that close link to the city, because of a growing distrust in the government, and political movements like Occupy ­Central. Companies of any kind stay afloat if they can remain ­competitive.

May Chong, Tiu Keng Leng