Letters to the Editor, February 23, 2017

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 February, 2017, 5:33pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 February, 2017, 5:33pm

Outrage over jail for police unjustified

The prison sentences of two years for seven police officers who have been convicted of assaulting activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu angered many pro-establishment people.

They blamed District Court judge David Dufton, who handed down the sentences, saying they would discourage serving officers from protecting citizens, a claim which I consider to be laughable.

The judge made his decision after carefully examining all the evidence. Those individuals who have criticised the prison sentences should read the judge’s ruling in detail before reaching their ­conclusions.

I accept that being a police officer is a challenging job, but that is no excuse for not obeying the law. When officers are in situations where they are under intense pressure, they must learn to deal with it.

They had to put up with a lot during the “umbrella movement”, including being insulted by protesters, but any actions they took had to be within the law, no matter how much they were provoked.

Ken Tsang had already been handcuffed, so he did not pose a threat. The assault went way ­beyond the reasonable use of force that would be required by officers when they have in custody someone who has already been restrained.

Why didn’t these pro-establishment supporters of the ­officers look more closely at the way these officers behaved that night? They damaged the reputation of the force.

I do support our police force, but when they have black sheep, the actions of those individuals cannot be excused.

Henry Wong, Kennedy Town

Prison not appropriate for officers

It is with a heavy heart that I write regarding what I see as unfair sentencing of the seven Hong Kong police officers.

Much as I agree that the officers were guilty of the ­offences charged, I do not feel their actions, made under severe duress, justified the dispropor­tionate jail sentence.

Surely the sentencing judge must have realised that his heavy sentence not only will ­destroy the officers’ careers but also the lives of their relatively young families.

Why was greater compassion not shown in this case? Community service or a suspended sentence would have been more appropriate. It is quite ironic that the so-called victim got away with a very light sentence for pouring liquid onto officers, who were doing a very difficult job restraining the unruly protesters.

It is even more ironic that some prominent Hong Kong personalities, including several pan-democrats, appealed for lighter sentencing for former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, yet chose to keep quiet on this equally if not more important case.

Where is their sense of fairness and humanity?

P. How, Mid-Levels

HK Disneyland should offer locals discount

Hong Kong Disneyland has reported losses for the second year in a row with visitor numbers from the mainland down.

I believe this drop is due to the opening of Disney Shanghai in June. With more mainland citizens going there, it was inevitable this would affect the Hong Kong attraction.

Disney should look at more ways to get the visitors coming back. It is opening a new hotel in April, so I hope this will attract more people.

I would also suggest that Disneyland offers a special discount for Hong Kong residents, an initiative that was introduced by Ocean Park. If locals are offered a cheaper ticket, I am sure more of them will visit the theme park. It should also think about a new publicity drive to raise its profile here and abroad.

Vanessa Ip, Kwun Tong

Parents need to ease pressure on students

The tragedy of more student suicides should be of concern to the whole of society as our young people are our future pillars.

Many parents work such long hours that after a long day in the office, they do not have any time to spare for their children. It is important they try to develop a strong bond with their sons and daughters. No matter how difficult it is, they should try to find time to talk to them.

Having a relationship where there is mutual respect is extremely important. They must also not try to compare students today with previous generations as times have changed.

Parents must not put too much pressure on their children academically and have expectations that are too high. Each student has different strengths and weaknesses and this has to be understood by ­parents.

Lee Tsz-chung, Tseung Kwan O

Food trucks welcome but prices bit high

Food trucks are very popular in many countries around the world.

They differ from Hong Kong’s traditional street food provided by hawkers in a number of ways. Hygiene conditions are generally better and the aim is to provide a wide range of high-quality food.

Their introduction in Hong Kong is great news for foodies who will be able to enjoy some delicious meals and they should prove popular with tourists.

But, I do not think it will be easy for those entrepreneurs ­involved. A food truck culture does not exist in Hong Kong yet. Compare this with, say, Los ­Angeles, where these vehicles are very popular.

Although it is less expensive than opening a restaurant, the food truck owners still face high operating costs and need to ­attract a lot of customers. While I appreciate that they need to cover their costs, they should lower their prices a bit. The government should be offering more financial assistance to food truck operators.

Mandy Yeung, Sheung Shui