Letters to the Editor, March 4, 2017

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 04 March, 2017, 12:16am
UPDATED : Saturday, 04 March, 2017, 12:15am

Organ donors make a critical contribution

I agree with Ivan Lo’s (“Education can result in more young people in Hong Kong joining organ donor register”, February 13) that the government should include the subject of organ donation in ­primary and secondary school curriculums.

Unfortunately, Hong Kong ­people lack awareness about ­donating organs. There are many people waiting for donor organs but who cannot get help largely because most Hong Kongers do not appreciate the critical difference a replacement organ can make to someone who otherwise might die.

The traditional Chinese belief that a body must remain intact could also be reconsidered.

Informing students at school and registering as donors can start a process that can mean other young lives are saved.

And not just students. The government also should target the wider society with awareness campaigns to increase ­consciousness.

I urge the Hong Kong government and residents to give organ donation more thought and ­support. It can mean the difference between life and death.

Carmen Wong, Kwai Chung

Christians and atheists can be misguided, too

I refer to Peter Forsythe’s letter (“Moderate Muslims should not deny Islam terror links”, February 25) in reply to my letter (“Singling out Muslims as the main terrorist threat is grossly unfair”, February 16).

He acknowledges, “white supremacists kill more people” than Muslims but interestingly cites “if you don’t count the 9/11 attacks (3,000 deaths) and Orlando shootings (49 deaths)” but why start counting on 9/11 when white extremism and Muslim militancy has been a mainstay since the 1990s, if not earlier?

Also, why not encompass the “nearly four million civilians killed during the War on Terror by America and its allies since 9/11”, according to the Center for Research on Globalisation?

Mr Forsythe, however, insists, “The issue is not body count but intent…Killings in the name of Islam are usually accompanied by shouts of “Allahu Akbar” and white supremacists don’t murder while shouting “Jesus is Lord”. In November 2015, an evangelical Christian, Robert Dear killed three and injured nine at an anti-abortion clinic in Colorado. He even praised people who attacked abortion providers, saying they were doing “God’s work”. In court, he praised the Army of God, a Christian terrorist group that is responsible for similar killings, such as Atlanta Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph, who also bombed a lesbian bar.

Then there’s Paul Jennings Hill, Scott Roeder, Micah Johnson and many other Christians with ­similar motives .

Atheists don’t fare well, either. Stephen Hicks, of the Chapel Hill shootings of Muslims, and Chris Harper-Mercer, of the Oregon killings of Christians, are but two examples of proud atheists with zero tolerance for religion, illustrating how religion is not always the cause of violence.

It seems the rules for media condemnation are different when misguided Christians or atheists commit acts of violence.

White Americans are never asked to publicly condemn their actions but an unfair perpetual finger is pointed at Muslims demanding that “moderate Muslims” deny, condemn and disavow the actions of a minority of deviant Muslims who commit acts of violence.

Mr Forsythe is ill-informed. If the Koran, Bible or Torah said nothing but “do good and avoid evil”, you can be sure there will be people who will still misconstrue its true meaning and commit acts of violence.

Siddiq Bazarwala, Discovery Bay

Forget sports park, build more housing

It has been almost two decades since the old airport closed and using part of the site to build much-needed sports facilities seems a good idea, with obvious advantages (“‘Government seeks funding for Kai Tak sports park” , February 21).

The city needs recreational space and more sports grounds are welcome. The planned 50,000-seat multi-purpose main stadium with a retractable roof will attract major events such as the Asian Games and boost ­economic growth as more tourists visit.

But Hong Kong has a serious housing shortage issue and using the Kai Tak site for sports activities is a waste of valuable land.

Building more housing there should be should be a higher ­priority.

Isa Ip, Kowloon Tong

Curriculum the key cause of student suicides

I am writing about the latest ­student suicides last month.

Although the government has been urged to implement ­concrete measures to prevent the rising number of tragedies, it seems to be powerless. But there is a solution, if the government can address the root cause.

Many people simply think of pressure as the reason for suicides. But what is behind this pressure?

I consider the wide curriculum as the root of the problem. ­Without such a broad range of subjects, it will be unnecessary for schools to have make-up classes and frequent tests which exhaust students.

Instead, students will have leisure time to relax or discover their own talents. Holidays are also indispensable for students, especially for those in senior forms. As I prepare for the Dipoloma of Secondary Education, I have been tired and fed up with the strenuous assignments and tests, as well as the exhausting make-up classes which are run after school and also during precious holidays.

The Education Bureau should offer a curriculum that can be completed during school days. The mental burden placed on students should not be underestimated. Short breaks during class also would refresh and allow greater focus .

Lum Chi-lok, Tseung Kwan O

Reusing bottles is better than recyling them

I am not sure why Heather Pennington is upset with the lack of plastic-bottle recycling facilities in the Wong Chuk Hang MTR station (“MTR’s lack of bins for recycling typical of Hong Kong’s apathy”, February 23).

Recycling, of course, helps the planet but it is not the only course of action. If she is so ecologically conscious, why does she not take with her when she goes out a self-filled bottle that can be used ­multiple times?

In my flat there are always a couple of used plastic bottles knocking about and I always top one up from the tap just as I am about to leave.

In the hot summer months, I usually place filled ones in the fridge for an hour or so before I set off so that when I leave ​they are suitably chilled.

Critically, in the course of a year I probably end up losing or forgetting just two or three bottles , so my “pollution score” is a heck of a lot better than most other ­Hongkongers.

The key message is that I, too, am keen to protect the environment. I, however, appear to have thought a little bit more deeply about it than Ms Pennington.

I suggest she heeds my ­advice. In the grand scheme of things ­“reuse” is far better ­option than “recycle”.

Jason Ali, Lantau ​