Letters to the Editor, March 9, 2017
E-vehicle tax break helps to cut pollution
There is a certain lack of logic in Paul Stapleton’s letter (“Electric vehicles harm environment and don’t deserve tax discount”, March 6), suggesting that electric cars should not be entitled to tax breaks.
The many people who bought electric cars, like the Teslas that are so common on our streets, would instead most likely have bought petrol engine cars if the tax discount was not so encouraging, and would thus have added to street pollution.
He is quite right: electricity here does come from coal burning, and that is the problem – not those using electricity as an alternative to burning petrol.
Even so, the mass production of electricity by power companies is a more efficient method for generating energy than a large number of individual petrol engines.
In addition, a proportion of Kowloon’s electricity comes from the non-polluting Daya Bay nuclear plant.
I often gaze sadly at the single windmill on Lamma Island and remember unfulfilled promises of wind farms in the waters off Hong Kong. Also, there is little encouragement to harness solar power and other power sources which are wasted.
Electric cars are efficient and non-polluting. We do need power generation that is also clean, but the government failing to strongly encourage electric vehicle usage must be viewed as a small-minded retrograde step.
Peter Mallen, Pok Fu Lam
Fuel stations, garages use up more power
Paul Stapleton’s letter (“Electric vehicles harm environment and don’t deserve tax discount”, March 6) fails to note the highly obvious – that our numerous fuel stations run continuously on electricity and undoubtedly consume vastly more than electric vehicle chargers, which are switched on occasionally.
Likewise for the countless repair centres and garages that service petrol vehicles, while electric vehicles require relatively little servicing.
Moreover, at least some electric cars, such as BMWs, are very sustainably produced, from materials to manufacturing. Readers can check out their website.
Joe Spitzer, The Peak
Don’t ignore the scourge of cyberbullying
People think that students commit suicide largely because of academic pressure, and tend to ignore the serious problem of cyberbullying.
Parents need to be aware of this and try to notice signs that their children may be victims of online bullies. Also, students who are being targeted should not suffer in silence.
They must seek help from teachers and parents.
Don Wong, Hang Hau
North Korean regime making people suffer
I am appalled by the way the brutal regime in North Korea treats its citizens.
Their lives are completely controlled by the government. They are unable to get any information from outside the country, and the news they get from the state-controlled media is false.
Most of the people live in poverty. They have no freedom to travel outside the country and movement is restricted within it, with permission required if they want to travel to another district.
Those who dare to oppose the regime end up in concentration camps where, because of the conditions, they often die.
We should all be concerned about the plight of the North Korean people and back organisations which seek to raise international awareness.
Hailey Tso, Tseung Kwan O
China must put more resources into education
In his speech at the National People’s Congress, delivering his annual work report, Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) spoke about the future goals of the country.
I was impressed by what he said, but felt that there was something missing.
While it has made great strides economically, the problem of poverty in the nation remains serious. The central government is still not giving sufficient support to rural development.
There are many very wealthy citizens in China, and yet so many people continue to suffer in extreme poverty.
More resources need to be allocated to education. Children from poor families often still do not get the chance to progress beyond the elementary level of education.
They have potential that will never be realised, and so will not be able to improve their lives. The talent that so many have will remain hidden.
China can only meet its long-term economic goals if it gives all its young people the opportunity for a proper education, so that when they grow up, they can help the country advance.
Andy Yeung, Tiu Keng Leng
More CCTVs would add to safety on MTR
The firebomb attack on an MTR train last month left citizens wondering how safe they were, even though we always proudly declare that Hong Kong is one of the safest cities in the world.
However, we should be glad that the crisis was handled by MTR staff and the ambulance services with a high level of efficiency.
The response from the MTR Corporation was prompt. Gates were opened to disperse the crowds and medics were on the scene within 10 minutes. There were regular announcements that trains would not stop at Tsim Sha Tsui and the MTR Corp also gave regular updates on Twitter.
Despite what happened, I think we can still feel safe in this city. Some people have called for security checks on the MTR network but, on such a busy mass transit system, this is not practical. And the cost of buying and setting up the equipment would be prohibitive.
It would also lead to stations which are already heavily used during rush hours becoming even more crowded, with bottlenecks actually raising safety concerns.
However, I would like to see closed-circuit television cameras in all carriages and a greater police presence on the network.
Cathy Tang, Sha Tin
Gay Games bid a moment of pride for HK
Congratulations to Dennis Philipse and his team for their hard work in getting Hong Kong shortlisted for the 2022 Gay Games.
Our three chief executive candidates must now voice their support for this world-class event which brings international recognition, prosperity and tolerance.
As Asia’s perceived world city, it is time for our government to recognise that by accepting diversity, we strengthen the values of society as a whole.
Hong Kong is being presented with an opportunity to show the world how great we can be; let’s all work together to ensure this moment is not lost to homophobic ignorance.
Mark Peaker, The Peak