Letters to the Editor, March 17, 2017

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 March, 2017, 4:51pm
UPDATED : Friday, 17 March, 2017, 4:51pm

Candidates ill-informed on education

Having watched the chief executive debate that aired on TV on March 14, I have come to the conclusion that all three candidates, John Tsang Chun-wah, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and Woo Kwok-hing, are not yet ready to be our leader.

Even though surveys showed a spike in popularity for Tsang after the debate, his inability to give concrete details of his past achievements or proposed policies will not have convinced viewers. Though he is good at sound bites and shows a human touch, is this superior mastery of presentation skills enough to convince us that he is capable of being a leader of ­substance and commitment?

Lam has more experience of the day-to-day process of running Hong Kong. But she showed a lack of political sensitivity when she said she might resign if the mainstream view was against her.

On many occasions, the candidates have shown evidence of inadequate experience and little understanding of our flawed education system, a system that is essential to the future ­development of Hong Kong.

Most of the time, when asked what they think about our schools, they have confined themselves to commenting on the replacement of the Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA), the Basic Competency Assessment.

When it comes to government blunders over education policies, TSA is only the tip of the iceberg. What about the controversial language policy which undermines student confidence and distorts the secondary education system? The candidates showed only a superficial understanding of our education woes and policies that have let down parents and teachers.

What hopes can we have of an effective revamp of the city’s education system with any of these candidates in charge?

Kendra Ip, Hung Hom

Chief executive will wear two hats with ease

Why should anyone think there might be a conflict of interest ­between Leung Chun-ying’s job as Hong Kong’s chief executive and his new appointment as a vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference?

The key requirement for both jobs is precisely the same: whatever you say or do, do not even think of upsetting the Communist Party’s top bosses.

Judging from his record as chief executive, we can be sure that Mr Leung will wear the two hats with ­perfect ease.

Graham Shaw, Tai Po

Never-say-die Tso role model for students

Local boxer Rex Tso Sing-yu talked about his titanic battle last Saturday against Hirofumi Mukai of Japan (“I almost blacked out... I had to continue: Rex Tso describes his struggle to make it 21 straight wins”, March 12).

Tso described how he almost lost consciousness after a left hook by Mukai took him by surprise and he could not hear for a while. However, he struggled on and kept fighting while he gradually recovered from the blow.

He was determined not to give up, because he did not want to let down his supporters. Even though he took a lot of punches from his opponent, he persevered and was rewarded with a “spectacular eighth-round TKO victory”.

The spirit that Tso showed by refusing to give up should be an inspiration to every ­Hongkonger.

He already had injuries going into the fight, which he had sustained while sparring in the Philippines, but said he told himself he had to remain positive.

I believe that Tso is a great role model for all citizens. Students can learn from his attitude to stay upbeat whenever there are problems and try to overcome them and fight negative thoughts.

Rain Yeung, Tseung Kwan O

Face diploma like it is a big fight night

Like so many Hongkongers, I watched local boxer Rex Tso win his 21st professional fight on Saturday after a titanic battle against Hirofumi Mukai.

The fight was very intense and I really appreciated the ­effort that was made by both fighters.

I was very impressed when I read afterwards that Rex had ­almost blacked out during the second round after taking a hard punch to his head. I admire him for the courage that he has shown.

Tso faced an uphill battle, going into the ring carrying injuries from sparring.

Even though he was hurt and taking a lot of punches from ­Mukai, he revised his ­strategy and fought back successfully.

As a student, there are times when I feel under pressure and wonder how I will cope. I find it difficult to finish all my homework and there is often no time for me to relax.

However, students can learn from the determination shown by Rex. It is the sort of attitude that we should all have, especially as many of us prepare for the ­Diploma of Secondary ­Education.

Jessie Chung, Kwun Tong

Trump should raise human rights issues

According to news reports, a summit between presidents Xi Jinping (習近平) and Donald Trump will be held in the US next month.

I hope Mr Trump will speak up on behalf of China’s beleaguered dissidents. While there are surely other important issues to be discussed at the summit, the US president can ill-afford to be silent on China’s dismal human rights abuses.

Chinese Christians, human rights lawyers and dissidents have suffered untold persecution since Mr Xi assumed power in 2012.

The whereabouts of China’s political prisoners is often ­unknown, and efforts on the part of relatives to contact their loved ones too often prove to be of no avail.

Legal counsel and necessary medical treatment are often ­denied, and even those released from prison may then be placed under house arrest.

Since China’s political prisoners can no longer speak for themselves, perhaps the Trump-Xi summit will afford Mr Trump the occasion to do just that.

Brian Stuckey, Denver, Colorado, US

Employers the main obstacle to shorter day

Joyce Li Hei-ying wants radical changes in the city’s workplaces (“Action needed to cut back on working hours”, March 14), but any standard working hours law could be difficult to implement, because of the attitude of ­employers.

For example, security guards in the city normally work 10 to 11 hours a day, but seldom stay in the job for any length of time and the turnover rate is high.

It would make more sense for management companies to ­offer a good benefit package so they can retain employees.

I worked for a property management company last year. Most staff had to do one to two hours of overtime every day.

Hours can be cut with greater efficiency, but it seems that some employers are unwilling to change, and I do not see how a law could sort out that problem.

Edmond Pang, Fanling