Letters to the Editor, March 23, 2017

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 March, 2017, 5:52pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 March, 2017, 5:52pm

Small steps to spark big cuts in e-waste

With so much new technology, our society is generating large quantities of electronic waste.

This problem is exacerbated by some people wanting to buy the newest computer or smartphone, even when the model they have is still working fine.

So some devices are simply discarded. What many people don’t seem to realise is that often these devices can be reused if they are refurbished or their parts are recycled. We all have to think about the environment. If a ­device is not working, we should see if it can be repaired, upgraded, sold or donated.

It may even be possible to upgrade a device by, for example, adding more memory and a larger hard drive. A new version of software could be installed so that it does not have to be thrown away. Alternatively, people can check online if anyone is interested in buying the device, for example, on eBay or on Swappa – a website for buying or selling used mobiles and tablets.

Finally, old models can be donated to charities that can then send them to developing countries, or resell them to fund their welfare work.

Obviously people have to make sure that all personal and sensitive information has been erased from these devices.

If we all take these simple steps,we can help to reduce the volume of e-waste.

Benson Wong Tat-hin, Tseung Kwan O

Country park flats would kill natural beauty

Hong Kong’s housing problem is getting worse because we only have a limited supply of land.

Because of this, some people have suggested building flats in country parks.

I can understand why there is support for this proposal. Most people cannot own a home and must wait for years before they can get a public housing flat. So it would seem to make sense to utilise the large amount of land in our country parks.

However, we need to keep in mind that these parks exist as a rural refuge for people to relax, by hiking and enjoying the beautiful scenery. If housing ­estates and associated infrastructure are built there, that natural beauty will be destroyed and replaced by shopping malls, roads and MTR tracks.

They will become crowded residential areas, and the peace and quiet we enjoy now will be lost forever. Besides, what we would probably see being built there are low-rise luxury homes rather than affordable flats.

Throughout Hong Kong, there are a lot of brownfield sites on which housing estates can be constructed.

Wong Nok-lam, Po Lam

Renovated markets serve people better

I agree with B. C. Lo, of Link Asset Management Limited (“Traditional markets will have to keep up with changing times”, ­February 9). Indeed, Hong Kong’s wet markets must ­respond to the changing ­demands of shoppers.

They have to be accessible for all consumers, including those with disabilities. This means the facilities must offer easy access, and the corridors must be wide enough for a wheelchair. In some traditional markets, they are still too narrow. In some markets, the floors are wet and unclean. This naturally creates hygiene issues, and the wet floor means there is a risk of accidents.

The markets that have been renovated have good drainage systems and air-conditioning, solving the problem of stagnant water and poor ­ventilation.

However, I am not happy with some of the renovation programmes the Link has undertaken at its markets. For example, Maritime Market has been criticised for a large LED display showing sea creatures, and its theme-park-like ambience. But, overall, I think refurbishment is the way forward for our traditional markets.

Kitty Kock, Kwai Chung

Google block hurts China’s image abroad

I hope that the central government will unblock Google so that it can operate again on the mainland.

I believe the leadership has been concerned about citizens using Google to access information on sensitive subjects. But, I don’t think this attitude helps China in its foreign relations, especially with the West.

Also, Google must consider what it has to agree to for being ­allowed to return to the ­mainland, and if that could harm its image.

Tsoi Tsz-yan, Tseung Kwan O

Mental health a priority issue for new leader

Life for many Hongkongers is becoming more stressful, as we have to worry about things like the worsening quality of life and rising property prices.

This has led to a sharp rise in cases of people suffering from various kinds of mental illness.

I hope the next chief executive and the new government will recognise that this is a problem and take proactive measures. There must be increased funding for psychiatric hospital ­services and more social workers should be deployed to the community.

Anfield Tam, Quarry Bay

Subsidy cuts for e-vehicles a good move

I fully support Hong Kong’s move, following those in Denmark and Norway, to moderate the subsidies available to buyers of luxury electric vehicles.

It is disingenuous to claim that a vastly underpriced ­product does not impact market ­demand.

In this case,Tesla’s boast that nearly all its customers in Hong Kong are replacing a highly ­polluting carbon-producing car, is erroneous.Presumably, the cars that their electric vehicles replace are not scrapped, but are rather sold, prematurely and at a discount, into the second-hand market – further increasing the car fleet.

Stephen Brown, Tai Po

Catch them young for a fit future society

If we want more citizens to exercise regularly and get involved in sport, we need to start getting the message across from an early age.

From primary school onwards, young people must get into the habit of taking part in sport to keep fit.

Although the government organises a “Sport For All Day” annually, it has to do more so that habits change and sport ­becomes popular.

Ng Tsz-wing, Tseung Kwan O