Letters to the Editor, March 30, 2017

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 March, 2017, 5:05pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 March, 2017, 5:05pm

Chief executive election system unsatisfactory

I do not agree with the way the next chief executive was elected on Sunday at the Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor was chosen by an Election ­Committee of 1,200 people ­described as being “broadly ­representative”.

I do not think this is consistent with the principle of “one country, two systems” and of “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong”. It is not fair to Hong Kong citizens who will have to depend on the new chief executive being an effective leader.

The election system is unsatisfactory and this may lead to more people losing confidence in the government. We could see more protests and social ­disharmony.

This Election Committee was not representative of the people of Hong Kong or their views. It was clear that most of the people favoured John Tsang Chun-wah and yet Carrie Lam emerged as the winner. In effect, this was an unfair election.

I hope the next government will recognise this and restart the political reform process as soon as possible, and certainly in time for the next chief executive ­election in 2022.

Zoyi Wong, Yau Yat Chuen

Popular does not always mean winner

In his post-mortem with the press held immediately after the chief executive election result was announced, John Tsang Chun-wah put his defeat down to the lack of universal suffrage, as he was the more popular ­candidate with the public.

He was, of course, wrongly equating “direct election” with “universal suffrage”. If it had been a direct election, then yes, he probably would have won.

Direct election is what they practise in Taiwan, through which they got separatists ­elected as president, namely, Chen Shui-bian and the incumbent Tsai Ing-wen, who are ­anathema to Beijing.

What has been provided for in the Basic Law is indirect election universal suffrage, which is not unique to Hong Kong.

In the US, for instance, the popular vote winner also may fail to win the election, as in the cases of Hillary Clinton last year and Al Gore in 2000.

Peter Lok, Chai Wan

RTHK needs to improve AM transmission

I was disappointed to read in your report (“Digital radio in Hong Kong gets the axe after exodus”, March 29) that RTHK is going to terminate its digital ­radio transmission.

I am an avid listener of RTHK Radio 3 and also the BBC World Service via digital radio.

Although I appreciate that many listeners can access the stations via the internet and their mobile devices, it’s much more convenient to use a digital radio when listening at home.

Radio is an important ­medium for the dissemination of news and views, and in the event of an emergency, the internet and mobile communication ­systems may not always be available.

This move is also frustrating as AM and the very limited FM transmissions of RTHK Radio 3 are practically unlistenable where I live in Mid-Levels.

I would call on RTHK to use the savings from the discontinuation of digital radio to enhance the quality of its AM and FM transmission.

Eliot Fisk, Mid-Levels

Schools’ views against BCA being ignored

I agree with those schools which have made it plain that they want nothing to do with the new Basic Competency Assessment (BCA).

The system is no different to the one it is supposed to replace, the Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA). Primary ­students doing the TSA had to do a lot of practising and drilling for tests.

A teachers’ union leader has accused the Education Bureau of failing to respect the views of the schools on the BCA, views which are based on their professional expertise. There is ­nothing wrong with monitoring students, but the BCA is not the right way to go about it, because it will still lead to them being subjected to drilling.

It is not just school heads who complained about TSA and now BCA, teachers and parents have also expressed their opposition to these assessments. The drilling that results from them puts primary students under a lot of pressure. The bureau is failing to focus on the needs of these primary students.

The high suicide rate among students illustrates the need for the government to change the education system. It needs to find the right way to help ­students improve.

Yumi So, Yau Yat Cheun

Green groups must heed housing woes

Hong Kong’s housing problems are getting worse and it is ­difficult to see how they can be eased, given the shortage of ­suitable land and the policies of the government.

So many citizens cannot ­afford a mortgage and are forced to pay high rents.

The administration has to find ways to build more housing, including thinking of new reclamation work, even though this could damage some marine ecosystems. The government’s priority should be to improve the livelihood of Hongkongers.

There have also been calls to build flats on some areas of country parks, and environmental protection groups have ­spoken out against this.

However, these organisations should recognise the city’s desperate need for more homes and how having enough flats is linked to the future development of Hong Kong.

We need, as a society, to look at all the issues connected with housing policies and try to find a solution.

Jordan Chan Wai-tsun, Hang Hau

Recycling plan better than waste charge

Hong Kong generates an enormous volume of refuse every day, which is why the government has proposed a charge for municipal solid waste.

Critics say this will place a financial burden on low-income and middle-class families, and could therefore end up being counterproductive.

It would have been far better to introduce a comprehensive recycling programme instead of this charge. Surely the government’s primary aim is to reduce volumes of waste at source, rather than introducing a scheme that earns it revenue.

Many citizens complain about current recycling policies, saying that the recycling bins around the city and in housing estates are often misused. For example, some cleaners throw all rubbish together, including the contents of recycling bins, and it all ends up in our landfills.

The government has to come up with a better plan than this proposed waste levy.

Lo Man-lok, Po Lam