Letters to the Editor, April 9, 2017

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 April, 2017, 11:31am
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 April, 2017, 11:31am

Fans of digital radio in HK left in the lurch

When digital audio broadcasting (DAB) was introduced in Hong Kong, it was hailed as ­offering huge benefits, like good sound quality, stable reception, noise cancellation and diverse programme choices.

I was convinced, and soon acquired a couple of DAB ­receivers. Indeed, it was a huge ­improvement when listening to the BBC on DAB instead of AM (amplitude modulated) radio.

After the recent decision by RTHK to discontinue its DAB service, I wrote to various stakeholders, saying I hoped that the Hong Kong public would not be deprived of the quality of service they had become used to, that AM radio provided unsatisfactory service and that I trusted a suitable solution could be found to broadcast BBC World ­Service.

Here are the replies I ­received: “Your opinions have been noted ... we have relayed your suggestion on the broadcasting of BBC World Service to RTHK (dtv@ofca.gov.hk)”. “We have relayed it to the relevant officers (ccibenq@cedb.gov.hk)”. “We deeply understand your concern and your comments have been forwarded to our DAB team(ccu@rthk.hk)”.

More remarkable still is that the decision to axe DAB has been made apparently without giving any consideration to the replacement of the service.

Heinz Rust, Wan Chai

Ban on cultural symbols can’t end extremism

I refer to your article on a new law in Xinjiang (“Ban on beards and veils – Xinjiang passes law to curb ‘religious extremism’”, March 30).

The article said these include prohibiting ­“abnormally” long beards, the wearing of veils in public places, refusing to watch state television and listen to state radio, and preventing ­children from receiving national education – activities deemed “manifestations” of ­extremism.

I really disagree with this law brought in by the government. The Xinjiang Uygur ­auton­omous ­region is home to a large ­number of Uygurs, who are mostly Muslim.

The government is not only controlling the freedom of ­citizens, but also ­forcing them to break with their culture.

This shows that citizens face discrimination by the government. Such a move is extremely disrespectful towards Muslims who associate beards and veils with their culture.

It is important to tackle ­militants and extremists but, to solve this problem, the government needs to implement ­proper policies, instead of ­controlling the citizens.

Moreover, as the article pointed out, Beijing blames ­Islamist militants and separatists for attacks in Xinjiang that have killed hundreds of people in recent years.

However, rights groups say the unrest is more a reaction to the government’s repression of religious freedoms and unfair ethnic policies, which could push some people towards ­extremism.

I believe the government needs to listen to the citizens, to find a lasting solution to the problem of extremism or separatism. If they do not do anything, the situation might get worse. But the right balance must be found.

Kitkit Mo, Tseung Kwan O

Nordic nations can help China in graft fight

President Xi Jinping (習近平 ) last week paid his first visit to ­Finland as head of state, which ended with pledges of increased cooperation under the China-European Union framework.

For their part, the Nordic countries can help China to ­improve open and transparent governance that will bring enormous benefits for the Chinese people.

This is an excellent platform to build “special governance and education areas” in Chinese cities, which can gain from Nordic education models. Nordic countries also have advanced governance knowledge in dealing with taxation and related interaction with the financial sector, which can efficiently curb corruption and improve transparent governance.

The corruption fight will be helped by the setting up of a “data interchange network” ­between tax authorities, corruption prevention authorities, property and car registers, and the financial/banking sector. These four parts will cooperate to check that all the transactions have a legal base and illegal transactions are reported to the judiciary for further action.

Mario Hakulinen, Finland/Fuzhou

GPS services could perk up coffee to go

I am writing in response to the article on the Starbucks mobile ordering app (“Starbucks wants to deliver coffee to your doorstep”, March 19).

These days, downloading apps on mobile phones is not only convenient but also ubiquitous. The Kowloon Motor Bus, CitybusNWFB or Octopus apps, for instance, help people save a lot of time.

Starbucks has been promoting its “Mobile Order & Pay” feature across its 176 stores in Hong Kong and Macau. Customers can place their orders for coffee and food within the application, and then select a store location to pick it up.

In my view, this service is ­already quite adequate. Spread among all Starbucks shops, it is very convenient.

But some may say that some drinks may go cold or food items lose their flavour if customers arrive late.

To tackle this problem and improve this area of its service, Starbucks could get the GPS ­location of the customers, so that staff can decide which drinks they should make first in order to ensure a satisfying meal.

But if Starbucks does enlarge its business to delivery, I am sure it will be a big success. Given their store network, delivering to homes or offices would be fast.

Hui Ching, Po Lam