Letters to the Editor, April 30, 2017

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 April, 2017, 9:01am
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 April, 2017, 9:01am

Clean and fair elections vital for any society

I agree with your editorial on the election process (“Integrity of election system is paramount”, April 10).

You referred to the “arrests of 72 people linked to vote-rigging in one of the trade-based seats in the city’s legislature”.

Electoral integrity is important in any city or country. When vote rigging is found to have happened, it damages the reputation of that electoral system and Hong Kong is no exception.

If individuals involved in the voting are found to have been dishonest, most people will then consider the results of the election to be meaningless.

They then think that whoever won did not deserve to do so even if they played no part in the illegal acts. The credibility of the whole system is called into ­question.

People need to know that the candidate they have voted for is participating in a free and fair election. Lawmakers in Hong Kong are the link between citizens and the government. They are ­conduits of public opinion. We can only have confidence in them if electoral integrity is ­preserved.

Real and honest elections ­offer the chance for political conflicts to be resolved in a peaceful way.

Democracy is a universal ­value and citizens in all countries should be entitled to participate in the democratic process.

Natalie Chan, Ho Man Tin

Tempt tourists with city’s unique culture

When visitors from abroad think about Hong Kong most of them will name famous attractions like Victoria Harbour, The Peak, Disneyland and Ocean Park. However, there are other aspects to the city that many tourists may know little or nothing about.

The government should be trying to promote these lesser-known attractions, as part of an effort to ensure sustainable ­tourism development.

For example, at the moment it is really pushing its new ­venture, the food trucks, but I don’t think people will visit the city just for these mobile eateries, especially those selling Western food like hot dogs. Most tourists want to eat local food.

A lot more should be done to ­promote eco-tourism, given our beautiful natural scenery.

There also needs to be more publicity abroad about traditional celebrations such as the Tin Hau and Cheung Chau bun festivals, and Lunar New Year. Most ­tourists want to see things which are unique to Hong Kong.

The government’s tourism promotion campaigns must focus more on the city’s culture and history, ­including its traditions. We need to show what makes us ­distinctive.

Simon Chung, Kwun Tong

India trying hard to curb child abuse

The article by Priya Virmani (“Shameful silence on child abuse”, April 26) presents a very negative image of how India is handling child abuse cases.

Over the past decade, many steps have been taken to deal with this horrendous problem.

There has been new legislation, such as the Protection of Children from Sexual Offence (POCSO) Act [of 2012].

Prison sentences for people found guilty under the act can extend to life terms. The act also necessitates cases to be resolved in 60 days.

From harassment to gang rape, all sexual crimes against children fall under POCSO, which takes the child’s verdict as the final word.

POCSO makes it illegal to witness and not report child abuse, either by phone or in ­person, and police officers must bring cases to the attention of the Child Welfare Committee ­within 24 hours.

Operation Smile is a special initiative of the central home ministry which organises regular rescues and rehabilitation of children pushed into prostitution and bonded labour, or those ill-treated by their parents. The programme brings together state police and child departments to rescue missing ­children.

That is not to say that the problem has been solved and I am sure that a lot more needs to be done, but should India be ­singled out?

There are many countries which have had limited or no success when it comes to curbing child abuse. For decades, the Catholic Church in many ­nations concealed innumerable cases of child abuse by priests. There were hundreds of allegations of ­sexual abuse made against the late BBC presenter, Jimmy Savile.

Some of these allegations were made while he was still alive, but no action was taken. I believe India’s track record must be looked at in the light of these failings by other countries.

Gordhan Gurnani, Kwun Tong

Girl power a big hit on the gaming circuit

Some people object to girls playing computer games and taking part in electronic sports.

But now Hong Kong has its first all-female e-sports team (“Gamer girls: Hong Kong’s first ­all-female professional video gaming team PandaCute defy ­doubters”, April 22).

PandaCute members battle gamers from around the world for prize money, recognition and hopefully stardom ­within the ­e-gaming world.

They are highly skilled and through their success they have proved that objections to girls and women getting involved in e-gaming are groundless.

They can do just as well as their male counterparts and are just as dedicated.

They train 10 hours a day, five days a week, at their base in Kowloon Bay. They only take a break at weekends to rest their eyes and wrists.

There are already a lot of ­e-sports professionals in Hong Kong, competing in global events. However, the government is still not helping e-sports much. It should do more to ­promote e-sports.

Leung Chun-fung, Tseung Kwan O