Letters to the Editor, May 22, 2017

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 May, 2017, 4:38pm
UPDATED : Monday, 22 May, 2017, 4:38pm

Futile quest for missing tablet at HK airport

I have just returned to the UK after a business trip to Hong Kong. I have been visiting Hong Kong three or four times a year for the past 20 years or so, and never experienced any issues.

However, on this occasion, on collecting my case after ­arrival from Phnom Penh, I found that it had been opened, ransacked, and my ­Samsung tablet removed. I flew in on Hong Kong Airlines flight HX730 on April 6, and we arrived into Hong Kong just before 9pm.

We had been waiting at the ­carousel for nearly 30 minutes for our luggage, and I found that my case had been opened and my tablet, along with a plastic carrier bag, was missing.

On informing the airline, I was told to ­contact security. I duly did so and was told, “Oh not another one”, and told to inform the police for a case reference.

I then went back to Hong Kong Airlines customer service and was told to contact the ­baggage services department, who said they would look into it.

Two days later, they told me they could not help. I asked on three separate occasions whether closed-circuit TV was used in the baggage handling area, but my question was never ­answered. Surely if cases are being opened and items ­removed, that should be of ­interest to someone?

Kevin James, Derbyshire, UK

Priority seats failing to meet primary aim

Since the introduction of ­priority seats on public transport, we often find social media posts criticising passengers for not ­offering seats to the elderly, or occupying priority seats ­despite not being “eligible”.

The original objective in ­setting aside priority seats was to motivate people to give up their seats more, and so build a ­harmonious society.

In theory, anyone can occupy these seats in the ­absence of any fellow passengers with ­special needs. However, contrary to their objective, these have ended up sparking a lot of ­controversy in society.

Take the MTR for example: most people dare not occupy priority seats, believing that they are not “eligible”, and for fear of being publicly chastised through the internet if they do.

Some youngsters have been strongly condemned online for occupying such seats, their eyes glued to their mobile phones.

A few months ago, a video posted online showed a young man being chastised by an elderly passenger for occupying such a seat, though he ­appeared to have problems with his leg.

After such serious conflicts, people tend not to occupy such seats at all, regardless of their physical condition.

I believe this problem can be solved only through education. People should offer to give up their seats, while understanding that they may occupy priority seats if no one else claims them.

Ambrose Chan, Ap Lei Chau

Gurkha team marks first Everest feat

Given Hong Kong’s long and warm association with Gurkhas and the significant Nepali ­community still resident in the city, I though your readers may be interested to know that three serving soldiers in the British Army’s ­Brigade of Gurkhas ­summited Mount Everest on May 15.

They are the first serving Gurkhas to have achieved the feat of climbing the world’s highest peak.

The brigade’s initial expedition in 2015, to celebrate 200 years of Gurkha service to the British Crown, was interrupted by the ­devastating earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25 that year, killing some 9,000 people. ­Avalanches set off by the quake killed several climbers.

Despite having abandoned the climb due to the quake, the team members assisted many other teams off the mountain.

Christopher Lavender, Late Colonel 2nd Gurkhas, Mid-Levels

False claims on menu call for stricter checks

I refer to your report on a Hong Kong restaurant being fined for serving a dish listed as abalone fried rice with conch ­instead, in order to save on costs.

As the menu clearly stated that abalone would be used, it led to the restaurant receiving a summons for supplying food under a false trade description, as laid down by the related ordinance in Hong Kong.

However, surely this is not the first or only case of trading under false descriptions. The government should upgrade its food quality scheme in order to ensure standards.

Isaac Yue, Tseung Kwan O

Wealthy city needs to do more for poor

I refer to the article on worsening poverty in Hong Kong (“How many Hongkongers are really living in poverty?”, May 21)

As one of the most developed cities in the world, Hong Kong appears to neglect the seriousness of its poverty problem.

This is reflected in our inadequate welfare system. Welfare accounts for less than 20 per cent of the government’s recurrent expenditure. Amid rising poverty rates, long-term planning measures need to be implemented by the administration.

Moreover, upward social mobility has slowed. In the 1970s and 1980s, Hong Kong used to be a manufacturing-based city, with a labour force and working class that was more productive than today’s. As long as they were willing to work hard, people would have the opportunity to improve their living environment and social class.

But now Hong Kong is too dependent on finance and real estate; its industrial base is not diversified. Only a minority can benefit from economic growth, while many of the well educated are forced to accept low-paid jobs offering limited upward mobility. With living costs pushing ever more people below the poverty line, it is high time for better resource allocation.

Helen Chiu Hoi-lam, Yau Yat Chuen