Letters to the Editor, May 29, 2017

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 May, 2017, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Monday, 29 May, 2017, 5:01pm

Service quality of taxi firms is appalling

I completely agree with Cathy Chou (“Taxi drivers could ­provide better service”, May 25) that the real reason people use Uber is because taxis in Hong Kong don’t care about service.

I live in the Sai Kung area and have a job where I often need to get to the airport early in the morning.

The local taxi firm refuses to let me book a taxi the night before and tells me to ring in the morning. When I do this, they talk on the radio for 10 seconds and then say “No taxi for you!” and then hang up.

I have lived in Indonesia and the Middle East and this is the first place that I haven’t been able to book a taxi to the airport. The HK Taxi app is almost useless because the mapping is inaccurate and the drivers can never find my house. By ­comparison, any time I have called Uber, they come directly to where I am.

The issue is service. I don’t care if it’s a taxi or Uber, I just need a car to the airport that will arrive on time.

The authorities should stop protecting vested interests and remove restrictions that allow service providers to ignore the “service” aspects of their ­business.

Chris Wright, Sai Kung

Illegal parking fine hike – too little, too late

The government has been 20 years too late in raising the illegal parking penalty.

The last hike was in 1994. And now it has finally announced an increase, a paltry 25 per cent, from HK$320 to HK$400 effective only from June 2018.

On the other hand, public hospitals’ accident and emergency fees will go up 80 per cent from HK$100 to HK$180 from next month. This is very unjust. Parking penalties should go up from next month and ­hospital charges from June 2018.

I own a car, but feel the illegal parking penalty is still too low and will not discourage people from parking illegally unless it is raised to at least HK$600.

Parvez Kerawala, Mid-Levels

People need to be aware of online risks

The WannaCry cyberattacks which affected systems globally highlighted the threat people face online.

Governments must make sure more help is available to victims of these attacks, individuals and companies. The Hong Kong government should do more to raise public awareness of cyberattacks and how people can protect themselves.

Zita Au, Kowloon Tong

Muslims are following what holy book says

In his column (“From vegetarianism to full-face burqas: the perils of setting norms in a globalised world”, May 13) Philip Bowring starts off by saying that Chinese civilisation “is blessed by a lack of fetishes”, yet who is the biggest consumer of endangered species in the world ­today?

Next, he concedes vegetarianism does not “occupy a higher moral ground than flesh-eating” and exclusively condemns Jewish and Muslim animal slaughter. He asks if “halal and kosher slaughter” should be accepted, but is silent about the billions global fast-food chains make from their voracious treatment and consumption of animals.

Astoundingly, he claims pork prohibition is “not based on modern scientific observation” and says “anything contrary to science cannot be true religion”. There is scientific evidence about the health risks of pork consumption; besides, Muslims have to follow what the holy book instructs us.

Bowring says “middle paths are needed” on the banning of head scarves and full beards”, failing to see his own different views in dictating how a woman chooses to dress is not his business. His attitude is no different from countries like Saudi Arabia that enforce dress codes.

If a nun can wear a head covering, why can’t a Muslim woman? If a man sports a fashionable beard, why can’t a Muslim or Jew do the same without being accused of not meeting the “standards of the community” as Bowring puts it? There is nothing wrong with criticising Islam or Judaism. However, he shows himself as being Islamophobic and prejudiced against the Jewish faith.

Muhammad Arshad, chief imam Hong Kong

Gay weddings financial boost for countries

I refer to the report, “New ­Zealand handed wedding ­windfall due to Australia’s ­failure to legalise gay marriage” (May 10).

Some economists believe that because Australia does not have equality when it come to marriage, its economy will be adversely affected, because gay marriages could bring millions of dollars into the country.

I think all countries should legalise same-sex marriages. In Hong Kong, it would be a big boost to the economy. It is an important human rights issue.

Also, all same-sex couples should have access to the same benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.

It is time to change the law, because concepts about traditional marriage have changed and it is recognised that all couples deserve equal ­treatment.

I hope we will see changes in the law in Hong Kong and around the world as soon as ­possible.

Christy Chung Chi-ching, Yau Yat Chuen

‘Heads-down’ tribe common sight in city

Whenever I am walking around Hong Kong I see so many people on the streets, with their heads down, looking at their smartphones. And it is the same on our public transport network. The “heads-down” tribe is a ­global phenomenon.

However, people need to be aware of the health issues ­related to overuse of these ­devices.

I can understand why many people spend a lot of time on them as they are so convenient and more functions keep getting added to them by smartphone makers.

However, we should not rely on them so much, especially for ­information, when we should be trying to fall back on our own memories.

Also, people need to recognise the importance of face-to-face communication and not rely on social network sites to keep in touch with friends.

People need to be wary of smartphone addiction and the risks it poses.

Simon Chung, Kwun Tong