Letters to the Editor, July 11, 2017
Core values of Hong Kong are alive and well
I have lived 41 of my 82 years in Hong Kong and it is still the place to be.
A clear example of how nice Hongkongers can be found in what happened to me recently.
Last Wednesday, I lost a small purse on the MTR, somewhere between Kennedy Town and Chai Wan – where I left the train. It contained just over HK$1,000 and I did not discover this until I returned to Central.
Calling the hotline of the MTR’s lost property on Thursday morning, I did not really expect much of a response, but with my description of the purse and that the money was held in a WWF money clip, I got an immediate response.
It had been handed in and was in safe custody at Heng Fa Chuen MTR station. I picked it up the same morning and have to highlight two things – the efficiency and politeness of the MTR staff and – more importantly – the fact that the purse had been handed in.
With all the chatter and dissent, Hong Kong’s core values are still alive and well.
Norman de Brackinghe, Pok Fu Lam
Real need for building more columbariums
Without a doubt, there is a serious shortage of columbarium niches in Hong Kong.
This is not just a problem for individuals who want to book niches for themselves for when they pass away. They might even have to hold on to an urn containing the ashes of a loved one for years, as there are few niches available.
The government needs to recognise that there are simply not enough niches to meet the demand in the city, and it should undertake a thorough review of the problem. It tries to find as much spare land as possible to provide more housing. While this is understandable, officials must recognise the importance of building new columbariums.
We face many social and environmental issues in Hong Kong, and the shortage of niches is a problem that needs to be solved as soon as possible.
Mandy Chan Sze-ki, Yau Yat Chuen
Why Muslims must speak out against attacks
In the aftermath of the latest terror attacks in England, which took place in Manchester and London within a span of three weeks, some correspondents expressed grievances with Muslim communities for not speaking out against this violence, since the attackers acted in the name of their religion.
Mohamed Hajamaideen in his letter (“Muslims not only condemn terror, they also bear its brunt”, June 23) points out that much is expected of the community, when it is Muslims themselves who are the main victims of terror committed by other Muslims. However, Muslims bear the brunt of this terror in Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East, not in France, Britain or the US.
Your correspondent also talked about hypocrisy, saying that when a terrorist attack is committed by people of other religions, there is no demand for those religious groups to condemn such acts.
While it is true terror that is committed by many different people, and gun violence in the US, Mexico or Venezuela takes a lot of lives, to many in the Western world it’s quite a different matter. These are not imported but domestic problems.
With the recent increase of Muslim populations in Western Europe and the US, there has been a distinct trend of terror committed in the name of Islam in countries that are majority Christian.
It is unprecedented that a distinct minority sets out to commit large-scale terror in host countries.
That is why many people feel Muslim communities should be more vocal, and speak out against these terrorist acts; they are not being Islamophobic.
Marian Schneps, Wan Chai
Teens need more places to play sports
During the summer, there are not enough places where teenagers can relax and have fun exercising.
They are too old for playgrounds, which in Hong Kong are designed for young children.
Many of them would enjoy playing games like tennis or badminton, but the courts are normally fully booked and it is difficult to get a game.
Even basketball courts, which are found all over the city, are often full when teenagers want to have a game.
The government has to recognise there is a problem and build more sports facilities, so that youngsters can get some exercise instead of spending all their spare time at home on their smartphones and computers.
Tsang Kai-yuet, Tseung Kwan O
Time to lose fixation with major exams
As our exam-oriented education system has a negative impact on Hong Kong students, I agree that there is a need for it to be changed.
This is a very competitive society, so I know why parents and schools put so much pressure on students with tutorial and supplementary classes.
However, they are forced to do too many tests and exams and, with so much revision and homework, they often do not have enough time to rest. Even during their holidays, some students in the city have to attend extra tutorial classes.
There should be more regular assessments, rather than one major exam. This would reduce the pressure on youngsters.
Yami Yen,Tseung Kwan O