Letters to the Editor, August 4, 2017
Rectify delays at baggage reclaim hall
Many of us will remember a time when you could exit immigration and find your baggage already on the carousel. Indeed, it used to be one of those things we felt proud about in Hong Kong. Well, those days are over.
I have made 12 flights into Hong Kong this year and on not one occasion was baggage delivered in under 20 minutes. In fact, a half hour or more has become the norm.
On Sunday, July 30, it was diabolical. Baggage arrived in dribs and drabs and the airport was full of passengers wandering around trying to find where their baggage was when other passengers on the same flight had experienced no problems.
When I asked what was happening with the ground staff, who were desperately dealing with all these problems, I was told the companies operating these services had cut back on staffing and whatever staff were there were inexperienced.
Does the Airport Authority not run some performance standards that these baggage handling services have to meet? One doubts it very much given the increasingly poor performance over the last 12 months and the diabolical experience by many passengers on July 30.
It was bad to see poor domestic helpers waiting to get back to their now angry employers due to a major failure by these services at the airport.
The situation is unacceptable and shameful and the Airport Authority and Tourism Board need to act fast to rectify it.
Chris Robinson, Lai Chi Kok
Fair revealed an unhealthy reading culture
I went for two days to the Hong Kong Book Fair and was disappointed by what were obviously the bestsellers with those attending.
The most popular material appeared to be what I would call functional books, that is, textbooks and other works, such as travel and cookery books. Most parents who took their children were looking for supplementary exercises to help with school. So, it was more of a textbook fair than a general book fair which should be promoting varied reading habits. Works of literature and cultural books remained largely untouched on the shelves.
It made me think about what is the purpose of this fair and if we are developing an unhealthy reading culture in the city.
If something is not done to rectify this, Hong Kong will continue to lag behind other cities in terms of cultural development.
Victor Ding Wei-tan, North Point
Terminus plan poses no threat to HK law
The co-location arrangement for immigration and customs at the West Kowloon express rail-link terminus is proving controversial and some Hongkongers are opposed to it.
However, I think it is a good plan and we will not be seeing mainland laws being imposed in Hong Kong.
The mainland officers will only be able to operate in designated locations. Once they are in Hong Kong, all passengers will be subject to Hong Kong law. I hope the government can allay the fears of critics, and that the rail link will be up and running as soon as possible.
Fung Siu-chung, Hang Hau
Lawmakers, not court, let down voters
The six legislative councillors disqualified by the High Court have accused the government of political suppression.
They claim that the court has ignored the wishes of the thousands of constituents who voted for them and that the ruling threatens democracy in Hong Kong.
However, it is the councillors who have ignored voters’ wishes by being so disrespectful during the oath-taking ceremony in the Legislative Council chamber. They were elected to act responsibly in the interests of their constituents, not to misbehave in this manner.
I do not think that they should be allowed to stand in the by-elections.
Billy Sit, Tseung Kwan O
MTR got it wrong with hot station
During the height of summer, we need air conditioning systems to be working efficiently, in our homes, our offices and our transport systems, but this is not happening when it comes to the MTR.
At Nam Cheong station on Wednesday, we sat down to have a brief rest and found the heat unbearable.
My father went to the control room and asked them to adjust it to make it cooler.
However, he was told that with the temperature setting, the MTR Corporation was trying to be environmentally friendly. Ironically, in the control room it was very cool.
The MTR must appreciate that it is essential to have cool temperatures in stations and in trains for the sake of passengers. It is unpleasant to have to travel in a crowded and hot carriage where everyone is sweating profusely.
While it is important to consider protecting the environment, the priority of a public transport provider is to serve the public.
Valerie Yung, Tsim Sha Tsui
Not best way to solve housing problems
I cannot agree with Katrina Chan about underground spaces (“Underground malls can ease flat shortage”, July 24).
Constructing an underground mall is a huge undertaking. Utilities such as water pipes and wiring have to be relocated and construction companies must ensure they do not damage the foundations of existing buildings at ground level. In fact, this idea was put forward in 2004 and abandoned, because of the logistical difficulties.
People live in caged homes, not because there are no vacant flats but because they are on such low incomes they cannot afford the rents charged for apartments.
I read one official statistic that there are actually more flats than households in Hong Kong. So even if underground malls freed up spaces for a lot more flats, that will be no help at all for underprivileged citizens who cannot afford to live in them.
It would take a decade to complete a mall underground, that is, assuming the government could overcome all the opposition from the various stakeholders, such as businesses and residents in the affected area.
Ho Ho Man, Ma On Shan
Leeds player endured racist chanting
As a visitor to Hong Kong, I was interested to read the letter by
K. Y. Tsui (“Remember the other Best of English soccer”, July 23) about “pioneering black footballers” in the 1970s.
Albert Johanneson, born in South Africa, was also one of the first players of colour to play in the old English first division. In fact, he was the first player of colour to play in an FA cup final. He played for Leeds United and suffered very badly, in respect of racist chanting and throwing of bananas, at football grounds away from his club’s ground of Elland Road.
As a result, Albert developed an alcohol addiction that eventually claimed his life at the very young age of 55. He is missed today by family, friends and the fans of this great football club.
Richard Simpson, Leeds, England