Letters to the Editor, August 10, 2017

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 4:46pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 August, 2017, 4:46pm

Legislation is needed to curb cold-callers

I agree with correspondents who have raised concerns about cold-calls. They are a nuisance for all of us and I think it is time for the government to take ­action to control the ­tele­marketers.

Cold-calls interfere in our lives wherever we are. Whether we’re at home, out in the street or in the office, we keep getting them.

They come in different forms – person-to­-person calls and electronic messages.

How many of us will not ­answer a call from “no caller ID” or prefixed with a “3” [often indicating a telemarketer]?

I am fed up with being asked if I want beauty products or to take out a bank loan. But what if because we don’t answer, we miss a genuine call? Perhaps an ­important ­client is on the other end of the line.

Measures are needed to help people clearly identify a cold-call. Also, the rights of citizens need to be protected with­ ­legislation that introduces a ­do-not-call register.

Victoria Lai Yi-ching, Tsing Lung Tau

Monitoring system for oil spills flawed

I am not happy with the way in which the relevant government departments have dealt with the palm oil spill which has affected the city’s beaches.

Officials insist that the ­substance which has washed onto the beaches is not toxic to humans. Despite that, concerns remain and I understand the criticism from environmental groups, especially when it comes to how we respond to these spills.

Being at the lower end of the Pearl River Delta, we are ­vulnerable when there is spill at sea.

There must be a better monitoring system, with regular meetings between officials in Hong Kong and their ­counterparts on the mainland.

Having closer cross-border cooperation is the best way to deal with spills when they happen and minimise the damage. And when they do affect Hong Kong, the public must be kept fully ­informed.

Randy Lee, Ma On Shan

E-sports event an important first step in city

A lot of Hong Kong fans of ­computer games attended the ­e-sports festival last weekend.

With e-sports being so new, many people locally and elsewhere are unfamiliar with what is involved, especially parents.

They see their children ­playing online games and are concerned, especially if the youngsters harbour ambitions to become professional e-sports players. They don’t understand that it is possible to earn a living in this way.

Hopefully with more events like this festival, people will begin to see this activity as a proper sport. After all, video game ­playing will be included in the Asian Games in Hangzhou (杭州) in 2022.

The government took the right decision to subsidise the festival in Hong Kong last ­weekend and I hope it will back future e-sports events in the city so that it can gain greater ­acceptance.

Jordan Chan Wai-tsun, Tseung Kwan O

Superficial show of force won’t faze Kim

There has condemnation of North Korea, along with ­economic sanctions and threats.

However, the UN Security Council warnings stemming from Pyongyang’s recent successful launch of its Hwasong-14 series intercontinental ballistic missile mean nothing to Kim Jong-un.

­ Moreover, America’s superficial show of force with B-1 bombers flying low over the ­Korean peninsula will not solve the problem.

We continue to see self­centered Washington politicians and a mainstream media ­diverting attention from North Korea’s nuclear threat as they chase a ghost through the ­corridors of Capitol Hill over the alleged Trump linkage with ­Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

They are doing this because of their collective intense hatred of this president.

Now, with North Korea threatening a strike against America, we must remember that for more than 30 years, ­previous presidents allowed this North Korea nuclear issue to ­fester.

They and the present politicians on Capitol Hill have failed ­America miserably.

Earl Beal, Terre Haute, Indiana, US

Tobacco tax hike would be wrong policy

I agree with some of what Wilson Chan Yat-leung says in his letter (“Taxes on cigarettes must be ­increased”, July 29).

I agree that smoking is detrimental to the health of citizens, but I don’t think raising the tax on tobacco is the best way to solve the problem.

It would increase the price of a packet of cigarettes. This could lead more people to bypass stores and instead buy smuggled cigarettes from illegal vendors. And this would exacerbate the problem of smuggling.

Also, as sales of legal cigarettes declined, this would hit small stores and newspaper stalls which depended on ­tobacco sales. Some of them might go out of ­business.

I believe that, instead, the government should adopt what I would call soft measures which can eventually bear fruit. One of those would be education, which is key to tackling this problem.

The message must be got across about the harm they do when they smoke or will do if they start. The government must offer comprehensive counselling and programmes to help smokers quit.

Wong Man-tik, Ma On Shan

Take simple precautions to fight infection

This year’s summer flu season has been worse than last year, but some people do not pay attention to the potential risks.

During the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) outbreak, people wore masks and used sanitisers to clean their hands and prevent the spread of infection. But few Hongkongers now take these precautions.

At the very least, we all need to be more aware of basic ­hygiene issues.

The government should hold more talks and put up posters, so that people follow good hygiene rules to try and minimise the spread of infection. Workshops can also be held in schools where it is so easy for germs and viruses like chicken pox to spread.

It is up to all citizens to try and protect themselves from ­infectious diseases.

Ivan Tsoi, Tseung Kwan O