Letters to the Editor, October 6, 2017

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 October, 2017, 4:31pm
UPDATED : Friday, 06 October, 2017, 4:31pm

Rohingya desperately need UN help

Since late August, the Muslim Rohingya people of Myanmar have been at the receiving end of acts of senseless cruelty.

I believe that what is happening to them in the country is genocide. Rohingya of all ages, young and old, have been burned alive, and women and girls have been raped and killed in their own homes.

This operation is being run by the Myanmar military. They have used the excuse of safety and security to block journalists and other outsiders (including a United Nations mission) from entering Rakhine state.

But the reality is, they do not want these observers to witness the brutal operations that are being carried out there.

The Rohingya people have lived in Myanmar’s Rakhine state for generations. However, because of this latest campaign by the army, village after village has been burned and they have had no choice but to flee west to ­Bangladesh.

Already an estimated half a million Rohingya have crossed the border, including thousands of children who are on their own, having been orphaned in the military action.

Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, in his recommendations to the world body after an inquiry, said the Rohingya have a right to live in their motherland (Rakhine) with equal rights and dignity.

The international community now has to ask what ­happens next.

When will we see the Myanmar military leaders and their henchmen who have perpetrated these atrocities tried for crimes against humanity?

The UN must launch a full ­investigation and continue to seek permission for its investigators to go to Rakhine and the sites of the alleged killings. The army of Myanmar will continue to cover up its horrific crimes.

The Security Council should send UN peacekeepers to ­protect the vulnerable Rohingya still in Myanmar.

Nokib E Kibria, Toronto, Canada

Digital firms cannot thrive in net oligopoly

You have run a number of ­articles recently examining why Hong Kong is not more successful when it comes to digital ­business.

The reason is that an oligopoly of service ­providers dominates internet ­access in the city. Time after time, households learn that only one internet provider operates in their building.

The providers exploit this ­situation with lengthy contracts, sky-high charges and speeds which are poor by even regional ­standards.

Digital businesses are more likely to thrive in environments where internet access is simple, cheap and fast.

Christopher Ruane, Lantau

North Korea’s only realistic option is talks

I am concerned about the threat of an all-out war between North Korea and its neighbours and the US, unless Pyongyang gives up its nuclear weapons ­programme (“Angered by ­‘suicidal’ Abe, North Korea warns of ‘nuclear clouds’ over Japan”, October 3).

Since June, North Korea has undertaken a lot of missile tests.These have been condemned by South Korea, Japan and the US, who have demanded that the tests be halted.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump are clearly angry with ­Pyongyang, but it continues not to heed any warnings.

I hope all sides can recognise that a conflict will not benefit any nation.

I think the only realistic ­option is for these countries to sit down together and start negotiations.

The regime in Pyongyang is taking dangerous risks, and if it goes too far it could lose everything. For the sake of its people and its own survival, it needs to start talking with its adversaries.

Crystal Wong Tsz-wing, Tsuen Wan

Aid scheme for poor needs fine-tuning

Although Hong Kong is a developed city, there are still a lot of people on low incomes and ­intergenerational poverty persists. Escaping from the poverty trap is tough, and some government efforts to help are flawed and need fine-tuning (“Low ­income workers unhappier after joining government allowance scheme”, September 28).

Poor working families who get a government allowance are finding that the conditions ­attached often mean the recipients have to put in long hours.

This is because they must make sure their “working hours are long enough while their salary is still within the income limit specified”.

This is leaving many of them dissatisfied with the present ­arrangement.

Officials need to review the rules, so that if people work longer hours they are entitled to a higher allowance.

If the scheme is ­forcing people to work long hours for low pay then it is surely not ­achieving its objective of helping poor families.

The government needs to draft policies that can tackle the root causes of intergenerational ­poverty, and help more people enjoy a better living environment and eventually achieve upward social mobility.

Hebe Ng, Tseung Kwan O

Laid-back life in Taiwan is very tempting

I refer to Nick Westra’s article (“Why are so many Hongkongers moving to Taiwan?” October 1). I agree that a lot people from Hong Kong are realising that ­Taiwan is the ideal place for them to settle down.

The living environment in Hong Kong is becoming more difficult. Costs keep rising in what is already one of the most expensive ­cities in the world, especially when it comes to property prices and rent. People have to work long hours to earn enough to meet living expenses.

Salaries in Taiwan are lower, but so is the cost of living and a lot of Hongkongers are willing to take a cut in salary.

Also, life in the city is very hectic, and it is very competitive in the workplace, while the pace of life in Taiwan is a lot slower.

I think you can enjoy a much less complicated way of life. Being away from the fierce competition in Hong Kong’s offices must be very liberating.

While it is a big change in lifestyle, I am sure people who relocate to Taiwan will eventually adapt to living there.

Lily Yuen Hiu-yin, Kwai Chung