Letters to the Editor, February 16, 2018
Replace fireworks display with light shows
Tomorrow’s Lunar New Year fireworks display has been cancelled, a decision brought about by the tragic bus accident in Tai Po last Saturday.
However, perhaps it is time to consider a complete ban on fireworks and large-scale displays, given the alarming levels of air pollution in Hong Kong.
Fireworks have been entertaining crowds around the world for centuries, there is nothing new about them. What is new and quite deadly, is the polluted air, which fire crackers worsen.
I would suggest that government firework displays for special occasions be replaced with a special light show. Many cities around the world tend to discourage fireworks or even forbid them, and some are replacing fireworks with hi-tech light shows.
For instance, the French city of Lyon has shown how a lights festival can delight residents and boost business. Lyon’s Festival of Lights, which usually lasts for four days, is an attractive event that draws large numbers of tourists, while designers from all over the world compete to produce the most startling installations and displays. The vibrant light shows everywhere around the city are highlighted by video, music and sound effects.
Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, with its iconic skyline, would be a spectacular backdrop for such illuminations, and other locations around the city could be added as well.
Hong Kong Disneyland’s suspension of its nightly fireworks show is a step in the right direction, even if it is for a multi-year expansion programme.
Thomas Gebauer, Discovery Bay
Handover trio true contenders for Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize has not only become some sort of joke or political circus, but something that is probably making Albert Nobel turn in his grave (“The Nobel Peace Prize was always a joke; now it's a total circus”, February 4).
Nobel was an accomplished inventor and industrialist. He visualised this award for outstanding contributions to peace, for those who “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
How do the present nominees from Hong Kong, the Occupy trio of Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Alex Chow Yong-kang, or several recently awarded Nobel Peace laureates, meet this requirement?
I have been arguing for over a decade that former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, our last colonial governor Chris Patten and paramount leader Deng Xiaoping of the People’s Republic of China are deserving of this prize, for manoeuvring the most peaceful transition of power of the last millennium.
Nowadays nominees and unexpected recipients of the Nobel Prize can be outsiders who enjoy long odds with the bookies in the gambling industry.
Sometime you wonder whether a select few might be making a killing in the gaming industry, backing long-shot winners. Just a thought.
Lal Daswani, Tsim Sha Tsui
Healthy habits can help promote sleep
I am writing in response to the article by Sasha Gonzales (“Writing a to-do list will help you doze off quicker”, February 4).
The article cited new research showing that writing a to-do list is a useful trick for falling asleep quickly, as it often stops us lying awake worrying about unfinished tasks.
Hongkongers today, both young and old, face a lot of pressure, whether it is at work or school. Their long and stressful waking hours affect both sleep time and quality. So I agree that writing a to-do list can help to organise the coming day, and a worry-free mind will then be able to sleep better.
However, I also believe that, as most of us cannot control our hours of work or study, we need to cultivate good lifestyle habits in other areas.
We must engage in some exercise or sports daily, and try to eat healthier food. This will help us to have a more positive attitude towards life and may even see us do our jobs better.
Magdalene Li, Kwai Chung