Comparing favourably

DAVID Thurston talked about cruelty in his letter to these columns on November 24. I would like to draw his and other readers' attention to a point of far greater significance.

During the past three centuries of European military expansion, far more cruelty was inflicted on humanity all over the world than anyone could imagine.

Compared to cruelty of such immense proportions, the excesses in the Shenzhen Park seem almost negligible. There are many parks all over the world which are much more poorly run than this one in Shenzhen, worse ones than even the former zoo at Lai Chi Kok. By and large, Shenzhen Park is above-average by international standards. And by that I mean international standards, not just the subjective standards of a few countries and a few individuals. Mr Thurston writes ''Those who believe that a disregard for the suffering of humanity is somewhat embedded in the Chinese DNA can well be forgiven''. One could justifiably replace the word Chinese with European.

Au Man-kwan also wrote, on the same day, about the noisy complaining expat minority here in Hong Kong. A lot of the expats living here not only complain about Hong Kong, they actually have the repulsive habit of running down Hong Kong while benefiting from it. As a Hongkonger, I find it impossible to condone this tendency.

I would like all those from Hong Kong to speak out and rebuke those expats who are so critical of Hong Kong and its people.

These expatriates are guests in this place. I do not understand why they think they have the right to offend their hosts and show them such total disregard. Maybe those expats who say they don't like this place should simply go home, and that would probably make Hong Kong a better place in which to live.