Letters to the Editor, May 09, 2015
Comments about Filipinos out of order
As a former member of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, I was dismayed by Hong Kong lawmaker Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee's remarks about Filipino women allegedly seducing their Hong Kong employers.
Filipino women are attractive and friendly. That is simply what we are as a people. The women are not trying to seduce anybody.
Male employers who cannot control their libidinous drives should not hire a domestic worker in the first place. And female employers who are insanely jealous of anyone six feet away from their husbands should also refrain from doing so.
The money of emotionally insecure Hong Kong men and women would be better spent on their seeing a psychotherapist to cure them of their unhealthy sexual obsessions and fears rather than hiring a domestic worker.
While I was chair of the Committee on Overseas Workers' Affairs at the House of Representatives, I heard accounts of domestic workers who found it difficult to get on with the housework because of their male employers who were constantly trying to get them into bed or the wives who were insanely jealous of their every move.
The most difficult situation, I was told, was that of the domestic worker who found herself in a household with a lecherous employer and an obsessively jealous wife.
I really wish Hong Kong's leaders would be more appreciative of the city's hardworking foreign domestic workers instead of making offensive comments about them.
Walden Bello, Quezon City, Philippines
Maids do try to seduce male employers
I am happy Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee raised the issue of wives being concerned about domestic helpers seducing their husbands as it is true ("Ip stands by 'seductive' maids claim", April 18).
I can say not all Filipino maids are the same but there are some who seduce their employers and break up homes.
Some younger foreign domestic helpers from the Philippines are certainly guilty of doing this.
It may be a bitter pill for the Filipino community in Hong Kong, but it does happen.
Mrs Ip should not be apologising for making these comments.
Rakesh Gurung, Sai Ying Pun
Street artists get raw deal in Hong Kong
Busking is very popular in countries in the West, with many different kinds of street artists performing for passing pedestrians, such as jugglers, dancers and singers.
Many buskers in Hong Kong gather at Sai Yeung Choi Street, Mong Kok. However, compared to the West, their efforts appear to be overlooked by most Hong Kong citizens. At Sai Yeung Choi Street, they have very little room and are squashed together, having to compete for space.
The culture of busking is largely ignored in a city where rapid economic development is the priority. Also, in many areas, residents will complain if these street artists start performing near their homes. Yet it can be argued that Hong Kong's unique busking culture can help the economy.
It enriches street life and counters the often-used argument that the SAR is a cultural desert. What needs to be done is to try to make the public more aware of buskers.
Last month, I went to Sai Yeung Choi Street and could see many tourists there who were enjoying watching street art performers. There were no language barriers and everyone could enjoy them.
However, as I said, buskers here do not get the respect and recognition they enjoy in countries like Britain and Italy and they face a lot of difficulties.
The pedestrian zone in Sai Yeung Choi Street is now only open on public holidays and weekends. The curtailed hours were imposed because of complaints of noise nuisance.
There seems to be a general misconception about busking, which is a shame.
For many of these street performers, this is not their regular job.
They do this because they are passionate about it and want to win the support and trust of the public.
We should show more support for these performers and try to promote busking culture in Hong Kong.
Helen Chow, Lam Tin
Tutorial classes not for young children
I have read about a tutorial college offering classes for children between the ages of three and five.
It is too harsh to expect children that young to attend these colleges and clearly some Hong Kong parents have misconceptions about what education should be about. Among some of them, there is this herd mentality that they must sign up for different classes, but they are not considering the needs of their children.
They must recognise that education is not just about academic performance, especially at preschool stage. It is more important to get these young children interested in what is happening around them and teaching them the right moral values, than doing well in tests.
The problem with Hong Kong's education system is that a person's ability is measured by how well they have done academically. This system is failing to encourage creativity.
Helen Lau Hei-lam, Kowloon Tong
ICAC still has strong public backing
The Independent Commission Against Corruption has embraced a three-pronged approach to fight graft - law enforcement, prevention and community education.
Thanks to that and with the support of the government and the community, Hong Kong, in terms of the corruption, is now one of the cleanest places in the world.
I disagree with the survey which shows that more than 20 per cent believe the level of corruption will rise this year compared with 11 per cent in 2011.
The survey clearly shows that most citizens hate corruption and are willing to expose it.
In Hong Kong, corruption is firmly under control, with a robust anti-graft agency and a vigilant public.
Since its inception more than 40 years ago, the ICAC has made relentless efforts, hand in hand with the community, to build a clean society.
Other jurisdictions in the region, for example, Malaysia, are struggling to achieve the same results.
I think the ability of the ICAC to remain effective depends on its ability to maintain its credibility and firm public support.
Anna Kan Sze-lun, Kowloon Tong
More jobless with revised visa rule
The change of visas for Shenzhen citizens to allow them to visit Hong Kong only once a week could have a number of consequences.
These citizens could see it as being unfair since Hongkongers can still go to the mainland as often as they want.
Both sets of citizens are seen as Chinese nationals, but now there might appear to be two different classes of citizenship.
The reduction in the number of daily traders may not affect Hong Kong overall, but might be devastating for businesses located near the border.
Thousands of workers involved in businesses which deal with these traders could lose their jobs. And there are not that many jobs in these border towns.
The new regulation will also deprive former traders from earning a living.
Most of these traders make their trips to supplement meagre incomes.
They are mostly poorly educated and unskilled and some of them are elderly.
Also, they do not receive social welfare and will experience financial hardship if their trading opportunities dry up.
Instead of generating harmony and social cohesion, the new regulation creates disunity and resentment.
Many grandparents of today's generation of well-off young Hongkongers, were smugglers and daily traders from China in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
We should spare a thought for those less fortunate people who are doing the same thing now and just trying to make a living.
Patrick Chan, Mortdale, New South Wales, Australia
Close look at LPG garages is essential
The explosion last month at a garage in Wong Tai Sin which killed three people has put the spotlight on LPG taxis.
The authorities need to do checks on all garages which service these vehicles and they must identify those ones which are unregulated.
If there are businesses being operated which are unregulated and have quantities of LPG on their premises, this poses a risk to nearby residents, especially if they are located in densely populated areas.
More than 20,000 public transport vehicles run on LPG. Where are they being serviced and are all the facilities properly regulated and safe?
A comprehensive survey must be undertaken by the relevant government department and there must be a review of the Gas Safety Ordinance to ensure there is adequate protection of the public.
What happened shows the problems that arise from mixed land use.
Winnie Yeung Wing-sum, Tsuen Wan