Letters to the Editor, July 11, 2015
Motorists need to be more considerate
I refer to the letter by Andrew Renaud ("Police failing to do their job at Mui Wo", June 29).
The cases in Mui Wo, Lantau [of people contravening "road traffic regulations"], may have reflected the shortage of manpower in the police force.
The government needs to consider the long working hours and workload of the police.
Although the incidents at Mui Wo showed the failure of the job of policing, reports and surveys show that Hong Kong has a comparatively low level of crime rate.
When compared with other metropolitan cities, Hong Kong remains one of the safest cities. This can be attributed to our efficient police force.
I understand that it is really frustrating to have people who do not abide by the rules in our city.
I do see some cars that are parked on pavements illegally. Why are people so selfish and do this for their own convenience? By doing so, they are ignoring the needs of others and the risk they may pose to the safety of other people.
Educating the public should be seen as a priority.
Drivers should put themselves in other people's shoes and hopefully this would make them more considerate.
This city would be a better place to live if we all showed such consideration and cooperated with each other.
Chloe Ngo, Sha Tin
Land swap for house will set bad precedent
Residents on Coombe Road in Wan Chai District are concerned that the government is considering an application for a land swap from a major property developer whose house has been issued with a grade one protection order.
The house in question is 23 Coombe Road. Other than its age, the building cannot be described as having architectural value.
Throughout its life it has not attracted any historical interest. The house is situated in a green belt adjacent to Aberdeen Country Park.
The piece of land identified for the proposed swap is opposite the house and is part of the country park.
I am an immediate past chairman of WWF HK and, like other concerned Coombe Road residents, I believe that development at this site will disturb wildlife that make the area home.
Many kites can be seen there every year between November and March.
Coombe Road is a narrow lane that serves hundreds of residents. Construction in such narrow confines will be hazardous.
Although the application was rejected once already, the developer has now made a second application.
There is only a three-week window to launch objections.
The government must be careful not to set a precedent for a luxury development in country parks.
Trevor Yang, Wan Chai
Ludicrous decision over UK visas
I refer to the letter by Jonathan Watkin ("British refusal of helper's visa ruins a holiday", June 26) and the report ("British visa hassle angers expatriates", June 28).
Mr Watkin is quite right to criticise the decision to close passport and visa handling at the British consulate in Hong Kong and relocate visa operations to the British embassy in Manila.
This was a ludicrous bureaucratic decision.
It ignores the needs of hundreds of thousands of British passport holders in Hong Kong - a lot of money is being spent on a shamefully poor service.
I hope the consul general in Hong Kong has restoration of the service as one of her top priorities.
Christopher Ruane, Sheung Wan
Taiwan a good choice for university
More Hong Kong students are now applying to study at universities in Taiwan, where tuition fees are relatively low and youngsters are offered a wider range of subjects.
Two years ago, only 600 local students went there for post-secondary education, whereas this year, it is expected to be more than 4,000. I think that local students should consider Taiwan as a good option for their tertiary studies.
Students here now face keen competition when trying to get into a university in Hong Kong, which is why they should not rule out Taiwan.
As I said, regarding courses at Taiwanese universities, there is a great deal of diversity. For example, there are courses in biodiversity and agriculture.
After graduation, the career prospects of young Hongkongers will have been enhanced.
They still have a chance of getting a place at a university in Taiwan even if they did not get the results they hoped for in the Diploma of Secondary Education exam. They will be required to do a one-year foundation course, after which they can apply to do a degree.
In the past, countries such as the UK, United States and Australia have been the most popular for Hongkongers wanting to study for a degree abroad. However, they are quite expensive.
Some families may not be able to pay the tuition fees and they will find that the fees are cheaper in Taiwan.
Parents also realise that Taiwanese culture and way of life are similar to Hong Kong and that their children will not be far away.
While Taiwan offers another avenue regarding undergraduate studies, I believe the Hong Kong government should be expanding the number of undergraduate places at universities in the city. It can make this possible by providing more courses and employing additional lecturers.
This will mean more local youngsters can study here instead of having to go to universities overseas.
Adelaide Lee Ka-sin, Tai Wai
Proud of HK's emergency services
I have lived in Hong Kong since 1987. I have always loved it here but on Sunday I was especially appreciative of our excellent emergency services.
My husband collapsed while out hiking on a Lantau trail and, within minutes, the emergency services were quickly on their way and a medic was dropped from a helicopter and checked his heart rate, pulse and blood sugar levels.
They asked a few questions, then they were harnessed together and up they went into the hovering helicopter.
It was so fast and professional, like a Hollywood movie, and I am truly grateful to these caring men from the fire services, police and the helicopter medical team.
My husband and I feel so proud of where we live.
Teresa Littlewood, Happy Valley
Stay vigilant in fight against corruption
A recent survey showed that willingness to report suspected graft is at a four-year low in Hong Kong.
In this society where life is so fast-paced, many people are not willing to waste their time doing something not directly related to their lives, or that they cannot see as bringing them any material benefits.
So I can understand the findings of this survey.
It also revealed that there appeared to be greater tolerance of graft.
I think the main reason for this trend is that people do not have time.
They do not want to get involved in something that could turn out to be a highly complex and time-consuming investigation and lead to a high-profile court case. I appreciate that time is important to Hongkongers, but does that mean that we lose sight of life's core values?
I find the survey results worrying, because for many years Hong Kong has had a reputation globally for having a robust anti-graft regime.
Hong Kong is known for having a government which is free of corruption.
If we want to keep this reputation intact, this trend for greater tolerance of graft needs to be watched closely.
We certainly should not get complacent.
For an anti-corruption regime to be effective, there must be strong public support for the fight against these crimes and the people who perpetrate them.
Rachel Lam Ching-yin, Kowloon Tong
Street artists do add to noise pollution levels
Buskers have become a common sight in some Mong Kok streets and opinions appear to be divided about them.
Some people see them as a nuisance and others argue that they provide free entertainment to the public.
They are popular in pedestrianised areas of Mong Kok at weekends and I think passers-by appreciate them and enjoy stopping to watch them perform.
It is a good arrangement for the buskers, because they do not have to book and pay for a venue. They simply set up in the street and start to perform.
However, I can see the point some make that if they are quite loud, they can disturb nearby residents, especially at night. And if the area is crowded with a lot of shoppers, they may block access.
While I recognise they bring pleasure to a lot of people, I think in such a crowded densely populated area, the disadvantages outweigh the benefits.
The government needs to take firmer action to reduce noise pollution in Mong Kok.
Fion Cheung Nga-ying, Yau Yat Chuen