Letters to the Editor, October 23, 2015

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 October, 2015, 3:38pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 October, 2015, 3:38pm

Do we really need Uber in Hong Kong?

The car-hailing app Uber has proved a controversial topic in Hong Kong.

People are asking if it is suitable for the city and if it should be given a chance to develop its business model here.

We have a very dense and varied transportation network. And in such a small city I think it satisfies the needs of citizens.

Uber is popular in larger places with a different kind of transport network.

In Hong Kong, it is relatively easy to hail a taxi in the street. The distance between some MTR stations is so short you can walk it. So is there really room for Uber to develop?

During the rush hours there are already so many vehicles on our congested roads. I think they exceed the capacity of some roads. With more vehicles comes greater air pollution.

I feel that Uber is a system that is designed and suitable for Western countries.

There is no doubt that it offers a convenient service, but we have to ask if it is really suitable for Hong Kong.

This is like the rubbish levy policy adopted in Taiwan which has been very successful. But would it really suit Hong Kong?

Similarly, when you look at Sweden's comprehensive retirement protection policy you need to question whether it would be practical in this city. Just because a system or a scheme works in one place does not mean it would work somewhere else.

Why can't we develop an online platform with our existing taxi fleet making the present service more convenient?

We can learn from Uber and in that way improve our transport system. The best way to overcome competition is to improve yourself.

Anna Poon, Kwun Tong

People can make effort to fight the flab

We are facing a global obesity epidemic.

You see a lot of overweight and obese people in the streets. And it is not only adults but children who have this problem.

There are different reasons for people putting on so much weight.

Some individuals are under a great deal of pressure at work or in their studies and they overeat, or eat the wrong food, to relieve the pressure.

To make matters worse, because of their busy schedule they get little or no exercise and so they become unhealthy. For some people food that is bad for you tastes a lot better than nutritious food. Once people start overeating they find it difficult to stop.

Being overweight or obese causes a lot of illness such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and sleep apnoea.

I wish more people would recognise they have a problem and try to deal with it.

If they cook for themselves they can control the quantity of what they are eating and the contents.

They can make sure the food does not have too much salt or sugar and that they prepare a lot of vegetables. They also need to try and eat less meat, because it is high in fat.

When they are eating out they should look for restaurants where there are healthy dishes on the menu.

A healthy diet should also be combined with regular physical exercise.

I do not think it would be too difficult for most of us to make sure we do at least 20 minutes of exercise a day.

For example, you can use stairs instead of an escalator. Also, exercising with friends and family helps to relieve stress.

I hope the government will have more promotions encouraging people to lead more healthy lives.

Angela Siu, Tai Wai

Give helpers venues where they can meet

There are so many foreign domestic helpers working for families in Hong Kong.

However, the government does not appear to have provided them with places to get together on their days off.

Instead you see them assembled in public squares, on overpasses and footbridges where they put down flattened cardboard boxes, meet friends and eat together.

When I see them I sometimes wonder why they choose these locations, because often the areas they go to are already quite crowded with pedestrians.

I think the government should take greater care of these foreign helpers. It should try and find places which they can go to where they can meet their friends and relax.

Ruan Wen, Sha Tin 

Mainland visitors boost our economy

I refer to the letter by Angel Ng ("Some visitors from mainland are disruptive", October 14).

Your correspondent points out that our priority should be to maintain harmony in society, which is made more difficult by the actions of some mainland visitors.

However, I think many of these visitors just want to visit the city and they have no wish to be disruptive.

I believe the people who are causing the problems that have received so much publicity are smugglers and parallel traders who have, for example, created the shortages in milk formula.

The majority of mainlanders are not connected with such people. They are here to shop and they help our economy by spending their yuan at Hong Kong's retail outlets.

Maybe we should be grateful for their presence.

Lam Wing-tsam, Hung Hom

Tolerance is key to good relations

I refer to the letter by Angel Ng ("Some visitors from mainland are disruptive", October 14).

I do not agree with your correspondent that mainland tourists are disruptive.

I think they are good for the tourism sector and the economy in general. They make up the majority of visitors to the city.

Their numbers have dropped, because of new entry rules for Shenzhen permanent residents and because of protests against parallel traders.

I accept that many mainlanders can be a bit noisy, but there is nothing malicious in this. It is just the way that they are.

I have found the mainland visitors I have met to be very polite.

If you help them they say thank you.

They may have the habit, for example, of sitting on the pavement, but again, that is how they would behave north of the border and I do not see anything terribly wrong in that.

I hope that those Hong Kong citizens who have raised strong objections to the mainland tourists who come here would think again about their views.

Zoe Tse Shun-in, Tseung Kwan O

Doctors' sit-in has strong public support

Most people are against undesirable protests and demonstrations. However, in the case of those government doctors and their sit-in protest against the Hospital Authority for failing to grant them the same salary scale rise as other senior civil servants, they have the full support of the public.

Medical services in Hong Kong, on the whole, match the standards of other developed societies in the world.

Government doctors have to work under great pressure due to personnel shortages. They definitely deserve the same salary increments as senior civil servants [a 3 per cent increase].

I'm afraid the relevant government departments have made a serious mistake by not meeting their reasonable demands.

Peter Wei, Kwun Tong

Symphony to reflect MTR regulations

I suggest the MTR sponsor a competition for our local composers to create an orchestral work titled "The Rush-Hour Symphony" to be scored without harps, double-basses and any instruments exceeding the permitted dimensions of luggage on the MTR.

If the proposal to permit cellos on the MTR but only outside rush hour goes through, a variant of the symphony could exclude cellos as well.

For maximum impact, the work should only be played during normal office hours when it will be guaranteed to have no audience.

Gladys Li, Admiralty

Residents on island have had a raw deal

Villagers living on Tung Ping Chau island, the location of one of the Hong Kong Geopark sites, have complained that their needs are being neglected by the government.

I visited one of the geopark sites two years ago and can still remember how beautiful it was.

However, although the geopark is popular with tourists, the government should be addressing villagers' grievances.

Much of their private land is enclosed in the geopark's boundaries and they should receive compensation.

Also they do not have sustainable electricity or water supplies.

The government has done well from the popularity of the geopark. It should now set up a foundation to help the villagers.

What is crucial is that it strikes the right balance between the needs of the geopark and of the indigenous population.

Kelly Chu, Hung Hom