Letters to the Editor, December 05, 2015

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 December, 2015, 5:48pm
UPDATED : Friday, 04 December, 2015, 5:48pm

Hypocritical attitude to climate change

The current climate change summit in Paris is a joke, a ­political show and party.

I am so angry that most delegates are using taxpayers’ money, including my money, to attend this global warming scam party. All scientists who say we or the government or whomsoever must “do something” should be set a sincerity test. After all, ­actions speak louder than words.

We are repeatedly told by the climate change industry that 97 per cent of climate scientists accept that climate change is real. And then we are supposed to follow these scientists’ instructions. Anyone who ­disagrees is labelled a “climate change denier”.

Do the 97 per cent of climate scientists act according to their beliefs?

They assert that extra carbon dioxide emissions endanger the world now and, more particularly, our grandchildren later. Surely they will be acting on those deeply-held beliefs and taking immediate steps to significantly reduce their personal carbon footprint. They can do this by:

  • Not travelling by bus, car or aircraft;
  • Not using electricity which, in whole or part, is generated from fossil fuel;
  • Not eating food grown through mechanised farming where diesel fuel was used.

Why is it that consuls ­general, for example, from EU countries like the UK and ­Germany, on the one hand, ­promote low carbon dioxide emissions, but live in palatial residences in Hong Kong, use chauffeur-driven limousines and jet across the globe at their taxpayers’ ­expense?

Why do they encourage ­students to fly to their countries for an overseas education, thus generating carbon dioxide? And why do they ­promote Jaguar, Landrover, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche cars that produce huge amounts of carbon dioxide that reduce Hong Kong’s air quality? Surely this is hypocritical.

Luke Chan, Wan Chai

Pedestrian scheme will be good for public

I refer to Bernard Chan’s article (“No good reason to choke idea for car-free Central”, November 27).

He argues that banning most traffic from Des Voeux Road in Central but keeping trams and pedestrianising the road can benefit citizens. It would ­improve the quality of life in the area and boost the economy.

The proposal includes ­seating and greenery so there would be space for people to walk in.

At the moment, people who work in Des Voeux Road Central have to endure bad air pollution.

Central is very crowded ­during weekdays, with cars for businesspeople taking up a lot of space.

This problem would be eased at least in this part of Des Voeux Road. As a consequence, we would probably see more companies opening here and this would boost Hong Kong’s economy. So the benefits to society would not be negligible, which highlights the importance of such a project.

Pedestrian projects like this in the city can improve the ­quality of life for citizens. We are always in such a rush in Hong Kong and so often cannot take the time to relax and enjoy life. If you travel on a tram, you can slow down a bit, and this helps relieve the pressure.

I hope the government ­supports this proposal.

Sharon Yeung, Tai Po

Football’s top officials need a reality check

I could not agree more with Charlie Chan’s letter (“Did officials fear display of HK identity?” November 20) about the World Cup qualifier between Hong Kong and China last month.

It appears that Fifa is now investigating Hong Kong over booing at the match. The Hong Kong Football Association seems to have violated a clause in Fifa’s disciplinary code where associations must “ensure that law and order are maintained”.

Fifa has already become a laughing stock and has lost all credibility with fans and supporters of the game.

Many members of Fifa’s executive committee ­during the last 20 years have been implicated in some form or other of “shenanigans”.

Even former committee member German stalwart Franz Beckenbauer has appeared to be in the mire with a ­contract he signed with ex-Fifa vice-president Jack Warner.

Then I read the report on ­former French football great ­Michel Platini (“Ethics committee calls for lifelong Platini ban”, November 25) on corruption charges alongside outgoing Fifa president Sepp Blatter. Platini pleads innocence, but does he not understand the concept of “conflict of interest”?

As Uefa president, he has ­admitted that he voted for Qatar to host the World Cup in 2022 purportedly in response to a ­request by the then French president.

Platini represents pan-European country and club football interests, and no one in Europe supported the Qatar bid for ­obvious logistical reasons.

His actions have created ­severe problems for European football. It is bizarre that he thinks he should be supported for the Fifa presidency, when he has shown that he is “cut from the same cloth” as Blatter. Fifa has become “Alice in Blunderland”.

I. M. Wright, Happy Valley

Do not look on English as a tiresome chore

Research by EF Education First has shown that the overall standard of English in Hong Kong has been deteriorating, and has fallen behind some mainland cities and countries, including Korea, Vietnam and Japan.

A lot of correspondents have expressed concern about this trend, especially among teenagers.

Parents here encourage their children to learn English, but you sometimes have to question their motivation.

I urge friends to read English-language newspapers and listen to radio broadcasts in English. But, one friend asked what was the point as it would be unlikely to help him improve on poor exam results.

This reminded me of our education system’s exam-oriented culture. Parents get children to do extra exercises and attend tutorial classes to try and get high exam marks. As a result, many youngsters lose ­interest in continuous learning of the language.

The process of learning ­becomes almost robotic for them. They never become proficient users of English because they were not able to learn it in a relaxing environment. Parents should encourage their children to try and use the language every day, and to cut back on monotonous exercises.

They must not turn the process of learning English into a kind of punishment. If youngsters have the right attitude, they can make progress with English.

Henry Wong, Kennedy Town

Some country park land is OK for new flats

I refer to the letter from Winnie Wong on Hong Kong’s housing problems (“We must not ruin precious rural retreats”, ­November 18).

I do not agree with her that rural areas like country parks should not be used to help solve the severe shortage of houses in Hong Kong.

Citizens face skyrocketing house prices and rents and there is a strong demand for public housing with long waiting lists. The housing shortage needs to be eased and action must be taken sooner rather than later.

Those supporting building flats in country parks argue that only sites of low ecological value should be chosen. Given the problems that we face, does it really make sense not to use these sites? With such high rents, the homeless population has ­increased.

We cannot ignore the plight of those people who struggle to have a roof over their heads.

I realise we have to consider the quality of life of future generations, but I am not talking about a Hong Kong where there will be no country parks.

The fact is that usage rates of our country parks are not high. Many Hong Kong citizens work long hours and have little time to go hiking. Will it really make that big a difference if a small percentage of country park land (which is not ecologically ­important) is set aside for much-needed housing projects?

Also, the redevelopment of older urban areas and reclamation are long-term projects. Country park land is already there.

Alex Fan Tat-san, Yuen Long

Crackdown on rogue retailers long overdue

I refer to the letter by Chloe Tong Ka-ling (“Pharmacy rip-offs will undermine visitor revenue”, ­October 30).

There have been reports of mainland visitors being cheated by some pharmacies in Hong Kong. These unscrupulous ­vendors overcharge for a product and the unsuspecting tourist pays up.

A retailer who does this contravenes the Trade Descriptions Ordinance. The courts should impose heavy fines to act as a deterrent.

The government must also have frequent inspections of pharmacies to ensure they are not overcharging. If a visitor complains, the Consumer Council must act swiftly to ­resolve the matter. We do not want to see mainland visitors losing faith in pharmacies in Hong Kong.

These rogue retailers bring shame to the city. Many mainlanders come here to buy products like formula milk, because they have lost trust in manufacturers north of the border and their fake and tainted goods. If our reputation is damaged, they will be more reluctant to come here and spend money.

Lovelyn Wong, Tsing Yi