Letters to the editor, March 21, 2016

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 March, 2016, 5:29pm
UPDATED : Monday, 21 March, 2016, 5:29pm

System offers convenient booking set-up

I refer to the letter from Giles Hunter (“Department’s bizarre rules for cancelling”, March 12) about the cancellation arrangement for a tennis court booked online.

The leisure link system provides convenient booking for the public through four channels – booking counters at leisure venues, telephone, the internet and self-service kiosks. The Leisure and Cultural ­Services Department also encourages users to register with this system so that they can use a personalised booking profile and enjoy a ­wider range of ­online services including cancellation of bookings online ­before the start of the session(s). Registration is easy and free.

For users who are not leisure link system patrons, they can still make booking via the four channels. However, owing to security concerns, online cancellation of booked sessions by non-patrons is not allowed to guard against cancellation by unauthorised persons. They can cancel the booking at any self-service kiosks with their Hong Kong identity card before the start of the session(s), or inform the department by submitting the cancellation request at the ­leisure link system booking counter.

We have all along encouraged users to cancel their bookings once they are aware that they cannot take up a booked session so as to release the valuable session to other users. We also appreciate that some hirers might be unable to take up the booked facilities and to cancel the booked sessions due to unforeseen circumstances such as sudden illness. Under such unforeseen circumstances, hirers can always provide their justifications with relevant documentary proof such as a medical ­certificate to the department for consideration to lift their no-show record.

Taking this opportunity, we invite your readers to register as a patron of the leisure link system by visiting the department homepage (www.lcsd.gov.hk) or using the MyGovHK Easy Sign-on function to enjoy the wide array of user-friendly services of the leisure link system.

Doris Fok Lee Sheung-ling, assistant director (leisure services), Leisure and

Cultural Services Department

Church’s moral high ground not acceptable

I refer to the comments made by Lee Yiu-Chu regarding the abhorrent use of rainbows and the belief that a private church ­debate that excluded any other view point than their own on “homosexuality and relevant discrimination laws” was an acceptable stance of normal ­dialogue (“LGBT groups’ tactics harm their cause”, March 16).

For anyone to sit back and decide to exclude an entire ­strata of the community from the same dignity of marriage and safety from discrimination that the rest of us enjoy is highly questionable, if not immoral and wildly naive.

If there is to be debate, I wholeheartedly agree it should be calm and open to disagreement and agreement, yet to not seek insight from those these laws impact is wrong. Placing people in the ­moral high ground because they seemingly go to a church, where priests have been accused of being the biggest exponent of nefarious activity, is laughable.

I have no doubt that Hong Kong, as everywhere else, will adopt laws that make everyone equal, whether I or Lee Yiu-chu agree or not. It is not for me to tell another human being that his or her position in society is any more or less important than mine, or that they are impacting my morals or the society or Chinese culture I also live in.

Callan Anderson, Taikoo Shing

MTR’s rule targets the wrong people

I am writing regarding the MTR Corporation’s trial registration scheme of musicians with oversized musical instruments [which has now become permanent].

The scheme means that musicians must register if they want to take their musical instruments on the MTR. And even if they have a permit, they still cannot use the MTR between 8.15am and 9.15am on weekdays.

The registration system has been criticised by musicians who say it had not existed since the MTR has been in operation and there are no recorded incidents of any accidents on the network involving these instruments.

The attitude towards musical instruments has always been lax, so I do not understand why the MTR Corp has taken this new and strict approach. Why does it do this when instead it should be focusing on oversized luggage carried by parallel ­traders at MTR stations such as Sheung Shui.

I think the new policy on ­musical instruments is unfair to Hong Kong citizens.

It will be difficult to monitor and the MTR Corp does not have enough manpower to ensure it is effective.

Policing it will be time-consuming and the rule is simply not necessary.

I see musicians carrying their musical instruments on MTR trains and not causing any ­problems for other passengers.

However, parallel traders and smugglers do cause a serious problem on the MTR network and many Hongkongers have been vocal in their criticism of these people.

With this new rule, the MTR Corp appears to be targeting ­local people and this is unfair.

It could exacerbate the ­differences between mainlanders and Hongkongers. I do not see how the MTR can gain from the ruling.

I think the disadvantages will outweigh any advantages that are perceived by the MTR Corp. It should reconsider its decision and scrap the registration scheme.

Lucy Lui Lo-hei, Tsuen Wan

Counselling services are inadequate

There are many reasons for ­students committing suicide.

One factor that has been a problem is that the counselling system set up in schools is ­disjointed. Also, a problem a young person is having can be made worse by peers who are unsympathetic and may even label a fellow student as a loser or useless.

We also have a problematic education system in Hong Kong which leads to some young ­people having twisted values.

We are taught that our ­priority when choosing careers should be its earning potential. These kinds of expectations can make students feel very stressed and for some this stress can be unbearable.

The government needs to get the message across to young people about the importance of retaining the right balance to

ensure people have good ­mental health.

Families and schools need to show the proper support to ­students and keep the lines of communication open. The focus should not just be on ­academic results.

Kitty Chung Hoi-ching, Yau Yat Chuen

Parents need to avoid being too tough

The emotional problems experienced by many students appear to have got worse and counselling measures are still not adequate.

Many young people do not know how to relax. They suffer from negative emotions and can lose control very easily. The ­recent spate of suicides is very sad. It is made even more so as some of those who took their own lives were university ­students.

Counselling measures are too passive and many young people who are in trouble will not go to see a counsellor. Schools should have weekly ethics lessons and try and instil a positive attitude in their students. Parents should ensure they do not put too much pressure on their students. They should avoid scolding their children if it is not warranted.

We certainly need to address the problem of the rising suicide rate among our students.

Au Hoi-yiu, Sham Shui Po

Ministers should listen to all citizens

The Secretary for Education ­Eddie Ng Hak-kim has been ­criticised for playing with his smartphone rather than talking to protesters (“Minister ‘was not playing with his phone’ ”, March 21).

I think by using his phone at that time, he set a bad example for other government ministers. As civil servants, their priority should be to act as servants of the people. At the very least, they should certainly be listening to people and should not ignore them, even if they disagree with them.

Winky Lai, Yau Yat Chuen