Letters to the Editor, March 28, 2016

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 March, 2016, 5:08pm
UPDATED : Monday, 28 March, 2016, 5:08pm

Violence will not solve any problems

I oppose to any form of violence, and I fully support all non-violent means against any inequality: sit-ins, hunger strikes, ­silence, popular non-cooperation and many others.

I embrace the rule of law whereby individual rights are protected by an independent judiciary, but I disdain the rule by law where those in power can amend the laws as they please and the judiciary is only there to endorse their despotic rule.

I admire true heroes like ­Mahatma Gandhi, Martin ­Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi who were resolutely devoted to fighting injustice by non-violent means, but I ­despise those opportunistic politicians who instigate ­violence.

My heart sank when I saw footage of blood oozing from the heads of demonstrators and ­police officers, and I ached to see an annual festive occasion in Mong Kok being turned into a blood-spattered clash between civilians and the police.

However, I desperately want to know why the radical Hong Kong Indigenous is getting more support, including at the recent New Territories East by-election.

Most of those who endorse it appear to be young voters. Do these young people truly believe that they can overturn the government by force? Are they ready to shed their blood or ­sacrifice their careers and ­personal freedom? Are some young people going to become even more violent so that a real riot breaks out?

I sincerely hope that the ­answers to the above questions are negative.

The violence in Mong Kok was more an angry reaction to continued bullying by the government since the failure of the umbrella movement.

Hong Kong people were rid of real universal suffrage by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee decision on August 31, 2014; Arthur Li Kwok-cheung was appointed chairman of the University of Hong Kong’s governing council despite protests from the ­majority of staff, students and alumni, and there is the matter of the five missing booksellers of anti-Beijing books. However, using force against force can’t help us achieve democracy. I applaud the newly elected legislator Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu who is committed to non-violence.

Clive Chan, headmaster, E-Smart Learning Centre

Free women from this form of slavery

I refer to the report (“Women ­endure slavery ‘nightmare’ ”, March 13).

This report reveals how worse the human trafficking problem is in the Middle East. The traffickers usually target women as they are weak and cannot defend themselves. Some of them end up in Syria and live as slaves.

The two profiled in the story were duped on the promise of a good job in the Middle East, only to be trafficked into Syria. One was tortured and raped by her “master” every day. Finally, the traffickers contacted her mother to demand money for her safe return.

Many women in Nepal and Bangladesh live in poverty, and take up offers of jobs abroad as maids to try and get out of that poverty. These countries have a large population of migrant ­labour. Most middle-class ­families in Hong Kong have a domestic helper at home.

The lucky women from poor countries are those who go to a home as maids who are well looked after and to places like Hong Kong and Canada where laws are in place to protect them. The unlucky ones who are ­targeted by traffickers and are treated like slaves.

The main reason traffickers target Nepali and Bangladeshi women is because their governments are weak and have little diplomatic clout.

The government of Nepal does not seem to want to take responsibility for its nationals abroad.

I really hope the government will wake up and realise this is a serious problem for women in the developing world. These people need to be helped and freed from this form of slavery.

Tsang Yuen-ying, Yau Yat Chuen

Education can cut queues at busy hospitals

In Hong Kong’s public hospitals at the moment, temporary extra beds have been placed in ­hospitals, there are a lot of angry patients faced with long waits and nurses and doctors are so overworked they have been stretched to breaking point.

The issue of not enough beds being available has been a hot potato for some time, as has the shortage of doctors and nurses. However, this should not be looked at purely as a resources issue. We also need to look at the community and at public ­education.

We need to help citizens have greater medical knowledge.

The government should promote basic medical knowledge such as the use of some common medicine. If they have this basic knowledge, then when, for example, if they have a common cold or flu they know they do not need to go to ­hospital. They can stay at home, and if they feel they need some medicine they can simply go to a pharmacy.

It is only if their ­condition gets worse that they should go to a public hospital.

The government could hire medical experts to give public talks to help people become more knowledgeable.

More government funds should also be allocated to help relieve shortages at public ­hospitals.

Hospital staff should get higher pay and other improvements to their benefits.

We need to pay attention to the present medical crisis and deal with it effectively for the sake of the next generation.

Iris Li Yuen-nga, Kowloon Tong

Freezing air cons and refuse on streets

I agree with the letter by Warren Russell (“Keeping air con blasting is madness”, March 27) and cannot understand why the government does not follow through with anything ?

A few years ago the shopping malls were supposed to keep the air cons at 25 degrees Celsius, but as soon as the sun shines the air cons are blasting away on buses, where one almost has to wear a ski jacket, taxis, gyms and shops. It’s almost as if they are trying to get rid of customers.

I have on many occasions asked to have air cons turned down in restaurants and get the reply it’s centrally controlled.

Also, why has the city become so dirty? With cigarette butts all over pavements, dustbins overflowing with rubbish, what happened to the fines for spitting and throwing refuse on the pavements? There again, all talk no action no one to police this, as I walk in Central behind a man spitting on the pavement and rubbing it in with his shoe, this is disgusting.

Hong Kong needs to take a few lessons from Singapore and clean up its act , tidy up the city and save the planet.

Beth Narain, Sai Ying Pun

Erdogan has helped nurture democracy

I read the letter by Professor Alon Ben-Meir (“Erdogan has desire for even more power”, March 19) with great dismay.

I would like to underline that the twisted portrayal of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the letter is misleading and ­distorts the truth.

Mr Erdogan, who served as prime minister between 2003-2014, was elected as the 12th president of the Republic of ­Turkey at the presidential election in August 2014.

Let me point out that Mr ­Erdogan is the first elected president of the ­Republic of Turkey. Under the leadership of Mr ­Erdogan, both as prime minister and president, Turkey has made substantial ­progress in democratisation.

Today, Turkey is a well-functioning and vibrant democracy. The protection and promotion of political rights including freedom of the media in Turkey has been one of the main objectives over the last 14 years. Within this framework, Turkey enacted comprehensive reforms over the last decade to enhance ­democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

Moreover, ­freedom of the press is guaranteed by the constitution and the related laws in Turkey and there is strong cooperation between Turkey and the Council of Europe on the independence of the judiciary and the media.

On the other hand, there are cases in which freedom of the press has been manipulated by some media outlets with the aim of undermining the unity and public order of Turkey. These cases are handled by the

judiciary in accordance with laws and regulations.

Korhan Kemik, consul general of Turkey