Letters to the editor, May 10, 2016
Promenade marred by refuse in water
At the weekend, I went to Ap Lei Chau to investigate the promenade.
This is a very attractive development and made for a pleasant and relaxing Sunday afternoon. It has a good mix of gardens, playgrounds, exhibitions and space and the designers deserve a lot of credit for providing a facility of which we can all be proud. Even the washrooms have been enhanced with plants to make a pleasant environment. But those same washrooms were marred by the paper left on the floor and around the wash basins.
I am not sure where the paper came from but, as far as I could see, no means had been provided for hand drying nor for the disposing of paper towels.
However, worse was to come. Looking across to Aberdeen, I looked down at the water. I saw plastic bottles and bags, polystyrene lunch boxes, fish boxes, dead fish and dead jellyfish. How can the district council, on the one hand, build such an attractive waterfront facility yet, on the other hand, not ensure that the water it fronts meets the same standards?
Andy Statham, Happy Valley
Rubbish is washing up on Lamma
The rubbish that clogs the waters around Aberdeen typhoon shelter should be an embarrassment to the Hong Kong government.
For the better part of a year, I have been catching the ferry between Lamma Island and Aberdeen and in that time have seen the rubbish problem only get worse.
Daily I see local fishermen and other shelter residents empty their bins into the water without a care or thought to the consequences. This important waterway, and hotspot for tourists, has become increasingly clogged with polystyrene food containers, empty water bottles and beer cans, dead fish that are thrown over the side of boats and any other type of household rubbish you can think of. It’s nothing short of appalling.
Much of this waste washes up on the beautiful beaches that surround Lamma , including the so-called protected Sham Wan turtle sanctuary.
If this type of environmental destruction happened in other developed nations, surely there would be outrage, but the local government continues to do nothing about this extremely sad and devastating practice.
Something must be done.
Matt Eaton, Lamma
Crackdown on medical ads long overdue
On the mainland, there are many misleading adverts on the internet making false claims about various kinds of medical treatment.
This has been made possible by a lack of regulation of medical service providers. Many have contained false information, which poses a threat to citizens and to the economy.
Well-off mainlanders have such little faith in the services offered that they will go overseas to have medical treatment. They are therefore spending substantial sums abroad that they would be willing to spend at home if they could rely on the treatment provided on the mainland.
The central government must impose strict regulation of medical services adverts. There must also be tighter regulations over the training of doctors to ensure they are suitably qualified to safely treat patients.
Jojo Wong, Tseung Kwan O
Think carefully before deciding to buy a pet
People should think twice before deciding to buy a pet.
Pets continue to be given as gifts, especially during some holiday and festival periods. When doing this, people fail to appreciate that pet ownership is a major commitment. And people have to recognise this when they are about to buy one and realise that some pets can live for many years and need to be looked after during this entire period. They will need to be cared for and may require veterinary care, especially as they get older.
Looking after them is not cheap and vets’ bills can be very high, depending on what type of treatment is required.
The first thing prospective owners should do is some research to find out the average lifespan of the animal they plan to purchase. Then they need to consider if their daily commitments will give them the time needed to be responsible pet owners. For example, dogs require to be walked every day.
Also, dogs and cats need to be house-trained. People who have difficult jobs and who have to travel a lot will have to ask themselves if it is practical to have a pet.
Yoyo Sin Lok-yiu, Cheung Sha Wan
Doubling fee in hospitals makes sense
I would support raising the present emergency fee of HK$100 at public hospitals to HK$200.
I think it would lead to fewer people going to public hospitals and reduce the misuse rate. Some individuals visit hospitals and pay the HK$100 emergency services fee when they only have a minor illness. This may mean that treatment is delayed for those whose condition is serious and who should be looked at as soon as possible.
People face long waiting times in accident and emergency units in public hospitals. With a HK$200 fee, I think these waiting times can be cut.
I believe the government should allow public hospitals to raise this fee. It will ensure that they are able to carry out their work of treating genuine emergency cases more effeciently.
Tang Kam-sin, Sham Shui Po
Why women wait longer to start a family
I refer to the report,“Hong Kong’s new mums are older than ever” (May 3).
I think there are two main reasons why more women over the age of 40 are giving birth.
A lot more women are now working in businesses and have jobs with a great deal of responsibility. They want to further their careers and may marry late and therefore wait later to have children.
Some couples might wait longer, because bringing up a child is a heavy financial responsiblity and they have spent the early years of their marriage saving up.
This involves working long hours and they may have less time to spend together and are not ready at that stage to start a family.
Mandy Yeung, Yau Yat Chuen
Drivers can use more public transport
A new study has shown that elderly Hongkongers are at greater risk of dying from all kinds of cancer through pollution caused mostly by road and maritime traffic.
I believe that if we try to protect the earth, we have a better chance of protecting ourselves. Individuals can make a difference and help reduce roadside pollution in Hong Kong. They just need to change their habits and leave the car at home more often.
All vehicles using traditional fossil fuels produce exhaust emissions which pollute the air and so motorists can reduce their contribution to this pollution by simply driving less often. They can use more public transport or even walk if it is feasible to do so. More pressure must be put on those countries which have no effective legislation aimed at curbing smog.
Also, when we are shopping, we should try where possible to buy products made locally, for example, at farmers’ markets when local produce is on sale.
Mak Pui-sze, Kowloon Tong