Letters to the editor, May 16, 2016
Some firms will now avoid Hong Kong
The recent events related to the HMV flagship store in Central, well documented by the South China Morning Post, have again given evidence of how “fat cats” can control development and modernisation of this city.
Retail business has not been profitable for a few years now, forcing quality food and beverage, fashion and consumer goods operators to either accept losses or leave Hong Kong. The cost of doing business in general has grown to unacceptable levels, mainly due to high rental expenses, in an economy that has been clearly suffering from the slowdown of the People’s Republic of China.
The very favourable and simple tax system will soon not be enough to convince investors to continue to bet on the ability and resilience of the local economy. It is already evident that many emerging brands in fashion are avoiding the city.
In many developed countries, the law protects tenants against abuses by landlords whose behaviour is not in line with best market practices. Changes are therefore necessary, but passing amendments in a Hong Kong Legislative Council dominated by lobbies seems unrealistic.
Landlords, by definition “old economy”, have no interest in changing the status quo and developing a true “world city”.
Fabio De Rosa, Mid-Levels
City has started to lose out to Shanghai
I refer to the article by Richard Harris (“What did Hong Kong do to become so uncool?” May 12).
The city is no longer as attractive as it was to tourists in the 1990s.
There has been a gradual recession in this sector. I think one reason is that it has been gradually replaced by Shanghai.
There are more new attractions coming to Shanghai compared to Hong Kong. The mainland city’s Disneyland is due to open.
Also it has many large-scale shopping malls. Many mainland tourists now prefer to visit Shanghai rather than come to Hong Kong. Also, some Hongkongers have been hostile towards mainland visitors.
There have been many anti- parallel trading protests in the city, with some people kicking the large suitcases that these traders use.
Some mainland tourists have said they are afraid of locals and will not come back to Hong Kong. This has led to a decrease in the number of tourists.
I think we need to have new buildings with a variety of attractions which reflect local culture, including stores and theatres. These new buildings can attract more tourists.
Chan King-yi, Kowloon Tong
Burying talk of revolution is not good
May 16 marked the 50th anniversary of China’s Cultural Revolution, a 10-year revolution and probably the darkest nightmare for the Chinese nation. It was also one of the most disgusting displays of the evil human beings are capable of in world history.
During this sensitive and unwelcome anniversary, there has been official silence inside mainland China and the intensive discussions outside the country have made me wonder.
For the past few decades, the Chinese Communist Party has been trying to bury memories of this disgraceful event.
By contrast, the interest shown in the West has never declined.
Ironically, the Cultural Revolution happened in China, but most of the reputable research done on it has been in the West. Chinese nationals paid the bloody price, but the lessons have been learned in the West, not on the mainland, which is a pity.
The Cultural Revolution was indeed a shameful period for the Chinese nation, but it will be more shameful if the self-deception continues in China. Self-deception is not good for the Chinese nation.
Let us keep our own words that “Forgetting history is a betrayal, and denying a crime is to repeat a crime.”
Sun Xi, Singapore
Name and shame bad care homes
I agree with the suggestion of the Social Welfare Department that records of poorly-performing care homes for the elderly and the disabled should be published online.
Last year, there was a controversy when staff at a nursing home made elderly residents wait naked outside before they had a shower.
Measures are clearly needed to strengthen the inspection and monitoring of care homes.
If new measures are put in place, then hopefully we will see the quality of these homes in Hong Kong improve.
Those care homes which perform poorly must be made aware that their details can be published online.
People reading about them online will not want their relatives to stay there and will avoid these homes.
There should also be an appeal process so that homes which are threatened with details being published online can put their case for this not to happen.
It may be that some mistakes which happened in the home were by accident rather than intentional and that it is actually a good facility and is willing to deal swiftly with any problems that are pointed out.
Also, the appeal system can give a home the chance to raise its standards promptly as it does not want a bad report published online.
Homes which have been warned but failed to make improvements should have details published online.
The appeal process is very important, along with a warning system.
Chloe Hung Yee-ching, Lai Chi Kok
Competition is leading to lack of sleep
Many Hongkongers suffer from sleep deprivation because they are addicted to the internet.
One survey has shown that locals have average daily sleep of 6.5 hours and spend over three-and-a-half hours online for non-working purposes.
I think many Hongkongers do not get enough sleep because they are under a lot of stress.
Some will try to alleviate this stress by going online, but if they spend too long on the computer the stress will only get worse.
The more time they spend on the internet the less time they have to sleep, and so they wake up tired.
Also, they have busy lives and often face a lot of competition in the workplace and in society in general.
The competition gets worse if they are trying hard to succeed in the office.
The motivation for many Hongkongers to lead healthy lives is low and there is a need for them to change.
They need to try and have a healthier lifestyle.
I think the government could help, by having a standard working hours law, so that people work fewer hours every day.
Then they would be likelier to be healthier and less likely to be exhausted.
Chan Yin-pui, Yau Yat Chuen
Many people are eating too much sugar
Many people eat too much sugar. Sometimes they do this because they are not aware of the negative effects of having too much sugar in your diet.
It is abundant in the diets of many people, in cakes, pastries and cookies and in our tea and coffee. Even at breakfast we can still consume a lot of sugar.
I see it as a silent killer that can lead to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Many studies have shown that the more foods containing sugar a person consumes, the higher his risk of developing these diseases.
The more sugar circulating in your bloodstream, the faster the damage takes hold. People should try to avoid having too much sugar in their diets if they want to lead healthy lives.
Immediate action should be taken to deal with this problem. I think the biggest problem is that most people are ignorant about the effects of eating excess sugar. The government has a role to play. It should have an advertising campaign to make people more aware of the effects of eating too much sugar.
When people are shopping they should look for products that are marked “sugar free”.
Maggie Chan Hiu-suet, Cheung Sha Wan