Letters to the Editor, May 22, 2016

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 May, 2016, 12:18am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 May, 2016, 12:17am

Ignorance of green issues a problem in HK

I refer to the report, “Clean but not green: 70pc of Hongkongers opt for paper towels over electric hand dryers” (May 8).

Many Hongkongers do appreciate that environmental protection measures are inadequate. They want more to be done to have a greener society and they are willing to do their bit to help make that happen. For example, at home, they switch off electrical appliances when not in use and separate refuse so they can put recyclable material in recycle bins.

Unfortunately, there are some citizens who lack the ­necessary awareness and just pay lip service to the actions needed to protect our beautiful Hong Kong.

In fact, some of their actions actually make things worse and this can be through ignorance.

For example, as was pointed out in the report, close to half of the 465 people polled wrongly believed paper towels could be recycled. Seven out of 10 Hongkongers use these towels instead of electric hand dryers to dry their hands.

This is one problem, that many people have misconceptions about recycling.

If people are misinformed, then it is more difficult to make green policies effective in a society. Education is important and the government should be helping to clear up misconceptions by raising public awareness.

With better education, environmental protection measures in the city will be more effective.

Michael Chow, Tseung Kwan O

Tight security essential for Zhang’s visit

There are views that the security arrangements for the visit of Zhang Dejiang (張德江) were excessive, deploying 6,000 police officers each day for this operation. I disagree.

What would have been the effect on Hong Kong had there been a major security incident during his visit here? How would China have reacted? Isn’t it better to be safe than to be sorry?

Security must be our main concern, overriding various freedoms, such as privacy. We need Hong Kong to be a place where everyone is safe on the streets, residents and visitors.

Like it or not, China is our sovereign power, so we need to provide security for any senior visiting officials from the mainland, appropriate to the security assessment of the threat. And the police should not be constrained by having to kowtow to anti-China sentiments here and being “politically correct”, in providing this.

If necessary the police should be permitted to deploy such things as pepper spray, CS and CN “smoke”, batons and shields, and water cannon, according to the operational situation on the ground, as needed.

The Hong Kong police are doing an excellent job in difficult circumstances. Let us praise them for this, rather than criticising them.

John Shannon, Mid-Levels

Disingenuous to cry foul over election system

I refer to the report, “Broken ­voting system created radicals: C.Y.” (May 16).

It is ironic that our chief executive should criticise the voting system for Legislative Council elections because the government instituted the contrived system of voting lists in order to ensure that pro-government candidates with minimal ­popular support could gain seats.

In a more competitive system, it was then clear that democratic candidates would easily defeat pro-government candidates.

Now with the pan-democratic camp fragmenting, these younger, more active parties may be able to gain Legco seats. It is a clear case of “what goes around, comes around”.

Further, Leung Chun-ying says “only 10 per cent of the vote” but 10 per cent is not an insignificant number of voters, who cannot be offhandedly ­disregarded. That is, unless one is in the Communist Party.

P. C. Law, Quarry Bay

More nuclear plants will cut air pollution

I refer to your editorial, “Nuclear power is still the best option” (May 10).

The serious air pollution in China is a pressing problem that directly affects people, with many citizens now suffering from chronic conditions.

Given how serious this ­problem has become, I think it makes sense for the central government to invest more in ­nuclear power.

The country is burning a lot of fossil fuels, such as coal and oil, at its power plants. This is what is leading to so many people ­suffering from illnesses, such as respiratory ­ailments and including lung cancer.

This problem has been exacerbated with the growth of the manufacturing sector. These plants are also responsible for pumping emissions from factory chimneys.

It is for these reasons that many people have called for the nation to develop more alternative forms of energy, including the expansion of its nuclear power plant programme.

There are no carbon emissions from nuclear plants, so there are none of the particulates which get into people’s lungs and make them ill.

I appreciate that it is costly to build a plant, but I do not believe that there is a more reliable or cleaner way of generating electricity.

I believe that it is the best ­option for the future and agree with those who argue that the central government should forge ahead.

Also, if it is able to reduce levels of air pollution, this will improve China’s image on the international stage.

Tiffany Ng Pui-yan, Yau Yat Chuen

Serious safety issues cannot be ignored

The continued use of nuclear power plants is a controversial issue.

It is an extremely clean form of energy with no carbon emissions. It is sustainable and cost-effective. This is why so many people back it to replace fossil fuel power plants.

However, when looking at whether to back nuclear power, I believe safety should be the main consideration. This was highlighted by the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

When a disaster like this ­happens, then there are serious health issues, such as people ­dying of cancer and babies being born with deformities.

The central government must take note of citizens’ ­concerns, given that it is proposing the world’s most ­ambitious nuclear power plant programme. I would rather it looked at the ­expansion of other energy sources.

I do not believe nuclear power is the best option. Instead, the government should be ­doing more to develop nationwide sustainable energy projects, such as wind power and solar power. Both of them benefit the environment and can help the country to cut carbon emissions.

Brenda Law Wing-man, Sham Shui Po

Library charge is not really a simple matter

I refer to the report, “Authors set deadline for royalties deal” (May 18).

Authors and illustrators want public libraries to pay royalties when their books are loaned out.

Many people use public libraries because it is an economic way to read books. It is ­expensive to buy books and then you have to find somewhere to put them in the small flats most Hongkongers live in.

Students will also photocopy some parts of a book for academic purposes.

If the government agrees to this royalty payment scheme, it will increase trivial administrative work for library staff and other officials.

If the cost of paying the royalties is passed on to library users, this will be unfair to those ­members of the library who are on low incomes. Or if the money is taken out of the government budget, then that will be a cost to all taxpayers, including the authors and illustrators and citizens who never use library services.

These authors and illustrators should think about these ­related issues and not just focus on the money they would make from this scheme if it was introduced.

Felix Mak Hoi-kuoh, Kowloon Bay