Letters to the Editor, July 30, 2016
Focus on terror overlooks other risks
The article by David Dodwell (“Growing risks”, July 23) was very thought-provoking.
Surely many of us will share his concern that there are many other threats, apart from terrorism which need urgent attention and action. He has cited calamities caused by, for example, X-rays, electric power, pesticides, climate change, population growth, and the threat of epidemics.
Rightly he argues (with facts and figures) that the resources being used to combat terrorism do not justify the need as there is much greater danger facing humanity from other threats which require greater attention and funding.
Apart from drawing our attention to the big risks looming over our future, he does not offer any solutions. Maybe he expects us to conclude that the authorities concerned should divert a greater part of the funding towards eliminating these “other threats”.
I think we need to look at the autobiography of this creation and come to the conclusion that all these threats, including civil wars and terrorism, have been part and parcel of our evolution. There was never a time that these threats did not exist. The question before us is how to cope and safeguard ourselves from them.
One thing is certain that whatever measures have been adopted so far have not yielded the desired effect of peace and harmony but have escalated hatred and more divisions. This leads us to the logical conclusion that our knowledge has been wrong, triggering wrong actions.
The government, our institutions of education, and powerful corporate sector must take up the task of discovering “the right knowledge” which will trigger the right action and consequent peace and harmony. This is the sacred duty of each individual too. If we fail, we invite all the calamities.
K. P. Daswani, Mid-Levels
Fun but some dangers with mobile game
Recently, Pokemon Go has become the most popular mobile game in the world. Some people venture to places they’ve never been before because they want to catch the pokemon. It is undoubtedly a fun game and it has included the new element of virtual reality. There are advantages to playing the game but it also has some potential dangers.
Playing Pokemon Go can help you explore more of the world around you. Take Hong Kong as an example. You will have more reason to visit coastal areas in order to catch the pokemon living in the ocean.
In other words, you will experience more places when playing the game and develop a deeper understanding about certain aspects of nature.
That’s a good thing as is the fact that the game also forces you to do more exercise during your pursuit outdoors. Inevitably, with all the walking, running and climbing to complete your task you will become fitter. But there are risks, especially when game players are near busy roads and on packed footpaths.
With heads down, players will often walk too quickly or run, endangering themselves and others if they bump into pedestrians or wander on to the road and into traffic.
It could be very dangerous to any road users.
Using GPS while playing also runs the risk of invasion of privacy from hackers.
Jason Kwok, Lam Tin
Appalling use of animals to lure shoppers
I am writing to draw attention to the shopping centre in Guangzhou using Arctic animals as a promotional gimmick to attract customers.
It is upsetting to see these lovely creatures trapped in a shopping centre in unhygienic conditions just so that customers can take selfies.
Some reports even reveal that the staff fed a young polar bear with pumpkin (I think probably the staff take the meat back home for themselves).
I know that my effort is small but I have tried my best to phone every charitable organisation in Hong Kong such as WWF and Greenpeace to raise awareness and pressure the enterprise to stop this as a promotional tool.
It is horrifying to know that the mall company wants to expand this theme to other provinces.
I am wondering if no action is taken, how many animals will suffer because of the ignorance of these merciless, selfish businessmen.
Maris Chun Yuen-yee, Tin Shui Wai
Taxi driver’s deed another fond memory
My job at the British Council in Hong Kong over the past four fascinating and rewarding years has been to encourage cultural and educational exchange and collaboration between the SAR and the UK.
Our objective is to encourage a better understanding between peoples and help generate mutual benefit for individuals and institutions through opportunities that we and our partners jointly conceive. I’m now, somewhat wistfully, coming to terms with the prospect of leaving Hong Kong next month to take up a posting in North Africa. I’m already aware just how much I will miss living here.
I would like to offer a good news story before I leave.
It starts with the careless loss of my mobile phone, left in a taxi one evening last week in Ap Lei Chau. In deep dismay, I went through what I felt sure would be the empty ritual of reporting the incident to the taxi service. I even trudged across to Aberdeen police station to lodge a report.
Frankly, I didn’t expect for one moment that any good would come of it. To my astonishment, however, I received a call from Wan Chai police station the following morning informing me that the mobile had been handed in at the end of his shift by a taxi driver and inviting me to call in to pick it up. All this within a 12-hour, overnight, period.
So I’m shortly off to Tunisia still reflecting slightly disbelievingly, but gratefully, on the honesty of the Hong Kong taxi driver and the efficiency of the Hong Kong police.
Robert Ness, director, British Council
Time to boost number of doctors
Many Hong Kong citizens prefer to go to public rather than private hospitals.
They make this choice because private hospitals have such high charges; they are too expensive, even for middle-class citizens. However, the public hospitals suffer from a shortage of doctors.
We should now bring in suitably qualified doctors from countries such as Britain, Singapore and Australia.
Our entire health-care system must be overhauled.
S. Chourdia, Pok Fu Lam
Keep an eye on overuse of the internet
In the past 20 years, people have been using different kinds of appliances and gadgets to access the internet.
Most netizens use the internet for communication through social networks and for online shopping. And there’s entertainment through online books, video games and movies.
However, the internet is highly addictive.
Some teenagers are glued to their computer or phones all day long, even without sleeping or eating. Obviously this has health repercussions and an adverse effect on academic performance.
And there is the worry of anti-social fallout through lack of face-to-face communication.
Students and netizens need to limit their time online – striking a balance between work and play is important for family and friend relationships.
Chloe Ng Sin-yee, Tseung Kwan O