Letters to the Editor, August 8, 2016

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 August, 2016, 5:03pm
UPDATED : Monday, 08 August, 2016, 5:03pm

Calling for HK independence is treasonable

I refer to Alex Lo’s column (“Stop scratching the independence rash”, July 29).

However, the “so-called ­nativist, or independence, movement” is not a rash.

It is part of a festering sore and the Hong Kong government and Beijing have responded by pussyfooting. They have done next to nothing despite former director of the Hong Kong and Macau ­Affairs Office, the late Lu Ping, raising the issue in the South China Morning Post four years ago.

The chief executive merely called on the public to be alert to it, pointing in his 2015 policy address to the University of Hong Kong students’ union ­magazine, which ran an article on the subject the previous year titled, “Hong Kong people ­deciding their own fate”.

This laissez-faire attitude was mistaken for government weakness. It led to the 79-day Occupy Central movement, about which the government also did nothing, and the stalling tactics used in Legco meetings which got worse.

Independence is not an exercisable freedom. It is a treasonable act.

The perpetrators should be told to stop it, failing which, strip them of their natural Chinese citizenship (a Beijing prerogative) whereupon they would lose their permanent resident status and rights.

As Lu Ping advised them, if they don’t like it, they should go away.

Don’t wait till they reach a point from which they cannot climb down.

Peter Lok, Chai Wan

Nukes are not making world a safer place

August 6 and 9, 1945, remind us of the horror faced by ­Hiroshima and Nagasaki when the nuclear bombs were dropped and shortly afterwards the second world war came to an end.

It was a genocidal crime against humanity. Those who win wars are, among other things, those who judge the ­outcomes of these conflicts.

­Today, we have a situation where those countries that were colonial powers and were responsible for modern imperialism, have most of the world’s nuclear weapons.

Ironically, these same ­nuclear nations are permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Humanists remember these two dates in August. We see them as cautionary reminders of the horrors of the past, while inviting us to become aware of the dangers we find ourselves in now.

There is much discussion about the threat we now face from terrorism and the vicious methods adopted by these ­extremists.

However, little is said about the origins of that terrorism and how what happened in the past has led to the dangerous situation we now face.

There are more than 20,000 nuclear warheads around the globe in a state of readiness.

More than half of these weapons are in the hands of a military alliance whose main member is responsible for their actual use.

That same culprit has been responsible for invasions of countries and other armed confrontations.

In fact, our entire civilisation is now under a black cloud with a potential nuclear catastrophe threatening the very existence of our species.

The Humanist Association of Hong Kong denounces the ­hypocrisy of those powers that want to have a monopoly over nuclear weapons, concealing their real intentions behind phrases like supporting “struggles for peace”.

We denounce in particular Western governments, with the US, Britain and France in the lead, which are modernising their nuclear arsenals.

This has its own dynamic and ­results in countries presently equipped with conventional weapons considering adding to what they have with nuclear weapons.

Tony Henderson, Humanist Association of Hong Kong

Healthy diet is possible with a little effort

I refer to the letter by Jason Luk (“Hard-pressed citizens resort to junk food”, July 27).

He said that many Hongkongers are consuming a lot of junk food every day and had to change their bad eating habits.

I agree that most citizens do have unhealthy lifestyles nowadays, especially when it comes to diet.

Hong Kong is such a hectic city that people will often opt for something that is served and can be eaten quickly, such as a ­burger and fries. That is why fast food outlets are so popular, ­because people don’t have much time during lunch breaks.

However, citizens have to ask themselves if they have no choices and if there is no way to follow a nutritious diet in this city.

They do face obstacles. Food from most restaurants contains additives such as MSG. ­However, instead of dining out people can prepare their own MSG-free lunchboxes.

Just get up half an hour ­earlier than usual and prepare a healthy lunch with cereals, vegetables and meat.

People who do this will eventually realise it is worth the effort. Alternatively you can make an extra portion at dinner and ­reheat it the next day in the microwave at work.

All that is needed is a change of attitude on the part of citizens.

John Chan, Tai Wai

Give more help to sub-degree students

A study has found that some fresh graduates with sub-degrees are earning around the same as young people with a secondary school education (“Earnings hit for those holding sub-degrees”, August 5).

The median ­monthly ­income of the sub-degree graduates has dropped 20 per cent over the past two ­decades “and workers with only secondary school education made almost as much last year”. This shows that the ­future is not bright for these graduates.

This is in spite of the fact that some sub-degree courses cost more than university degrees. And yet sub-degrees are not ­valued as much as university ­degrees by prospective ­employers.

The government must ­promote these sub-degrees, so that employers come to recognise that doing a sub-degree in Hong Kong is a valid form of study and ­employers should not look down on people with these qualifications.

The government should try to do more to enhance the reputation of these sub-degrees and try to ensure they are recognised as valid here and abroad. And more loans should be made available to young people who decide to do a sub-degree ­because they cannot get a place at a university.

The bad image of these sub-degrees in the eyes of employers is clearly still a problem, and I hope that the government will recognise that there is an urgent need to address it.

Ronnie Tse, Tseung Kwan O

Trump makes a mockery of US election

Donald J. Trump, Republican candidate for president, is ­conducting a campaign of crass warfare.

Using verbal depredations which debase the public square and reduce serious discussion of issues and problems to a festival of insults, one-liners and lectern histrionics, he is making a ­mockery of what should be a serious exercise every four years.

He is also making it difficult to support him, notwithstanding that Hillary Clinton is unacceptable to many voters and Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are unimpressive. I am tired of holding my nose when reading the morning paper and ­watching the evening news.

I am considering voting the down-ballot only. Keeping at least one house of Congress in Republican hands becomes an imperative for some as a Clinton landslide looms.

Paul Bloustein, Cincinnati,

Ohio, US