Letters to the Editor, August 16, 2016

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 August, 2016, 5:46pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 August, 2016, 5:46pm

Transgender people deserve fair treatment

I refer to the case of the transgender woman who was placed in an all-male prison (“Transgender woman kept with men to protect female inmates, Hong Kong court hears”, August 9).

I understand the concerns of prison officers who worry about the safety of women prisoners, as women are often the target of sexual harassment. However, I believe transgender women who have been receiving hormone therapy and are undergoing sex reassignment surgery are no danger in this respect.

By contrast, detaining a transgender woman in an all-male facility and subjecting her to strip searches in front of male officers seem a violation of basic human rights.

We should respect people’s choice of gender identity. Under no circumstances should we tolerate unfair treatment in our society.

There seems to be loopholes in the laws and regulations when it comes to protecting the rights of transgender people, as well as inadequate education.

Transgender people and other sexual minorities in Hong Kong face discrimination. As global citizens, we should do more to give up our prejudices, and learn to respect differences.

Rainbow Leung Wai-yu, Tseung Kwan O

Sentences for student leaders too lenient

How pathetic that magistrate June Cheung Tin-ngan has handed down such lenient sentences to Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Alex Chow Yong-kang (“No jail for Occupy leaders Joshua Wong and Nathan Law, with Law still clear for Legco run”, August 15).

That these three are free to pursue their academic and other careers because the magistrate described them as passionate and genuinely believing of their political ideals reeks of a decision based on personal bias and not the rule of law. Occupy Central held our city to ransom for 79 days. Hong Kong does not belong to these hooligans or their comrades who campaign with hate and violence.

The smug faces of the three as they exited the court reflects the contempt in which they hold the law and the citizens of Hong Kong.

Mark Peaker, The Peak

Grass roots ignored in US election

This latest US election demonstrates many things. First is the fact that some voters are caught up in the theatre of it all, cheering like they are possessed.

Second is the fact that once they buy into this nonsense, they lose sight of the real grass-roots issues. This may seem insignificant, but, as one example, consider that there is an estimated (based on various sources) 650,000 homeless people, and (as of 2014) millions of empty houses, flats or apartments. Have either of the candidates – who are busy attacking each other – even mentioned this?

Have they mentioned that their country has around 2.4 million inmates, many of them locked up for minor offences? And just this month, a law came into effect in Texas that allows concealed weapons to be carried, on campus, by young adults of 21 years and older. Has either of them proposed a solution to these massive problems? I think not.

As far as I’m concerned, the whole process is a complete sham.

Andrew Maxwell, Sai Kung

Airport rallies compromise security

If my memory has not failed me, the whole Kai Tak airport was designated a restricted area, prohibiting loitering and even photograph-taking, for security reasons. Fast forward to Chek Lap Kok post-1997, the Hong Kong International Airport seems to be becoming a free-for-all playground for agitators of all colours and agendas to hold wildcat protests and demonstrations (“Final call: groups gather at airport in last protest on third runway project”, July 31).

Isn’t freedom of expression an excuse being abused too easily, especially in a time with growing prospects of terrorist attacks?

Ng Chi-kong, Tin Hau

Sportsmanship should trump medal results

In the world-class swimming competition that just concluded at the Rio Olympics, we not only saw some stunning performances but emotions also ran high.

Take Chinese swimming star Sun Yang. Although he is known to be arrogant and has been accused of being disruptive during training sessions, he does not deserve to have people challenge him for a past doping offence (“Sun Yang may not be a nice guy, but neither is he a drug cheat”, August 11). Accusing a professional swimmer of doping is a grave insult, and we should not do that unless there’s a positive drug test.

One other Chinese swimmer also made a name for herself – Fu Yuanhui became a fan favourite for her funny expressions after learning she had won a medal (“Funny girl: China’s ‘surprised’ medal winner Fu Yuanhui becomes an instant internet darling”, August 10).

This suggests athletes do not have to be top-ranked to win over fans; they just need to come across as real people to the public.

For me, sportsmanship matters more than results. If an athlete behaved in a disgraceful manner, he or she does not qualify to be a sports person.

Hillary Chan, Tsueng Kwan O

Personal best at the Games is good enough

Sports has been in the news because of the Olympics. Hong Kong athletes don’t receive the same amount of support as those in countries like the US. Despite this, they still strive for the best. Achieving their personal best is already a feat, with or without a medal. This is the kind of spirit we should promote.

Choi Hiu Ki, Tseung Kwan O

Pokemon craze must not disrupt classes

The game Pokemon Go has captivated Hong Kong. Everywhere you walk on the streets, you see people with their eyes glued to their smartphone monitors.

A former classmate said the park in the estate in which she lives, which is half the size of Victoria Park, is daily surrounded by swarms of people playing this addictive game, leaving her neighbour with no space for jogging, and he finds it very annoying.

This game is particularly a hit with young people. You see them playing it everywhere, be it in the park, while walking on the pavement, or crossing the road while waiting for the traffic light to turn green, and this can be an accident waiting to happen.

It is still the summer vacation, so there is no issue with letting youngsters play the game.

However, once school starts, there may be a problem; so I hope that schools, especially the primary and secondary schools, will enforce a policy not to let their students bring mobile phones to campus, so they won’t disrupt classes.

Meanwhile, parents should also play a part in helping to control the game addiction. They can confiscate the phones of their children during school days, and only allow them to play for maybe one to two hours during the weekend.

Despite the dangers, however, this can be a good game for the whole family to bond over if they all love playing it.

Eunice Li Dan Yue, Causeway Bay