Letters to the Editor, August 01, 2016
Average speed cameras likely to deter racers
I refer to the letter from Chief Superintendent Joseph Au Chin-chau, of Police Public Relations (“Tackling illegal racers is police priority”, August 25), responding to the letter from David Ollereanshaw expressing concern about illegal road racing activities on Route Twisk (“Police inaction on deadly road racing baffling”, August 14).
The chief superintendent quoted statistics on police enforcement action at Route Twisk and at face value, these look impressive, but the fact remains that racing and speed trials continue to be regular events at Route Twisk.
Accordingly, it must be concluded that the enforcement action to date has largely been ineffective in curbing this threat to the safety of other road users (and, of course, the racers themselves).
It appears to me that the enforcement action is ineffective as the police speed cameras are positioned as to be easily seen and hence can be reported back by “spotters” to the racers who desist from racing while police are present.
The obvious solution to this enforcement problem is to erect (and put in service) permanent average speed cameras along Route Twisk.
Doug Miller, Tai Po
Religious dress ban may add to jihadist fervour
The insistence on secular behaviour and non-religious dress when publicly visible in France (known as laicite), including leaving a Muslim (or Christian) schoolgirl’s head and face uncovered, is a double-edged sword.
Although the burqini ban is an extension of France’s fiercely protected laicite, meant to enforce one egalitarian standard for all girls and women, the Muslim community (women hopefully in the majority) believes that it curtails a woman’s rights to self-expression.
Beyond that, there is risk of alienating Muslims in the urban West and girding the loins of young minds to justify more acts of violence.
By itself, the complete coverage of Muslim women is not convincingly associated with jihadist terrorist attacks.
Women in the Middle East have voluntarily or under social duress worn some form of body covering for generations and incited no systematic violence.
It is far more important to study how Muslim youth of both genders are being radicalised at home and in religious schools by such bans, where the seeds of jihad are being sowed.
Banning religious dress and the imposition of culturally neutral lifestyles in the public domain are not going to sway young Muslim minds towards secular humanism. Coercing Muslims to eat, drink, and dress like proper Frenchmen and women could further inflame terrorist sentiment.
Joseph Ting, Brisbane, Australia
Exam pressure a blight on student lives
September 1 saw the start of term in local schools and it reminded me of the spate of student suicides during the last school year. It was suggested that many of them killed themselves because of the pressure they were under.
As a student, I agree that the pressure has increased. Some of this is due to parents, and some is caused by the teachers and schools. Youngsters fear that if they fail to get a university place they will find it hard to get a job, especially one they really want.
The education system in Hong Kong places too much emphasis on exam results. Some students may not be academically gifted but are good at, for example, sport or music, and they are often not given sufficient encouragement. Students should not be judged just by exam results or written off as stupid and lazy if they do badly.
There is clearly a need for a change of attitude in Hong Kong in order to moderate the high-pressure culture in schools.
If nothing is done, we will read about further tragedies involving young people who have given up hope.
Kelly Leung, Tseung Kwan O
Catch them young to meet clean city goals
I agree with what Alex Lo says in his column (“Why we should take waste management personally”, August 29).
All Hong Kong citizens should accept that they have a responsibility to generate less rubbish and try to keep our city clean.
It is not possible to have zero waste in a city like Hong Kong, which is an international financial centre.
However, what matters is to ensure we have a better city by producing lower volumes of refuse. If every Hongkonger was conscious of the importance of having a green environment, our situation would be better and it would take longer for our landfills to reach capacity.
We can be more environmentally friendly in a number of ways, such as using more recyclable material. With more stuff being recycled, less rubbish will be going to our landfills. If we all take just a little step, we can collectively make great strides.
However, we should fix the root cause of the problem instead of merely treating the symptom. Just cutting back on the number of rubbish bins is not enough.
This will only encourage people to discard refuse on the streets if they can’t find a nearby bin. We need to start with the basics.
The government should ensure children are taught from an early age the importance of environmental protection.
We should work together to transform Hong Kong into a clean city.
Joyce Chang, Yau Yat Chuen
Ensure fair workplace for mothers-to-be
Members of Parliament in Britain have been discussing the problems experienced by many pregnant women in the workplace and how they are often singled out for unfair treatment.
This is not something that happens only in the UK. In Hong Kong, pregnant women often find they get a raw deal from their bosses.
Some employers resent paid maternity leave and see it as a waste of money. Rather than have to pay it, they will sometimes come up with an excuse to fire an employee when the real reason is that she has become pregnant.
In fact, governments in all countries should be doing more to strengthen legislation that is designed to protect the rights of women, including those who become pregnant and wish to continue working and to return to work after the birth of their child.
The government should offer incentives to employers so that pregnant employees can get fair treatment. Women must always speak up if they feel they are victims of unfair treatment and they must fight for stronger rights.
We must all support the protection of women’s rights.
Jonathan Lam, Tseung Kwan O
Long hours, little leisure is no way to live
I have been reading the views of Hongkongers online on the need to have the right work-life balance.
Most citizens work long hours, often more than 10 hours a day. When you have to put in that much time in the office, you have no time for rest.
While hard work can bring financial rewards for many people, is that so important if they are failing to achieve the right work-life balance? They should still aim for this and there are ways to achieve it.
One way is to have a golden rule of not checking work e-mails when you get back home. They can wait until the next day. You should only break this rule if the matter is really urgent.
If people are working hours that are so long they cannot get any leisure time and are always tired, they should switch jobs.
Also, I do not think it is good to do the same job for your whole working life. Sometimes, it makes sense to change your working environment.
Jenny Sit, Po Lam