Letters to the Editor, November 02, 2016
Residents will welcome new MTR stations
Last month the Kwun Tong Line extension of the MTR began operations with the opening of two new stations, Whampoa and Ho Man Tin (“Mad rush, slight glitch and it’s all go for MTR line”, October 24).
Many people flocked to these stations on the first day. Residents of Whampoa Garden are certainly pleased as they have had to endure inconvenient transport links. However, there is a downside.
With a new MTR station come higher rents and some small shops in the area cannot pay a 30 per cent hike and have had to shut down. They will most likely be replaced by chain stores and this is a shame. I am sure residents will miss these traditional Hong Kong retailers.
I am also concerned about the design of Ho Man Tin station. It is on eight levels and I think that at times passengers may face a long wait to get on a lift.
Also, some residents have complained about the location of the station and say it will take them up to 20 minutes to get there from their homes.
However, overall, I welcome the opening of this line extension and new stations as they offer more transport options for people living in these busy neighbourhoods.
Ada Yeung, Tseung Kwan O
Line extension good for local businesses
The opening of Whampoa and Ho Man Tin stations has been welcomed by local shops which will benefit from the increase in trade, but there have been some complaints about the locations of the stations and the facilities they offer.
The opening of the stations has obviously attracted more visitors to these areas because they are now easier to get to, where earlier they had to catch minibuses. Therefore the local economy will benefit.
However, at Whampoa the two concourses are not connected and at the west concourse, if the passengers happen to encounter a problem with one of the machines, there is no customer service centre.
This can be a problem for elderly residents in the area who may not be familiar with the various machines and their functions, and may need help from MTR staff.
While I accept that in general the extension of the Kwun Tong Line is good for local residents, and should lead to shorter travelling times for most of them, Ho Man Tin station is located in the extreme south of the district and is a distance from some residents’ homes.
I think this may mean that some individuals, especially the elderly and students, will continue to choose more expensive forms of transport, such as minibuses, as they are closer to where they live.
The MTR Corporation will experience a few teething problems and should look to areas where improvements can be made.
Lai Kai-yan, Kowloon Tong
Green project a great recycling initiative
In Hong Kong, our landfills are nearing capacity, so I welcome initiatives, such as Chief Project, that seek to reduce the volumes of waste going there (“Handkerchief makers thumb nose at waste”, October 31).
The people behind the Chief Project business are turning leftover fabric from mainland factories into handkerchiefs. This curbs wastage from these factories and hopefully will lead to less use of tissue paper in the city. This would be good for the environment, as 360 tonnes of tissue paper end up in landfills daily and, as your article points out, that is the weight of 13 double-decker buses. The founders of Chief Project believe they could “replace about 60 to 70 per cent of tissue usage every day”.
There is no shortage of available material, as mainland plants are making products for top fashion houses all over the world using top-quality textiles, so the cast-offs are perfect for handkerchiefs.
This is another case of a green initiative where something that would be discarded by a factory can instead be recycled.
It certainly can help the Hong Kong government, which has come up with a number of policies to reduce the volumes of waste that continue to end up in our landfills. However, these measures have only met with limited success.
I hope we will see more green projects like this one being launched in Hong Kong.
Ruby Ho Sum-yu, Kwai Chung
Crack down on these rogue nursing homes
I am concerned about inadequate monitoring of nursing homes in Hong Kong.
A case of alleged sexual abuse at a care home, which did not make it to court because of lack of evidence, has led to public concern being expressed about the quality of care at these homes.
Last year, elderly residents of a nursing home in Tai Po were left outside naked while waiting for a shower.
More than a year has passed, but problems remain with some of these institutions and the government is failing to deal with them. The Residential Care Homes (Persons with Disabilities) Ordinance should have resulted in higher standards in care homes (with some being given a three-year grace period to comply with the new regulations), but this has not happened.
The government has to accept blame for this. Many inmates of nursing homes, who are elderly or mentally disabled, are unable to speak for themselves if they are victims of abuse.
There must be strict monitoring by the government of these institutions. The most vulnerable sectors of society must be protected, including the inmates of substandard institutions because they are from low-income families. In their case, subsidies should be offered by the government.
Kaecee Wong, Tseung Kwan O
One-child policy casts a long shadow
I agree with a recent study that says the damaging effects of China’s one-child policy will take time to deal with even though it was ended last year.
The policy resulted in the country’s ageing population and widened the gender imbalance with many more men than women. This was because of the traditional beliefs valuing a male over a female child so many baby girls were abandoned.
The new two-child policy is a positive step, but if it wants to deal effectively with the consequences of an ageing population, the central government still has to make a greater effort to encourage more couples to have two children and also for families to recognise the importance of gender equality.
Janice Lee, Kowloon Tong
Air pollution is getting worse in Beijing
Early last month, Beijing was put on a yellow smog alert and I think its air pollution problems are becoming more serious.
This is a result of the country’s rapid economic development. Factories and power stations burn fossil fuels, resulting in a rise in emissions, as many plants have no air filter systems. Waste is dumped in rivers, despite regulations that ban this practice. The rules that restrict emissions exist in name alone and are not enforced.
The central government can do more to curb air pollution. It should implement a system that imposes daily restrictions on the number of cars allowed into the capital. In the long-term it needs to plant more trees. At the moment, it allows so many of them to be felled to clear land for more homes and factories.
It cannot focus solely on economic development.
Stephanie Hung, Sha Tin