People cover their face during air pollution index because of the roadside air pollution. Photo: Edward Wong

Letters to the Editor, November 19, 2016

More effort needed to fight cyber scams

I refer to the report (“Hong Kong woman latest victim of online love scam after losing HK$880,000 to ‘British lover’ ”, November 12).

The government and schools should intensify ­publicity and step up education of the general public.

The number of cyber scams in Hong Kong has been increasing in recent years and public education is definitely the most effective way to reverse this trend.

Although there are already some advertisements highlighting the risks of cyber scams, the number of crimes is still rocketing. The government must counter with a strong campaign. Advocating the message of being more aware of this kind of scam on social networks can be an efficient way. As people nowadays spend a lot of their time browsing the internet, it can be more accessible for citizens to learn about this issue.

Teaching students in schools can be one of the remedies, too. Students one day will get their own bank accounts and credit cards. Prevention is better than cure; it is always best to act to prevent danger and risk before it can damage lives.

Ho Nga-yau, Kowloon Tong

Tougher action on air pollution is a priority

Air pollution in Hong Kong is under the spotlight and is a growing concern for many . It is a critical problem and the Hong Kong government has been wrestling with it in different ways.

If you ask officials about the sources of pollution, they will tell you that the primary culprit is Guangzhou’s factories. While pollution from the mainland is a reason, that is not the whole story.

Take a look at what is happening closer to home. What is worrying is that we have the world’s highest traffic density. Our air quality control ­measures, however, are not proportionate. A lot of our pollution comes from moving and idling vehicles.

Road congestion is caused by illegal parking and idling vehicles. Lax law enforcement in turn encourages drivers to continue their bad habits. This should be given prompt attention and strict action as studies show that exhaust from idling vehicles is more polluting and concentrated than that from moving vehicles. Pollution harms our city’s reputation as an international city irreversibly.

The foremost impact pollution has is on our tourism appeal. Travellers will no longer see Hong Kong as a destination when it is heavily polluted.

The government should ­rethink existing measures. Is first registration tax of vehicles high enough to deter people from buying private vehicles when the government is encouraging people to take public transport.

Ethan Law Tsz-chun, Tai Wo

Residential permit reform good move

I am glad that Beijing has ­decided to stop classifying residents as rural or urban in favour of establishing a unified residential permit system.

In the past, the hukou household registration system controlled the movement of people between urban and rural areas. Urban citizens enjoyed a range of social, economic and cultural benefits from the government. However, rural citizens missed out and could not receive any benefits. They were blamed for rising crime and ­unemployment.

City governments imposed discriminatory rules. For ­example, the children of farm workers were not allowed to ­enrol in city schools and often had to live with their grandparents or relatives in order to attend school in their home towns.

I believe that the change in this policy can benefit more people in China, especially those poor and rural residents, and create greater harmony in society.

There are still many problems facing China. I hope the government can do more to fix them to benefit all residents.

Christy Suen Kit-lam, Lok Fu

Elderly care not what it should be

In a recent survey the city ranked 19th out of nearly 100 countries or territories in the way it cares for its elderly. However, on ­specific areas, it fared worse. On pensions and psychological well-being, Hong Kong just ranked 60th and 79th ­respectively.

Unlike most developed countries such as in Europe, the US, Japan and Korea, Hong Kong lacks a comprehensive pension system which can secure a long retirement life. The Mandatory Provident Fund Scheme is inadequate: the total contribution from employer and employee is only 10 per cent of a worker’s monthly salary.

As life expectancy rises, we need to save a huge amount of money to support us in retirement. And there is the cost of health care.

It’s also time to raise the retirement age from 60.

A lot of the workforce are still physically fit for work after age 60 and they can continue to make valuable contributions with their experience and knowledge gained through years of employment.

The psychological benefits for the working elderly can also have a flow-on effect to their physical well-being and greatly improve their quality of life, rather than just sitting at home not contributing.

Government welfare and subsidy costs would drop if more elderly stayed on in the ­workforce.

Rachel Hui, Yau Yat Chuen

Shortage of A&E doctors highlighted

I am concerned about the long waiting times in the accident and emergency department (A&E) of one of Hong Kong’s public hospitals.

Last Thursday, having a high fever, I went to see a doctor at 4pm. I was sent to the triage ­station and classified as a semi-urgent level four patient. Then, I waited for five hours in A&E until I was called to the doctor’s room. To my astonishment, only two rooms were calling patients to go in within that period. It was 10pm by the time I left.

I understand doctors are busy but why are there only two rooms, which means only two doctors, helping patients? It seems there are not enough doctors in Hong Kong.

As a student I can’t afford ­private clinics and general outpatient clinics are always full when I try to make a booking.

This issue is alarming. There are many patients like me ­waiting in A&E.

I hope the Hospital Authority will step up its efforts to alleviate the problem. I’m looking forward to seeing the remedial measures made by the government.

Chris Chan, Tseung Kwan O

MTR must act now to close platform gaps

Earlier this month an elderly woman fell onto the tracks at the MTR’s Lo Wu station having slipped through the gap ­between the track and the train.

This happened as she was stepping off the train. Luckily, MTR staff arrived quickly at the scene and were able to stop the train leaving the station.

It was clear from what ­happened that the gap at this station is too wide and we have to ask about the situation at ­other stations on the East Rail Line.

It is fortunate nobody was killed, but it should lead to ­renewed calls for the MTR Corporation to instal platform gates at all stations on the this line.

The MTR Corp argues that introducing automatic gap ­fillers would delay trains, but after this incident it must surely act now.

Anthony Kong, Hang Hau