Letters to the Editor, December 26, 2016

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 12:17am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 December, 2016, 12:17am

HK people can recognise fake democracy

Hidden away on an inside page of the South China Morning Post on December 20 was a small report on our ex-chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, trying to explain why the Chinese interpretation of “democracy” (which of course is not democracy at all) is the best recipe for Hong Kong (“Tung lays out the case for democracy, Chinese style”, December 20).

He says “competitive elections” (we call it democracy, Mr Tung) could trigger conflicts and be erroneous. He underestimates Hong Kong people.

How ridiculous he sounds. He, an ex-chief executive, who is meant to be forward-thinking for Hong Kong. Instead, he is meddling in advance of the (non-democratic) chief executive election and just blindly mouthing what Beijing wants us to think.

Hong Kong people are not stupid and can clearly understand the difference ­between freedom and tyranny – remember, modern Hong Kong was founded by Chinese fleeing these communists.

How many people have ­returned to live in China? Very few, as they prefer the freedom of Hong Kong.

Let’s move forward at a sensible pace towards real ­freedom of choice.

Anthony Kirk-Duncan, Lai Chi Kok

C Y still has time to make things better

As he nears the end of his term in office, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying should try and fulfil the pledges he made to the people of Hong Kong when he was elected.

Since being elected in 2012, his performance has not been satisfactory and he has become unpopular with Hongkongers.

If he wants to prove them wrong, he needs to try his best in the months remaining.

I hope that the next chief executive will do a better job and deal with the ­problems the city faces. Hopefully, in future, we will see a more united and prosperous Hong Kong.

Yolanda Yue, Yau Yat Chuen

Public hospital exemplified spirit of city

An American friend was ­admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital in September 2015 with burst stomach ulcers and was at death’s door. He had several operations and his ­stomach was removed. He had no employer or family support in Hong Kong and had difficultly getting his insurance company to pay his hospital bills.

The doctors and hospital staff treated him with their best skill and a caring attitude during his 14 months’ hospitalisation and supported him in his application to the Immigration Department to allow his Filipina fiancée to stay in Hong Kong to give him support.

The US government repatriated him last month.

The manner in which he was treated is a great commendation to the spirit of Hong Kong.

Ian Robertson, Discovery Bay

Invitation to Berlin Phil the right decision

I have been a staunch supporter of the comments Alex Lo writes in his My Take column.

I agree with him on most issues generally, but have to ­disagree with him over the ­column, “A cold shoulder for the HK Philharmonic” (December 19).

I am not a musician, nor am I an expert in music. I agree with him that our flagship orchestra has undergone a significant ­uplift in standard since Edo de Waart, and presently, Jaap van Zweden, took up the directorship of the orchestra. However, the orchestra still is not on a par with the other world-class orchestras, such as the Berlin Philharmonic.

I have no doubt that the two conductors mentioned above are first-rate and deserve admiration and praise.

The standards of an orchestra, nevertheless, cannot be judged merely on the fame of its conductors or music directors.

I have simply found the sound coming from our local orchestra to be not as musical or pleasant to the ears as those coming from the Berlin Philharmonic. Very often, within the same piece of music, our local orchestra does well in some parts, but poorly in the other parts.

There seems to be a lack of harmony and cohesiveness among the players. They are less consistent compared to the Berlin Philharmonic.

Being retired and a taxpayer for the past 30 years, I think the Hong Kong government has made the right choice inviting the Berlin Philharmonic to perform in the Hong Kong SAR’s 20th anniversary’s celebration. We certainly deserve the best musicians to perform for this important event.

It is not a matter of localism or foreign idolatry. I would rather pay a few hundred dollars more to watch the Berlin Philharmonic in the comfort of my homeland rather than spending thousands more to fly over to a foreign place to watch them.

Patrick Wong, Pok Fu Lam

It is important for students to manage stress

All Hongkongers face different forms of stress in their daily lives, including students. But some of these students have become so desperate they have taken their own lives.

The rate of teen suicides appeared to have risen and it is now recognised that teenagers in local schools are under a lot of academic ­pressure.

Many youngsters find it difficult to deal with the pressure. They worry about their studies and their relationships with family and friends.

Things get worse and they are caught in a vicious cycle.

Some of them end up experiencing physical and psychological problems.

The pressure from school work will not go away, but young people should try and find ways to cope with it and handle mental stress.

They need to allocate time to relax and eat regular meals. And they have to try to exercise self-control even when they feel dispirited.

They should develop interests, such as reading and listening to music, and this can help reduce the pressure they feel. And they must try to find ways to manage their time, so that they are able to cope with their workload.

What really matters is to try and deal with stress in a positive way.

The fact is that citizens in a city like Hong Kong will keep facing high-pressure situations and will continue to have heavy workloads in the office and in school.

As it will not go away, we have to learn to make good use of stress, rather than letting it ruin our lives.

Xenia Yip, Yau Yat Chuen

Underground spaces have safety issues

I understand why some people have supported proposals to develop large underground spaces in some urban areas, but we have to recognise that there are potential disadvantages.

One area that would be a cause for concern is safety. If there was a fire, how easy would it be to evacuate everyone, especially if a lot of people were in underground locations?

Surely it would be more difficult than getting out all the occupants of a building at ground level. There would only be so many exits and everyone would be heading to them at once.

Also, I think the risk posed by smoke inhalation would be greater underground.

I am also not convinced that these spaces would reduce overcrowding. If they became a major tourist attraction, we might see a large influx of ­visitors.

I do not support extensive underground developments.

Daniel Hui, Hang Hau