Letters to the Editor, January 12, 2017
Two same-sex parents better than none at all
Eunice Li Dan-yue (“Same-sex marriage is against traditional teaching on families”, January 7) and I almost agree over Cynthia Yeung’s letter (“Talented people will steer clear of Hong Kong until same-sex unions are legal”, January 4).
Whatever their reasons, for any homosexual put off from coming to Hong Kong because same-sex marriage is not recognised, there is probably just as likely to be a heterosexual who is encouraged to come for that same reason. But that is not very relevant to the main issue.
I admit to finding it hard to understand why homosexuals want to get married but, as I am a happily married heterosexual, that is not surprising. What matters is that my marriage is just as happy as it was before various countries and states began to allow same-sex marriages, and will remain so when Hong Kong does the same; why should it be otherwise?
Ms Li must learn to live and let live. She must also learn to compare apples with apples.
To compare the lot of children adopted by same-sex couples with those who have a loving, caring mother and father, is unrealistic. They are not the same children. Most adopted children are from homes, or a series of homes, or a series of foster parents. They are there because they are orphans, or unwanted, or deserted by parents who could not cope, or were ruled unfit to parent.
Two loving, caring parents of the same sex are better than none and, arguably sometimes better than only one.
Having two parents of the same sex is by no means ideal for children, but it’s a far better situation than most of them would otherwise be in.
Finally, I would recommend that Ms Li seek out and read a copy of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin.
Although the church leaders at the time tried to stop its publication, and have since been extremely slow to admit Darwin was right, modern theologians – almost without exception – accept that the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, should not, in the main, be taken literally. There never was a “Garden of Eden” where Eve gave Adam the “forbidden fruit”.
Peter Robertson, Sai Kung
God best left out of gay rights debate
I take considerable exception to Eunice Li’s letter (“Same-sex marriage is against traditional teaching on families”, January 7). It contains statements such as “God created man and woman” and “Since the beginning, God taught that...”.
I wish to point out the obvious: that Hong Kong is a secular society. Its government is not a theocracy.
Most Hongkongers are non-Christians. Deliberating a social policy issue such as same-sex marriage using a “God this, God that” approach is inappropriate. What has God got to do with non-Christians?
Francis Lo, North Point
Proposed A&E fee hike too low for real impact
The Hospital Authority has proposed raising charges for accident and emergency (A&E) departments in public hospitals, to try and cut waiting times.
I do not think this policy will achieve its intended purpose. Many patients from the grass roots are on welfare and other benefits, and so the fee is already waived for them. A hike in fees will not affect them and they will continue to turn up at A&E departments in large numbers.
Patients from the middle class will not find the increase too punitive (HK$100 to HK$220), and so will also continue to use A&E units.
I think the increase has to be even higher than what has been proposed.
Some middle-class patients may then opt for private clinics instead and we could see a reduction in waiting times.
Daniel Hui, Tseung Kwan O
Recycling of e-waste needs more publicity
It is commendable that the Hong Kong government is trying to raise awareness about, for example, municipal solid waste.
Also, there has been a significant growth in consumer use of digital products, and electronic and electrical appliances, including flat TVs, tablets, notebook computers, energy-saving light bulbs and phone batteries.
The availability of consumer products at affordable prices encourages people to replace rather than repair their goods or gadgets, so there is a lot more e-waste than in the past.
These goods must be detoxified and dismantled before they can be recycled.
The government is setting up a plant for carrying out such processing in Tuen Mun, and is going to set up more collection centres in urban areas later.
I only learned about this plant from news reports last month, and spent a long time surfing the internet to find the hotline number so that I could inquire about collection of this waste from my home or from mobile collection vehicles at designated locations.
The government needs to allocate more resources to publicising recycling services like this, so that more people know where they can take electrical appliances to be safely recycled.
Tony Li, Kwai Chung
Food trucks must not push out hawkers
Eight food trucks are to be launched in Hong Kong after the Lunar New Year. Only 16 food truck licences have been issued, and most of the food on the menu will be foreign cuisine, even though it is being touted as a local initiative. For example, the trucks will offer hamburgers, which are commonly associated with American fast food.
We should not forget our own traditional street food and the people who make it, namely the hawkers. The government should not try to replace all hawkers with these food trucks.
It can deal with concerns about hawkers causing an obstruction by having designated areas where they can operate legally, and they can be charged a relatively low rent.
A contract could be signed, ensuring that hawkers adhered to the conditions set by the government and allowing them to operate in the designated area.
Officers would also carry out checks on the food and where it was sourced to ensure it was safe. They could ensure that good hygiene was maintained in the area, as well as the correct disposal of cooking oil.
Food sold by street hawkers is popular in Hong Kong, especially people from the grass roots. It is generally cheaper than what you can buy in restaurants and even fast food shops. Also, people living nearby find such stalls very convenient.
Just as it has approved locations for food trucks, so the government must find appropriate areas for hawkers to operate.
Chloe Ng Sin-yee, Tseung Kwan O
Educate HK’s youngsters on organ donation
There are a large number of patients waiting for organ transplants in Hong Kong, so we need to increase the donation rate.
I think the best way to achieve this is by targeting the next generation through education. We need to help youngsters develop a better understanding of the importance of organ donation and of joining the city’s donor register.
They will be the next generation of adults, so it is important that they get a good appreciation of this issue as early as possible. If they are not educated, then outdated attitudes will persist and we will not see an increase in the donation rate.
I am sure that once they realise the difference they can make and the lives they can save, more young people will join the register.
Eunice Wong Sze-tung, Kwai Chung