Letters to the Editor, February 26, 2017

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 February, 2017, 12:16am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 February, 2017, 12:16am

Fare hike for awful taxis was plainly wrong

I agree with Raymond Chan Mang-cheong’s letter (“Complaints show need for taxi sector to face genuine competition”, February 18). Taxi fares should not have been increased until the service of the drivers and cleanliness of taxis improved.

Taxi drivers are still rude and drive with their mobile phones on the dashboard, checking messages while driving. They are not in the slightest bit affected when told they will be ­reported.

I have recently got into several taxis with torn seats and filthy floors. The city’s cabbies must be among the rudest and, the older they are, the worse they drive.

Your correspondent is right, due to the large number of complaints and bad service, the fare should not have been increased. If the government does not pass a law forbidding having phones on the dashboard then it is failing to protect the safety of ­passengers. The Hong Kong public needs more car-hailing apps like Uber.

This is an international city and tourists coming here must be shocked by the poor standard of English spoken by these taxi drivers and their inadequate knowledge of directions. I am ­often asked to direct them as they don’t know the names of roads. The government must do something constructive about these complaints.

Beth Narain, Sai Ying Pun

Persecution claim in case is unfounded

I admired Simon Murray, a ­brilliant and successful businessman who ran Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa group during colonial times. But he’s wrong this time about Donald Tsang Yam-kuen’s conviction, and comparing the Hong Kong justice system to that of North Korea (“The trial of Donald Tsang was about triviality and revenge”, February 23). Justice secretary Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung was doing his job and left the prosecution decision to the director of public prosecutions.

Hong Kong’s justice system has been running well since 1997 and there has never been any case of triviality and wasting taxpayers’ funds, let alone ­persecution.

Allen Chen, Tsim Sha Tsui

Offence cannot be described as frivolous

Very often I agree with Jake van der Kamp’s views, but not his column, “Tsang conviction does HK’s reputation no favours”, (February 21).

No matter how much good Donald Tsang Yam-kuen did in government, he was well paid for it, probably second to none, apart from in Singapore.

And yet he still required favours of quite unimaginable proportions. That is a long way from being “frivolous”.

Roland Guettler, Lai Chi Kok

Tsang trial sent a very clear message

Having followed the trial of ­former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, as a Hong Kong citizen, I have to say I was left feeling very disappointed.

In his position, he represented Hong Kong. With this conviction, he has brought shame on the city and ruined his own ­reputation.

As chief executive, he should have been acting as a role model, but he failed to do that and now finds himself in prison.

I think what happened to him sends a clear message to the public, that, in this city, no one is above the law and there are no exceptions.

We must all think carefully about the actions we take and the possible consequences of these, and this applies to all of us, even the most powerful in ­society.

Winnie Hon Wing-lam, Tsuen Wan

Parents and teachers must learn to say no

The word “no” is not used often enough in today’s society. In fact, parents almost always give in to an ­unruly child, often for fear of what others might think.

A gentle, firm and well-intentioned “no” from the very early years can save one from a lot of trauma later.

Today’s five-year-olds are well aware of how to manipulate adults, and they do.

Parents and teachers often fall into their trap. They should never underestimate a child and always talk and reason with them.

Let them know why you are not happy and teach them how to resolve the issue. The principle of “Spare the rod and spoil the child” is wrong. We all like to spoil and be spoiled, it is part of childhood, but there has to be a balance. Parents and teachers set the rules, co-operation ­between the two is essential.

If they set a good example, the child will follow; set a bad example and you will reap what you sow.

Jean Afford, principal, Wembley International Kindergarten

Food trucks will be popular with tourists

I believe that, as well as boosting the tourism sector, the new food trucks can help promote small food businesses.

The food trucks that become popular will attract large numbers of people, especially if they are located in popular tourist spots. Visitors will enjoy the variety of the cuisine and the street food aspect, where they stand and eat what they have purchased in some great locations.

While the truck operators will obviously be offering their own chosen cuisine, I would like to see them cooperating with owners of small food outlets and promote and sell their meals as well. For example, they could help a nearby outlet that specialises in egg waffles. This small business would make some money and become better known, ­attracting local and ­foreign ­customers.

I do not agree with critics who say the food truck scheme is a while elephant project. I ­believe it can benefit Hong Kong and deserves our support.

Woo Cheuk-yi, Yau Yat Chuen

Use website to promote street food scheme

Critics have been focusing on the negative side of the food truck scheme, but I think it does have some advantages.

It is a revival of the street food culture which has been an integral part of Hong Kong life for generations, with hawker food stalls selling such things as fishballs and egg waffles.

However, this tradition has been threatened since the government decided to stop issuing hawker licences. Consequently, many hawkers had to shut down their stalls.

Hopefully, these trucks can to some extent revive that tradition. With the hawkers, one of the chief concerns was poor ­hygiene, but I do not think that will be a problem with the food trucks which will operate in a clean environment.

I also think these mobile ­eateries will be popular with tourists. The trucks should be promoted on a dedicated ­website and through TV adverts, so that they attract even more customers.

Alice Lo, Sau Mau Ping