Letters to the Editor, February 28, 2017

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 February, 2017, 3:42pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 February, 2017, 3:42pm

Waterfront park far better than campus

The government has ­announced that a portion of the Cha Kwo Ling harbourfront will be converted into a campus for the Vocational Training Council (VTC). The original plan for the site was to develop it as a park, for public enjoyment and recreation.

Already, this area is getting a bit overcrowded due to the ­redevelopment of old industrial buildings. Besides increasing the pollution in the area, due to the additional number of vehicles now using the roads, these redevelopments have resulted in poor ventilation and an ­increase in temperatures due to the “wall ­effect” caused by a row of glass tower buildings.

The infrastructure in the area is already stretched. As such, a plan to convert a proposed ­harbourfront park into another white elephant infrastructure project does not make sense.

The VTC is a publicly funded educational institution. Why does it need a prime harbourfront property (one that had been reserved for a park and ­recreational area) to set up a huge campus? Why is the ­government not considering spreading the campus around Hong Kong, ­reusing the various schools which are lying vacant?

When it comes to educational institutions, it is not how good it looks or how good a location it occupies that matters. What really matters is how relevant the syllabus being taught is, how good the teachers dispensing the education are and how convenient it is for students to reach their place of education.

The VTC will be closer to the homes of the students it is targeting if the campus is spread all over Hong Kong. A lot of travel time could be saved for students if the VTC schools are ­located closer to their homes.

This reduction in travelling will further assist in reducing pollution and overcrowding during rush hours on the MTR network. On what basis did the government decide to change the land use without considering the implications on infrastructure and quality of living of the residents in the area? Why does the administration abuse Hong Kong’s most ­valuable asset, the ­harbourfront?

I do not understand why the government cannot reuse existing vacant school buildings and ensure the campuses are in close proximity to students signing up for VTC courses.

Venkitaraman Krishnan, Cha Kwo Ling

Sceptical of claims from White House

US President Donald Trump says his administration is ­“running like a fine-tuned ­machine”. Really?

Is that why Team Trump has to explain what the president said every time he makes one of his head-scratching pronouncements? We are going to be subjected to an avalanche of alternative facts for the next four years. It does not bode well for us as the free world looks to the US for real leadership.

If you listen to Trump’s shallow off-the-cuff remarks, your readers might agree with me that it portends dangerous times ahead no matter how much he says he only wants to make America great again. In reality this “fine-tuned machine” is coming apart at the seams.

Herb Stark, Mooresville, North Carolina, US

Street food hygiene issues can be solved

I agree with Sharon Cheng about traditional hawkers in Hong Kong (“We should try to ­preserve hawker culture”, ­February 21).

This form of street food is unique to Hong Kong. There have been hygiene concerns, but these can be dealt with. There used to be thousands of street hawkers, but the government gradually stopped issuing licences. By adapting old urban districts, hawkers could operate in a clean environment and not pose a noise nuisance to nearby residents.

It would be a pity if this aspect of the city’s culture died out. It would mean the ­younger generation had no chance to experience it.

Vivian Shea, Tseung Kwan O

Getting rid of Disneyland is not the answer

Unlike Peter Kammerer (“Scrap loss-making Hong Kong Disneyland and put public housing on the site instead”, February 27), I think the theme park plays an important role. Many young Hongkongers have fond memories of visiting Disneyland ­during our childhood.

When land becomes available, often luxury apartments or a shopping mall are built so the housing problem persists. I doubt if public housing would be built there and so people from the grass roots or middle class would not benefit.

Disneyland should be ­revitalised. With the right ­improvements, it can still be popular.

Tony Tsang Tsz-long, Ma On Shan

Teachers could encourage workouts

I agree with Jason Tang about the need for students to lead more active lives (“Parents in Hong Kong can help children exercise more”, February 25).

In many local secondary schools, students get only about 80 minutes of physical exercise classes a week.

Some schools only have a PE lesson every two weeks. Of course, youngsters could ­exercise after class, but that ­often is not possible, because they have a lot of homework.

I think teachers could help by organising classwork so that, one day a month, students are given a minium amount of homework and urged instead to exercise. The teachers could show them a simple workout routine that they could do.

Parents should also ensure their children are allowed more spare time to exercise and can even join them.

They need to nurture the good habit in their children of exercising regularly.

Jerry Chan Ho-yin, Sheung Shui