Letters to the Editor, March 7, 2017

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 March, 2017, 5:05pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 March, 2017, 5:05pm

Judge made right decision to jail officers

I agree with your correspondent Borromeo Li (“Police chief must issue an apology for his officers’ ­behaviour”, February 28).

Commissioner of Police ­Stephen Lo Wai-chung should apologise for the behaviour of the seven officers jailed for the October 2014 assault on activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu, instead of being ­defensive.

The attack on Tsang cannot be justified, and luckily justice was done when the sentences were passed down. By their actions, these officers acted as judge and jury and were themselves judged in court.

Any unacceptable and ­unlawful action by police officers should not be treated with leniency. We should not forget the great effort made by the Hong Kong government in the 1970s and ’80s to stamp out widespread corruption in the police force.

The policy adopted then of zero tolerance towards officers who break the law must be maintained.

In the case of these seven ­officers, they took the law into their own hands, assaulting someone who was already handcuffed.

As I said, Mr Lo and other ­senior officers should have ­condemned such actions following their conviction.

Millions of dollars were raised towards their defence and I feel this sends the wrong ­message to serving officers.

It is saying that if other ­officers face similar serious charges, they can expect a ­fundraising drive to finance their defence.

I and many of my friends ­disagree with Patsy Leung who believes the District Court judge could have shown greater leniency (“Jail terms for police officers undermine faith in ­judicial system”, March 2).

It would have been inappropriate not to impose custodial sentences.

A. L. Nanik, Tsim Sha Tsui

Cleaner coal can help cut emissions

President Donald Trump revels in the idea of the US being ­energy self-sufficient.

During the election ­campaign and transitional ­period, he regularly referred to the crucial role of coal and the need to support modern technologies that will enable cleaner coal use.

The White House press ­secretary, Sean Spicer, told ­reporters last month that the president was keen on using modern technology to ensure that coal is used as cleanly as possible. Just before Spicer’s briefing, the US Energy Information Administration projected a 3 per cent increase in US coal production. Even under the now ­suspended Clean Power Plan in the United States, coal was ­forecast to provide 27 per cent of US electricity in 2030.

Supporting modern coal technologies ensures that coal can provide affordable and ­accessible energy, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Cleaner coal technologies, including high efficiency low emissions (HELE) coal technologies, are a group of technologies developed to increase the amount of energy that can be generated from a coal plant while decreasing emissions.

Japan, China, Germany, and Demark are examples of countries already using these technologies to harness the full benefit that coal can provide while helping to meet climate objectives. Recent reports show that the Australian government sees them as important there too.

The US has also long been a leading developer of modern coal technologies and now has a unique opportunity to consolidate this position and export this valuable research and development worldwide.

The International Energy Agency has forecast an increase in new HELE coal plants in the next 25 years.

According to the agency, by 2040 these highly efficient plants will be producing 730 gigawatts of energy globally, and more than half of the coal-fired power stations in developing countries will consist of HELE plants.

Benjamin Sporton, CEO, World Coal Association, London

People on low incomes need short-term flats

I agree with those who want the government to provide some temporary housing for people who are on the waiting list for a flat in a public estate.

If they are charged affordable rents, it will enable them to have more money for other things, such as daily necessities. As most of the people on this waiting list are on low incomes, this will make a big difference to their lives.

Some of them can only afford to rent unhygienic and unsafe ­subdivided units. The temporary housing option can be a big help given that some individuals have to wait more than four years to get a public flat.

Samuel Cheng Ka-ho, Sai Kung

Rating scheme may make taxi drivers behave

I agree with critics of taxi services in Hong Kong that the attitude of the driver is important. Rude cabbies create a bad impression with tourists and this can affect the city’s image abroad.

I support the initiative of one taxi group, the Association of Taxi Industry Development, to fit closed-circuit cameras in some of its cabs and a rating ­device.

The cameras are fine if they do not infringe any privacy laws.

They will allow the association to monitor drivers and their conduct towards passengers.

I think the scheme where passengers can give ratings will act as an incentive for drivers to behave properly.

It is also important for taxi operators such as this association to do more to get people to become drivers.

They need to offer a better package, including higher wages, medical insurance and annual leave, if they want to get more young people to take it up as a career. The workforce is ­ageing, so something must be done about getting new blood.

Joey Leung Man-nga, Yau Yat Chuen