Letters to the Editor, March 19, 2017

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 March, 2017, 9:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 March, 2017, 9:00am

Conduit Road should only be for super-rich

The government should enforce urban planning in Hong Kong based on available ­infrastructure .

For example, to alleviate traffic on Conduit Road, all new residential developments should only have large flats catering to high-net-worth users.

Also, mass developments should only be located around MTR stations and roads that can ­accommodate a high volume of traffic.

Every year we see more millionaires in Hong Kong, so the demand is there for larger flats. There are many billionaires and too few homes available on The Peak. So we need to build more housing that can cater to such people. With no more room on The Peak, Conduit Road is the next best place to build luxurious homes. And, as I said, urban planners should focus on areas around MTR stations for mass residential projects and ­low-income housing.

This can help to ease traffic congestion problems and create an environment where people from all classes can enjoy their own private space.

With this kind of policy, the city can keep attracting ultra- wealthy mainlanders to invest and the government will continue to enjoy a lot of revenue from the higher stamp duty they have to pay. This money can then be redistributed to help the rest of society.

Rishi Teckchandani, Mid-Levels

Candidates must address major issues

Peter Guy (“How should Hong Kong ‘drain the swamp’?” March 13) said it best when writing about the chief executive election: “I’ve seen more passionate interviews for the ­manager position of a ­convenience store”.

There are real issues at play this year that most Hong Kong people want and deserve to hear about. These involve ever-spiralling real estate costs, basic living expenses, the welfare of senior citizens, lack of a coherent ­future vision that its citizens and residents can get behind, and the list goes on.

Instead, so far, this election seems to be between one candidate who doesn’t know how to find toilet paper, and another who grossly underestimated his own budget forecasts year in and year out. That is when he wasn’t initiating a food truck scheme that’s mired in government red tape.

The press has a real role to play here too. With just over a week to go, creating headlines about whether a candidate will or won’t resign based on public opinion, if they are elected, is the equivalent of asking someone what they will do if they win the Mark Six lottery. It’s needless ­speculation.

It’s time for these chief executive candidates to provide substantial answers to major questions without talking down to or belittling Hongkongers as underlings in their plush court.

It’s also time for the press in the city to demand more substantial answers to major quality of life issues that have gone ­unanswered for far too long.

Scott Murphy, Central

Give dolphins an expanded protection area

Researchers from the University of Hong Kong have found that the Chinese white dolphins in the Pearl River estuary face a much greater threat of ­extinction than had been thought.

The study found the dolphin population is decreasing by 2.5 per cent annually, because the government is not providing enough protective marine areas so they can have a safe habitat.

Major infrastructure projects put them at risk, such as the third runway and a new artificial island.

The government has to do more to protect our precious marine ecosystems.

The protected marine areas earmarked for the dolphins must be expanded substantially.

Ivan Tsoi, Po Lam

Get message across about cyberbullying

We all benefit a lot from the internet. It helps us to quickly access information and keep in touch with family and friends.

However, it also has a downside and one negative aspect, especially for young people, comes in the form of cyberbullying. It can start because two adolescents have a falling out and one of them decides to exact their revenge online.

This is a growing problem and the government must act. Schools can organise events where, in a relaxed setting, youngsters learn about the terrible damage done if they get ­involved in cyberbullying.

Lynette Tang Wing-yan, Tseung Kwan O

Food truck operators point out problems

The two-year food truck pilot scheme has hit some snags.

One of its aims is to attract tourists, but its prices are higher for the local food it sells than ­restaurants serving similar fare.

Some truck operators have complained of low turnover and one has withdrawn from the scheme. Capital Cafe, which pulled out, had requested the Tourism Commission for a rent exemption, as it was afraid it would lose money.

But the commission refused to do so, arguing the rents were low and a lot less than what restaurants. It also turned down the request for the trucks to have greater flexibility. Capital Cafe had wanted to be able to go to any of the eight ­designated areas for food trucks.

Under the present system, trucks are stationed at one site for two weeks before ­rotating.

I think in the short term these trucks can boost tourism, but I can also see them creating ­problems, including generating greater pollution in some areas.

The government needs to do some fine tuning and tackle any problems that it thinks have arisen and that have been ­pointed out by the food truck operators.

Suki Lee, Hang Hau