Letters to the Editor, April 3, 2017

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 April, 2017, 4:12pm
UPDATED : Monday, 03 April, 2017, 4:12pm

Chief executive choice ignored public opinion

Your correspondent, Kristiaan Helsen (“Carrie Lam will make a good chief executive”, March 27), refers to the central ­government’s August 31, 2014 (“831”) proposal for electing the chief executive as a “compromise”. Where exactly did he get that from? The 831 decision was ­imposed by a central government that places “national ­security” (a.k.a the survival of the Communist Party) above anything else.

In the months that followed 831, multiple – mostly minor – tweaks and concessions were sought from the central government, but it budged not one millimetre. How could ­anyone define that as a “compromise”?

One of the main arguments of 831 proponents at the time was the nominating committee for the chief executive couldn’t ignore popular opinion when choosing candidates, as doing so would weaken the mandate of the eventual winner.

The Election Committee, which under 831 would have been entirely replicated and ­renamed the “Nominating Committee”, has just completely ignored popular opinion by selecting Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor instead of John Tsang Chun-wah as chief executive of Hong Kong. Empirical evidence has thus proved that the proponents’ claims were complete rubbish then and are complete rubbish now.

Lee Faulkner, Lamma

Left puzzled by reaction to election rivals

I wish to express some thoughts on the recent chief executive election. When Carrie Lam, who was chief secretary under current Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, said she would run for the top job, the people of Hong Kong said she was CY 2.0, and more CY than CY himself.

Her rival for the office of chief executive, John Tsang, was very popular with the people, ­because he always shared his views with the public and seemed open to new ideas.

Lam, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as popular, maybe because she lacked such people skills. As director of Social Welfare, she made some decisions that were unpopular, including controversial reforms such as tightening the social security ­assistance scheme. But a lot of Election Committee members supported her.

If we think about this more closely, we can see a strange thing happening. Why would people like Tsang and hate Lam? On national security legislation under Article 23, Lam said it would be necessary to bear in mind the possible social disruption and said the Basic Law should be implemented “from a comprehensive perspective”.

Tsang, on the other hand, wanted to revive the legislative work to implement Article 23.

So, I want to ask the people, why do you all hate Carrie Lam and like John Tsang?

When Lam got 777 votes to become the next chief executive, many Hongkongers made fun of this, as ‘seven’ in Cantonese can be used as a vulgar term.

But seven is also considered a number of wholeness and ­perfection by many Christians because it stands for the Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

I hope that Lam, as our next leader, can resolve the differences in society and with the mainland, and bring about a harmonious future.

Toby Tsoi, Tsueng Kwan O

Smartphone zombies hurt the city’s mage

I would like to express my ­concerns about “digital deadwalkers” around Hong Kong.

“Digital deadwalkers” are people who stare at their smartphones or other electronic gadgets while walking on the streets, without a care for pedestrian or road traffic. They often bump into people and cross streets without looking at the traffic lights. They are risking serious, even fatal, injury or accidents.

It could be fatal to just stare at your phone while crossing the street. I don’t think it is worthwhile to give up your life just ­because you can’t take your eyes off your gadget.

Moreover, their zombie-like behaviour damages the image of Hong Kong. Imagine what Hong Kong would look like if there were millions of “digital deadwalkers”. That would adversely impact the cultural image of Hong Kong. I think education is important to counter this problem, but perhaps legislation would be most effective, to make citizens develop self-discipline and a new habit of not using their phones on the streets.

Cain Lam, Tai Po

Digital addicts face serious health issues

I refer to the letter from Jasmine Cheung (“Smartphone overuse ruins relationships”, March 13).

She suggested that phone addiction can ruin relationships when one gives preference to the gadget over one’s partner. In fact, it can have many other damaging effects, such as ­impaired communication skills and serious health issues.

On social networking sites, people use abbreviations or emojis in place of actual words while chatting. But this form of communication is not always acceptable, especially in formal occasions. Phone addicts also have less face-to-face daily interactions, which lowers their social communication skills.

Moreover, overuse of mobile phones is associated with headaches, impaired memory and concentration, fatigue, dizziness and disturbed sleep from radiation poisoning. The visible effects can include “text claw”, “text neck”, or “cell phone elbow”. Smartphone addicts can also develop a phobia of being separated from their gadgets for any length of time.

Users should become aware of the damage smartphones can cause and avoid overuse.

Kenny Tong, Tseung Kwan O

People missing the point on priority seats

I wish to express my opinion about problems related to priority seats on our public transport.

These seats were introduced to help those in need and as a ­reminder to Hongkongers to give up their seats to the elderly, pregnant or disabled. It was a good idea, but has sparked a lot of problems. People are always arguing about who should occupy these seats, or why teenagers should not sit there. Some may take a photo of youngsters occupying such seats and post to Facebook, which then leads to a storm of online derision.

I believe such acts are ridiculous. We need to educate the people on why they must offer their seat to those that may need it more. Just look at Japan. Young people there give up their seats to the elderly all the time. So it is really a question of public education, not earmarked seats.

Cyrus Wong Chi Kwan, Po Lam