Letters to the Editor, April 14, 2017
Cut food waste by changing bad habits
I am concerned about the huge quantities of municipal solid waste that are being dumped in our landfills every day. Food waste is a global problem and in Hong Kong all citizens have a responsibility to address it.
So much of this waste is caused by overconsumption. Most people can afford to buy whatever they want and often buy too much and then discard a lot of the food that is not eaten.
People should think more carefully about what they really need and make a list before they go shopping. They should ask themselves if any leftovers can be frozen rather than simply discarding them. Also, some products are safe to eat after the expiry date as long as you are careful.
Restaurants and supermarkets must also make a bigger effort to dump less food. Items which they cannot use but are still safe to eat should be given to NGOs which make meals for the needy. The government has to build more plants that convert food waste into fertiliser.
If we all work together, we can reduce the enormous volumes of waste we presently generate and put less pressure on our landfills.
Lau Hoi-lam, Yau Yat Chuen
City reaps financial gain from Sevens
Peter Kammerer (“What does HK 7s have to do with Hongkongers?”, April 10) seems to think that there should be a direct link with a city’s populace and large, public events.
He writes that the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is “disconnected from the general population of Hong Kong”.
He maintains that the spectators at the great sporting event represent “a narrow sector of the community”. So what? Does every public event have to appeal to every member of the community?
The spectators may indeed be from one particular demographic, but so what? The city invests in the Sevens for some reason; most likely it reaps a financial benefit.
However, finance should not be the only consideration. Living in a multicultural city like Hong Kong is an opportunity to experience different lives, without ever having to leave home.
Peter Russell, Lai Chi Kok
Noisy game was too much for spectators
A children’s game booth was set up at the top of aisles 101/102 at the East Stand during this year’s Rugby Sevens.
This game called “Win and Cheer” created tremendous noise pollution as children with microphones shouted loudly and the noise echoed.
We have always loved coming to the Sevens, but this time the noise from the booth was unbearable and all the fans around shared our view.
We complained to stewards, but nothing was done and eventually we had to find other seats.
I urge the Hong Kong Rugby Union to have a rethink for next year’s tournament and ensure this noisy game is not at that location. It should be away from the stands, preferably in a sound-proofed environment.
Theresa Cheung , Sai Kung
Police must crack down on ticket touts
I was able to attend the Rugby Sevens this year, due to the fact that the son of a friend who stays with us plays for England and I accompanied him.
Although a long-time Hong Kong resident and an avid supporter of the Sevens, this was about my only chance of getting a ticket. I was, therefore, appalled by the number of touts and tickets openly on sale from the second I stepped out of the MTR station. I assume most of these tickets are complimentary, like mine, and find their way to what would appear to be a huge and lucrative black market.
Touts are supposed to be illegal yet the police stand by and watch them at work. Is there no way that these parasites can be detained by police until Sunday night of the Sevens weekend, and the tickets confiscated and sold to people holding Hong Kong identity cards with all proceeds going to charity?
Apart from the above, I have to congratulate all involved for one of the finest sporting events in the world.
John Dainton, Pok Fu Lam
Free up public flats for those who need them
The waiting time to get a public housing flat has increased over the last 12 months. Thousands of families now face an average wait of over 41/2 years. Although the government has adopted policies aimed at solving Hong Kong’s housing problems in the long term, they are inadequate. And in the short term, the administration cannot cope with the rising demand for public housing.
It should be working with developers to try and solve these problems. Developers should be releasing more land from their land banks at a faster rate so that the government can accelerate its public estate-building programme.
It should modify the criteria for those eligible for public housing, as some better-off citizens can afford to apply for the Home Ownership Scheme.
Also, the Housing Authority must crack down on well-off tenants who are no longer entitled to public flats, freeing them for those on the waiting list.
There is clearly more the government could do to reduce the long wait people face to get a public flat.
Chow Ka-wing , Kwai Chung
Tough job to try and rebuild confidence
I was shocked to read about the passenger, an Asian American doctor, who was dragged off a United Airlines flight in Chicago, because the airline had overbooked it.
One passenger said the doctor told a crew member he felt he “was being singled out because he was a Chinese man”.
This incident will definitely have harmed the reputation of United Airlines, especially as the passenger was left bleeding and was admitted to hospital.
This is not a quality of service issue, it goes beyond that.
It is about the necessity of civilised behaviour being practised by all airlines when it comes to dealing with their customers, whatever their race and no matter what country they come from.
The option chosen by the airline to deal with the overbooking situation can never be considered acceptable.
As a Chinese, I was upset by the incident and hope the airline takes concrete action to ensure something like this never happens again.
Kelly Lo Ka-wai, Ho Man Tin
Church on mainland is resilient
Those of us who recall the horrors of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s could not have envisaged the resilience of the Protestant Church in the midst of the Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown on religious freedom.
After all, the mainland was verboten to foreigners in those days.
Now, a half century later, the church in China appears to be growing by leaps and bounds, despite the party’s efforts to eradicate every vestige of Christianity through its anti-church campaign.
Unlike the church in the United States and Europe, the Chinese church is vibrant and thriving, even in the midst of unspeakable persecution.
China is going through rapid changes, but despite the best efforts of the party, the church on the mainland will continue to evolve.
Brian Stuckey, Denver, Colorado, US