Letters to the Editor, May 4, 2017

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 May, 2017, 5:05pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 May, 2017, 5:05pm

Government needs to show it really cares

I believe, like Alex Lo (“Carrie Lam should heed the lessons of deadly riots that took place 50 years ago”, May 3), that the social problems Hong Kong is facing should be thoroughly considered by the government, as they will have an impact on the city’s future.

We are all aware that for some time now, Hongkongers have been absorbed by a variety of social problems, such as high property prices, poverty, and the widening wealth gap.

They are a cause of a great deal of social discontent in this city. Some people actually feel hatred towards the very rich and resent the government for not listening to their voices.

Leaders, past and present, have claimed they are doing their best to deal with these problems, but there has been no genuine alleviation of the plight of residents.

One of the main reasons we study history is to try to ensure we do not repeat the mistakes of the past, so that we can all face a brighter future. There is a lesson to be learnt from the large-scale riots of 1966 and 1967 – anger boiled over into violent protests over the then colonial administration’s inaction in dealing with the city’s deteriorating ­living and working conditions.

People resorted to violence in an effort to get the government to heed their demands. And some of our citizens ­today think they must adopt extreme measures to get the government to listen to them.

The way forward is obvious. As Martin Luther King Jr said: “Hate begets hate; violence ­begets violence; toughness ­begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love.”

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s government will have to show it cares about Hong Kong before it can be ­considered to have a legitimacy to rule.

It is easy for an administration to exercise power to get what it wants. But to use it to show it really cares is more difficult. We need a society where there is more love and care.

Chloe Chow, Tseung Kwan O

Blame game on election is misguided

I am writing in response to the letter from Cecilia Clinch (“Pan-democrats ­undermined voting reform”, April 25).

If only the government had been as keen as your correspondent and me to stop the public from being misled by lawmakers backing John Tsang Chun-wah’s claim that his defeat in the chief executive election was due to the lack of universal suffrage.

Legislators such as James To Kun-sun have equated universal ­suffrage with direct elections (without the nomination ­committee), instead of the reality of the nomination committee acting in accordance with the Basic Law.

Had people not been misled in this way, there would not have been as much misplaced ­sympathy with the ridiculous 79-day Occupy Central ­campaign of 2014.

Peter Lok, Chai Wan

Filibustering wasteful and irresponsible

When filibuster tactics are adopted in the Legislative Council chamber, it leads to legislation being delayed and millions of taxpayers’ dollars being wasted.

I do not understand why some lawmakers act so irresponsibly. They are elected to represent the interests of their voters, not introduce countless meaningless amendments to slow down the legislative ­process.

Filibustering has been ­particularly bad in the public works subcommittee.

When funding for projects is delayed, many construction workers face the grim prospect of being laid off.

The pan-democrats are abusing their power in Legco. There must be changes to procedures in Legco in an effort to rein in filibustering.

Billy Sit, Tseung Kwan O

Bike-sharing scheme faces uphill battle

The new bike-sharing scheme which has just been launched in Hong Kong follows a global trend, as such initiatives ­are now increasingly popular.

However, the operators here are experiencing some difficulties (“Newly launched Hong Kong bike-sharing app has bumpy start with damaged rides and security fears”, April 24).

Some of the bikes were found dumped in a river in Sha Tin. The bike sharing is only on offer in the New Territories. People in urban areas such as Kowloon and Hong Kong Island cannot use it. And with a chronic shortage of land and therefore limited available bike-parking spaces, I do not see how it can be expanded. Some people will just dump bikes on the already ­overcrowded streets.

These problems need to be solved if the scheme is to be ­successful.

Virginia Chu Lok-lam, Kowloon Tong

Disneyland should have unique appeal

Concern has been expressed by citizens about the expansion plans of Disneyland (“Hongkongers will have to pay HK$5.45 billion for major ­expansion of Disneyland”, May 2).

They say it is not an equal partnership between the Hong Kong government and the Walt Disney Company. I doubt if it is worth spending billions of ­dollars in taxpayers’ money on this expansion ­programme.

Many citizens see it as a loss-making enterprise, and it has ­become less popular with mainland and Hong Kong visitors, as well as other tourists.

If it wants to convince sceptics that it is worth the added ­investment, Disney has to make substantial improvements to its attractions and offer something that is truly unique. Otherwise, I think it will struggle to survive in the face of competition from the two other Disneylands in the ­region, in ­Tokyo and Shanghai.

Hong Kong Disneyland must include special ­elements which ­integrate aspects of our local culture.

Carol Mo Ka-wai, Tseung Kwan O

Audience etiquette has key role in arts

Ken Chu, in his plea for an early completion of Kowloon Cultural District (“Deserving home for the arts”, April 30), acknowledges the Achilles heel of the project.

He says: “At the end of the day, artists need an audience who can appreciate and ­respond to their work.”

I recently took two friends from the Netherlands to an excellent concert at the Cultural Centre concert hall by the Hong Kong Philharmonic (“Jaap & Ning Feng”).

My friends were astounded by a number of things – the small size of the venue; the fact that it was not sold out; the presence of numerous young, ­fidgeting, or sleeping children, and the disrespectful behaviour of the audience (entering late, leaving early or during the ­concert).

I wonder where the respectful and appreciative audiences are hiding to fill the new concert halls Mr Chu mentions.

Josephine Bersee, Mid-Levels