Letters to the Editor, June 2, 2017

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 June, 2017, 4:12pm
UPDATED : Friday, 02 June, 2017, 4:12pm

Government fails to respect LGBT rights

The landmark decision by ­Taiwan’s constitutional court on same-sex marriage represents a monumental moment in furthering equal rights for Taiwanese lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) citizens, and will resonate across Asia, especially the Greater China ­region.

The court’s eloquent reasoning affirms sexual orientation is “an immutable characteristic that is resistant to change” and the ban on same-sex marriage has no rational basis.

Unfortunately, we won’t see such a progression in Hong Kong any time soon. And recent developments have cast a negative light on equal rights in the so-called Asia’s world city.

As the city’s largest employer, the Hong Kong government had the opportunity to show leadership by implementing the recent High Court ruling on gay civil servants’ spousal benefits. Disappointingly, it decided to appeal the decision, and this essentially was a slap in the face for equality.

More unfortunately, we have some legislators who are oblivious to the injustice faced by the city’s sexual minorities. Instead of opening up their minds, they continue to peddle negative and intolerant views on gay rights, with intense fear-mongering.

One cannot help but wonder whether the government is ­serious about eradicating discrimination and promoting ­human rights for all.

Victorian morality belongs to a bygone era and has no place in contemporary society.

The ­human dignity of our gay citizens must not be trampled on, under any circumstances, and no matter who they love, they deserve to live their lives free from fear and ­discrimination.

Jerome Yau, Happy Valley

Updating your firewalls is very important

The WannaCry ransomware attack affected thousands of organisations and ­individuals ­globally.

It was able to spread so quickly because of a lack of up-to-date anti-virus software in the affected ­computers.

People need to update this kind of software so they have efficient firewalls in place. This will reduce the risk of being ­infected by this kind of malware in the future.

The Hong Kong government has to ensure it has taken all ­necessary measures to curb potential cyberattacks in the city.

Tracy Ho Kwai-tim, Kowloon Tong

India’s premier has delivered on his pledges

The Indian government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been in power for three years.

That is a long enough time to be able to judge its performance and if it has delivered on its promise to bring about revolutionary changes in almost all aspects of governance.

Modi has successfully raised the overall standards of governance across the country. Central ministers have been made fully aware that they need to perform to the best of their abilities. Institutions like Indian Railways and Air India, which have had a long-standing reputation for being lacklustre, are doing better. India continues to be among the best performing economies in the world.

Modi’s high-risk gamble with demonetisation of some banknotes did not shake the economic foundations of the country, as was widely expected.

On the flip side, social tensions have been on the rise during the last three years. India’s relations with its neighbours, in particular Pakistan and China, even if they have not worsened, have not shown a marked ­improvement.

A few of Modi’s pet projects like “Make in India” or the nationwide cleanliness drive have been very slow starters.

Given his powerful position, the onus is very much on Modi to deliver more on various fronts in his remaining two years as leader. It is widely expected that he will win the next general election, maybe with a larger parliamentary majority.

The whole nation will then be looking to him to put that mandate to good use and help raise India’s international ­profile.

Samir K. Jha, Quarry Bay

Housing and land problems must be solved

I agree with David Akers-Jones and his advice to the chief executive-elect (“Ex-chief secretary Akers-Jones urges Carrie Lam to get tough on land use”, May 21).

Our housing problems and shortage of land are the two ­biggest challenges faced by the present government and, unfortunately, it has failed to deal with them effectively.

The next administration must get the views of citizens and what they really want before it implements new policies. ­Solutions to the housing and land problems must be found.

Lam’s government will also have to deal with the problem of an ageing population. Many people have called for a ­universal retirement scheme, but I have doubts, if working people were charged higher ­taxes to pay for it.

The city does face a lot of problems, but I hope that the new government will be able to tackle them.

Anson Chan, Tseung Kwan O

Teach students about money management

I think that some Hong Kong people, especially the women, have unhealthy shopping habits. They could be described as shopaholics.

Also, with the development of new technology, shopping is even more convenient than it used to be as you can now shop online, especially on the really popular websites like Instagram and Taobao. Using the internet, you can purchase a whole range of products, including clothes, shoes, food and accessories.

That makes it easier for some people to get addicted. And this will cause financial problems if they are purchasing items that they cannot afford and get into debt.

Things will get worse if they take out loans to pay for their addictive behaviour and fail to heed the advice of ­concerned friends and relatives. We have to get to the root of the problem.

Schools should educate students about the importance of money management and saving money in an organised and ­sensible way. If they learn these important ­lessons at a young age, they are less likely when they grow up to develop a shopping addiction.

People can enjoy shopping if they exercise self-control.

Ng Kwan-yin, Yau Yat Chuen

Eco-friendly shopping good for the planet

I refer to the letter by Mandy Chan Sze-ki (“Some shoppers are harming environment”, May 16).

Many Hong Kong citizens buy too much, often purchasing things that they do not need and will probably not use and this creates a lot of waste.

I now try to buy less when I go shopping. When we shop, we ­often generate waste, especially with products with excessive packaging. We need to be more environmentally aware, because human activity is the main cause of climate change.

A lot of discarded plastic ends up in the world’s oceans.

We all have a responsibility to look after the environment and try to protect our planet or the consequences will be ­serious.

Mandy Yeung, Sheung Shui