Letters to the Editor, June 29, 2017

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 June, 2017, 4:25pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 June, 2017, 4:25pm

MPF reform a welcome move from CY Leung

Any analysis of the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) Scheme has concluded that its primary weakness is the offsetting process. This offsetting seriously dilutes MPF savings for many employees. In particular, it hurts the lower-paid employees that most need the support of MPF.

The Business and Professionals Federation (BPF) has always believed that any solution to this problem required concessions by the employers and from the employees, and a contribution of government funds. The proposal by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s government is a sensible compromise along these lines.

Some business chambers have responded by saying that society must reach a consensus. But, their proposal shows no willingness to compromise.

They do not seem to appreciate that failure to reform MPF will bring back calls for “universal pension” – a very poor idea for business. The unions, which should be pleased with Leung’s proposal, are still negative.

At the BPF, we strongly support Leung on this. The ­offsets must go in ­order to make MPF viable for most Hongkongers. At times the government cannot rule by consensus – it must make a decision. This is a good decision for Hong Kong.

Victor Apps, chairman, Study Group on Retirement Protection, Business and Professionals Federation of Hong Kong

No sharing involved in bike start-ups

All those fast-growing new ­companies, mostly on the mainland and now starting up also in Hong Kong, placing bikes for public usage at a fee, are described as bike-sharing schemes. In fact they are part of the vehicle rental industry.

A car rental is where one company purchases and owns cars for the purpose of renting them out, on a time basis and against rental fees. Car-sharing (like Uber) is where an individual purchases a car for their own usage, and later on shares the car by driving others (against fees).

Accordingly, there is now a fast-growing bike-rental industry. It has nothing to do with the car-sharing sector or with the regulatory issues that are ­plaguing companies like Uber.

Navis. I. Kim, Sha Tin

Levy licence fee to solve Uber problem

In response to the letter from ­Peter Forsythe (“Uber decision reveals public views ignored for sake of taxi coterie”, June 26), a simple solution exists for the Uber issue in Hong Kong.

The government should levy an Uber licence fee on each car used by the company for its Hong Kong service. This could be in the region of HK$2 million and paid by Uber when registering the driver’s car for its service.

This would then bring the service in line with the existing taxi service. Of course Uber will still have to insure the car and driver to cover any accidents.

If Uber does not want to do this, then it could be up to the driver to pay this fee.

When the car is withdrawn from Uber service and the ­government duly advised, the fee could be refunded.

Ian Johnston, Discovery Bay

Society must come together to give blood

Last month, the blood transfusion service of the Red Cross issued an urgent appeal for ­donors, as it faced a serious shortage.

The Red Cross is the only public ­institution providing blood to the city’s hospitals.

It is understandable that there are shortages when you consider the number of bags of blood needed for operations.

Recent stories on organ transplants have probably led to an increase in the number of people who are willing to join the organ donor register.

However, I doubt if there is a similar spike in the number of blood donors.

Hospitals need to have a ­sufficient supply and they must also have a back-up supply in case of a medical emergency, such as a lot of casualties in a major accident. We will all be at risk if the blood donor rate in Hong Kong does not ­increase.

I appreciate that organ donations save lives and people should register, but they should also be willing to donate blood and act as soon as ­possible.

William Law, Sau Mau Ping

Solid policies for minorities are a priority

I fully endorse the views of your correspondent ­Gizem Arat (“Social policies to foster ‘resilience’ would help ethnic ­minorities fit in”, June 21).

I am sure many readers are aware that the concerns that have been expressed by ethnic minorities in Hong Kong are real and should be taken seriously.

Solid and workable policies are needed to help ethnic ­minority citizens with regard, for example, to educational and employment opportunities.

In the field of education, this should extend to offering more ­postgraduate training.

I hope the new government will recognise the core issues that need to be addressed, and involve community leaders and the grass roots to make the ­necessary improvements.

Mohammad Ishaque, Chai Wan