Letters to the Editor, July 4, 2017

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 July, 2017, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 July, 2017, 5:01pm

Why Zhuhai’s runway offer makes sense

The situation is serious. ­Between 2019 and 2020, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is projected to be too busy to launch new flights. Its third runway will not be ready until 2024 at the earliest, business jets that can be accommodated are already down to handful a day on some days.

Therefore, it is reassuring to know that Hong Kong cargo flights could be moved to ­Zhuhai, serving as a Hong Kong SAR airport to free up capacity at HKIA (“Zhuhai offers ‘fourth runway’ option to Hong Kong airport”, June 27). Connecting time between the two airports will be only 70 minutes, with dedicated roads connecting to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge. Compare that, for example, to the coach service ­between London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports, which takes an hour and 15 minutes.

Although some customs rules have yet to be overcome, this is unlikely to be an insurmountable obstacle, considering that bonded passenger coaches and cargo trucks regularly leave Hong Kong airport for Pearl River Delta cities.

Although Zhuhai has not yet been designated an international airport, it can be so designated without difficulty, if the policy decision to do so is taken as part of the Greater Bay Area development strategy; likewise, the inclusion of a Zhuhai international airport in the route schedules of dozens of Hong Kong’s bilateral air service agreements.

As 2019 is just around the corner, there is an urgent need for this offer by Zhuhai to be taken up and pursued by the ­relevant authorities.

Business jet movements, being non-scheduled services, do not have to be squared with the bilateral air service agreements, and so are the best candidates with which to get going. Business jet users wouldn’t mind paying for a helicopter ­service between Zhuhai airport and downtown Hong Kong where customs, immigration and quarantine services would not be so difficult to justify following the opening of the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal.

Peter Lok, Chai Wan

Voters knew what Trump would bring

Donald Trump is rude and crude, which is unnerving in a president, especially as Barack Obama was urbane and ­dignified.

And yet, those Americans who voted for him knew the ­candidate inside and out. They knew that they were voting for a loose cannon with little allegiance to the truth, and knew that they would be making ­excuses for his wayward tongue, tweets, tics and tirades.

Paul Bloustein, Cincinnati, Ohio, US

Ban will widen, rather than heal, divisions

I strongly disagree with US President Donald Trump’s travel ban on six Muslim-majority ­countries.

I think this kind of ban could undermine social harmony in America. Many people in the US had expressed their disagreement as soon as Trump tried to introduce the first version of the ban, shortly after taking office. They see it as racist and religiously divisive, and it could lead to families being kept apart.

His supporters might agree with his comments about the threat from Muslims and the need to keep the country safe.

While there is a threat from extremists, some Trump ­supporters might extend that level of mistrust to all Muslims and to all the citizens of the six ­nations affected by the ban.

This would be a very serious development, especially when what is needed is for ­people from different religions to ­communicate with each ­other.

I also believe the new version of the ban, which came into force last week, will damage America’s reputation.

Muslims living outside the US and other people from around the world will see it as a mean act by the US, and as an act of religious discrimination.

It might even ­affect US trade, and the US economy and Washington may find they do not enjoy the cooperation they had with some of America’s trading partners and allies.

I hope that Trump will ­reconsider this ban and think carefully about the consequences of his actions.

He should be trying to ­protect and enhance the reputation of America abroad, not damage it.

Margaret Kwan Yun-lam, Kwai Chung

Carrie Lam must win trust of youngsters

I wonder what we can expect of our new chief executive.

I think that Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor will have to learn how to win the trust of young people, and it will not be easy. She needs to understand that for youngsters, while having a decent place to live and job ­opportunities are important, they also care about ideals.

Now that she is chief executive, Lam will have to give up her civil service mentality. Her role is very different from when she was chief secretary – and she needs to realise this. She is ­expected not just to formulate policies, but lead the people, and instil hope and ­confidence in the future of the city. I hope this is the start of a new era.

Mandy Hui, Tseung Kwan O