Letters to the Editor, July 7, 2017

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 July, 2017, 4:45pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 July, 2017, 4:45pm

Talking is far better than sabre-rattling

Following the response by the US and Seoul to North Korea’s test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (“Seoul, US in missile tit-for-tat with North”, July 6), I agree with the stand taken by China and Russia.

Beijing and Moscow want to solve the North Korean missile crisis through negotiations ­involving the relevant parties.

I can understand why some countries are disconcerted by Pyongyang testing a long-range ballistic missile which could reach ­Alaska.

The missile drills by the US and South Korea were tantamount to provocation. If a ­conflict were to break out, many innocent civilians would die. I realise that an ambitious North Korea wants to develop more advanced weapons. However, it must realise the negative impact this has on other countries which then see it as a threat.

They, too, will increase the production of high-tech weapons. The fear is that a conflict could escalate to a point where nuclear weapons were used.

This is why all sides must seek a solution through negotiations. There is no guarantee of success, but history has shown that sitting down at a table and talking can avert war. Negotiations helped defuse the Cuban missile crisis.

Rainbow Or, Tseung Kwan O

Timetable can curb overuse of smartphones

Millions of people around the world, especially teenagers, ­cannot imagine life without their smartphones.

You see so many teenagers in Hong Kong looking at their smartphones all the time. While these devices can be very useful, youngsters have to realise the health risks from overuse. Spending long periods staring at such a small screen can cause eye strain.

I am also concerned about people of all ages who go out for meals with relatives and friends but ignore them, concentrating on their smartphones instead.

Youngsters need to exercise some form of time management and create a timetable for all their planned daily activities, ­including for using their mobile phones.

Parents must also teach their children not to play too many games on their smartphones.

Chan Sum-kiu, Tseung Kwan O

Constructive criticism is what matters

I refer to the dispute between RTHK and TVB (“Decision by TVB to pull Xi programme ­angers RTHK”, July 5).

I have to admit that I am ­puzzled by the continued existence of RTHK in Hong Kong. RTHK is totally financed with government money, yet it seems intent on trying its best to attack and ridicule the ­government in various ways.

There is a world of difference between this approach and its intended function.

That function, as a public service broadcaster, is to offer constructive criticism and ­monitoring government actions and policies.

Simon Yau, Kowloon City

Junk should be back in Ripley collection

I really enjoyed reading the ­article by Stephen Davies on the Mon Lei, a Chinese junk long ­associated with Robert Ripley (“It was Ripley’s, believe it or not ...”, July 2).

I have been on the boat, and last saw it only a few months ago. Yes, it is still in existence, and is undergoing fairly extensive ­repairs, with the intention of ­selling it back to Ripley’s.

Having been familiar with the boat for almost 40 years, I thought I had heard every story there was to hear, but much of Mr Davies’ story was news to me. I do not necessarily refute anything he says, but I would love to know his source for its ­origin, and the 1939 journey to America. Ripley’s had an odditorium display at the San Francisco World’s Fair at Treasure Island, so if Mr Davies’ account of the ship being there is true, I suspect it was there that Ripley first saw and heard of it, but it is strange he never mentioned it being there.

It does not show up in our ­records until 1945, and most of what has been mythologised about the boat, and how Ripley bought it, seems to stem from the Mystic Connecticut days of the 1950s, not when Ripley had it during his last years in the 1940s. It was Ripley’s greatest joy from 1945-49 and he sailed it ­almost daily, even using it to get to work.

Its life during his ownership is well documented, in print and in photos (housed in the Ripley archives). For many years I have considered it my mission to bring the Mon Lei back into the Ripley collection. Mr Davies’ ­article will come in handy, both in negotiations and hopefully later in any exhibition of this ­restored Hong Kong treasure.

Edward Meyer, vice-president, exhibits and archives, Ripley Entertainment Inc,

Orlando, Florida, US

Vigilance is essential with online dating

With advances in technology and the growth of the digital world, it seems only natural that online dating is becoming more popular.

However, people need to be more aware of the possible risks involved in using some of these websites. If cybercriminals have access to a dating website where people have provided personal information, such as bank ­account and ID card numbers, that data could be stolen. This could lead to them losing money.

If we all try to be more careful we can help to curb cybercrime. On dating websites, people must think twice before providing a potential date with, for example, your full name.

Also, if you are arranging to meet for the first time someone whom you have been touch with online, you should arrange for that first meeting to be in a ­public place. And you should ensure you know something about them, such as their name and age.

The priority for all internet users is to protect their privacy at all times, so they do not become victims of online theft.

Benson Wong Tat-hin,Tseung Kwan O