Letters to the Editor, July 28, 2017

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 July, 2017, 4:38pm
UPDATED : Friday, 28 July, 2017, 4:38pm

Immigration arrangement makes sense

The Hong Kong government’s plan to allow mainland immigration officers to be stationed at the new West Kowloon terminal for high-speed trains to the mainland is a sensible one.

This would enable people leaving Hong Kong to clear immigration before departure, so they can arrive at their mainland destination without further ­bureaucracy.

This idea may be modelled on what is done in Canada. It has US immigration officers stationed at its major airports (such as Toronto and Vancouver) processing passengers ­departing to US destinations only.

Thanks to this, people leaving Canada can arrive in dozens of American cities without ­further formalities.

This arrangement works well and no concerns have been raised in Canada.

However, in Hong Kong there are those who oppose a similar arrangement. They feel it is somehow contrary to “one country, two systems“ whereas in Canada and the US (clearly two separate countries) this is not seen as a problem. It is seen there as simply a matter of efficiency and convenience for travellers.

There are many important issues that need to be discussed in Hong Kong, for example, the quality of housing, which is abysmal for such a rich city.

The government should not be supported on everything. However, it is right on the West Kowloon checkpoint and ­deserves our support. Let’s give this plan our backing and then move on to more important issues.

Peter H. Y. Wong, chairman, Business and Professionals Federation of Hong Kong

City needs more public hospitals

As you have highlighted in a number of reports, public hospitals are having to cope with serious overcrowding during the peak summer flu season.

Waiting times for patients are long and this is unlikely to improve in the coming weeks. While private hospitals are now sharing the burden (“St Teresa’s takes its first patients in flu relief plan”, July 27), this overcrowding problem shows that there are simply not enough public hospitals in Hong Kong.

Many citizens have no choice but to use the public sector as they cannot afford the high fees charged by private hospitals and so they have to put up with the long queues. Even an increase in the fee for treatment at A&E units has not eased the overcrowding.

What St Teresa’s is doing helps, but it does not solve the real problem. The government must construct more public hospitals and improve facilities in existing ones. The Hospital Authority’s budget must be ­increased, so that all citizens can get the help they need.

There must be more courses and places at medical schools, to deal with the shortage of doctors and nurses. When there are so many patients to see and not enough staff to deal with them, mistakes are made, which can have serious consequences.

The public deserves to have better medical services.

Ruby Ho Sum-yu, Kwai Chung

GPO building in Central will be no great loss

I think legislative councillor Tanya Chan is being a bit naive when she says that the threatened post office headquarters in Central, while not a monument, is “part of Hong Kong people’s collective history” (“Last post nears for GPO building in offices move”, July 22).

When it comes to fond ­memories, it would be a different matter if we were talking about the magnificent old general post ­office which was located at the junction of Des Voeux Road and Pedder Street (demolished in 1976), or similar important heritage buildings that have all gone, such as the Lane Crawford building.

Joseph Ng, North Point

Stress levels high for many youngsters

Children in Hong Kong now have less available time to play, because they have so many demands on their time, including homework and tutorial classes.

Because of this, more children are suffering from mental health problems as too much work leaves them stressed out and ­unhappy.

Often, they are under so much pressure because their parents push them too hard, wanting them to get a place at a university and then a top job. Psychological problems can follow them into their adult lives.

The government needs to get the message across to these parents that exam marks are not the most important thing in the lives of their sons and daughters. Education is not just about academic studies, but learning life skills, such as forming good ­relationships between people.

Also, parents should allow their teenage children the freedom to plan their own future, especially if they do not feel they are cut out for university. Finally, parents must be able to act as suitable role models for their children.

Chow Ka-wing, Kwai Chung

Crack down on drivers who block crossings

The Hong Kong government is on a roll with fining jaywalkers and illegal parking.

However, I wish it would also do something about the impatient drivers who cannot wait to surge ahead when it is obvious the cars up front are at a standstill.

They then stop on the yellow ­pedestrian crossing when the lights are green for pedestrians.

It is difficult enough to cross in Central at lunchtime with so many people packing the streets. To then have to squeeze in ­between cars letting off toxic fumes, because the crossing is obstructed by drivers who should not be there, is simply unacceptable.

If only the government would install cameras to monitor these impatient, rude drivers it would make a lot more money than fining jaywalkers. People do this ­because they have found it ­difficult to use the obstructed pedestrian crossings.

Beth Narain, Sai Ying Pun