Letters to the Editor, August 14, 2017
Bad manners a sign of deeper social malaise
I agree with what Peter Kammerer said in his column (“Rudeness in Hong Kong is off the rails”, August 1), that Hongkongers of all ages are becoming less polite.
I worked part-time in a restaurant this summer and it certainly changed my mindset.
I was taken aback by the selfish attitudes of some local parents who allowed their children to run around the premises. They just seemed to zone out, like there were no other diners there. I was impressed by the way mainland customers dealt with their children and ensured they were well behaved.
I think that rudeness has extended to all walks of life in this city and taxi drivers are a case in point.
As a student, I have had to face the negative attitudes of these cabbies when they refuse hires.
I am not saying that students are singled out. I am sure all readers have been on the receiving end of impoliteness at one time or another in this city.
I believe this is partly due to the high degree of negativity in Hong Kong and this can have an adverse effect on the next generation.
Some people might argue that the deterioration of manners is a result of citizens having to now live much more stressful lives.
There is no doubt that some individuals seem to have forgotten common decency and can at times be quite offensive.
Of course, people can be taught simple rules of etiquette, and be helped towards better behaviour. However, I think we should be looking at the reasons for these bad attitudes and recognising a deeper malaise in our society.
Maggie Tung, To Kwa Wan
RTHK forgets global links are important
RTHK recently announced it will replace the 24-hour BBC World Service relay with China National Radio to “enhance the cultural exchange between the mainland and Hong Kong”.
In addition to Hong Kong losing one of its only English radio stations, RTHK perhaps should think about our “cultural exchange” with the rest of the world.
Jonathan Collier, The Peak
City’s cultural heritage brings us together
I agree with Katrina Chan who expressed concern in her letter over the preservation of cultural relics in Hong Kong (“Lack of respect for our historic monuments”, August 5).
She felt that some of our heritage had been destroyed to further economic development.
We have to preserve what we have left, because it is part of our collective memory. We still have some important buildings from the colonial period, such as the Clock Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui, which was built during the first world war. Seeing structures like this and learning how and why they were built helps young people have a deeper understanding of our pre-handover history. This can help strengthen Hongkongers’ sense of community and belonging.
These historic landmarks are as important as similar edifices in other major cities, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or London Bridge. They are important tourist attractions and therefore they are engines of economic growth.
The government should do more to encourage residents to be aware of and cherish the city’s historic monuments. It can produce adverts on TV and social media. We all need to recognise the importance of revitalisation and preserving all our historic sites for future generations.This message must also be got across in schools.
Parents should take their children to these sites so they grow up appreciating them. Celebrities should also promote the importance of Hong Kong’s cultural heritage.
Stephanie Ip Ching, Sha Tin
Leaders rightly worried about dangerous Kim
The missile tests that have been undertaken by North Korea under the leadership of Kim Jong-un have affected countries in the region and beyond.
Heads of state around the world have described Kim as a very dangerous person and there is speculation that Pyongyang is ready to go to war if necessary with other countries.
US President Donald Trump has warned Kim against any offensive actions and the serious repercussions.
I do hope Kim will think carefully about his next step and avoid a conflict.
Daniel Yip Tsz-ho, Tseung Kwan O
Wrong to stop helpers from using air cons
There have been reports in the local press and on the BBC about Liberal Party district councillor Michael Lee raising concerns about restricted use of air conditioners imposed by some employers on their domestic helpers.
Such restrictions are not acceptable. The helpers come here to earn a living. During the summer, they are entitled to have air conditioning when they need it. I do not accept the argument that they come from less developed countries and may not have air cons back home. If there is a problem here, the government has to clarify the rights of employees. If contracts need to be made clearer, so be it.
Also, the standard employment contract guarantees that the helper must be given a place to stay, but is not more specific.
When you read about helpers being forced to sleep in bathrooms and on balconies, this is wrong. Their rights must be protected by legislation.
Ng Tsz-wing, Hang Hau