Letters to the Editor, August 23, 2017
Protest shows deep divisions in HK society
The jailing of the three prodemocracy activists, Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Alex Chow Yong-kang, led to a large march on Sunday to protest against the sentences.
Even though the Hong Kong government has insisted there was no political motivation behind the Department of Justice’s call for a sentence review when they were earlier spared jail terms, the thousands who took to the streets were not convinced.
This protest shows that the differences between many citizens and the government are serious.
Sometimes, I feel that protesters are not opposed to all government polices. However, they get frustrated, because they feel they voices are being ignored.
They want a platform where they can express their views and where the government actually listens to what they are saying.
The department and top officials should have thought more carefully about the implications of their actions, before asking for a review of sentencing.
Trying to develop a useful dialogue with Hong Kong citizens is one of the biggest challenges that the government will face.
Cherry Hung, Tseung Kwan O
Youngsters’ warped view of martyrdom
The various forms of bad-mouthing by local opposition groups, a US Congressional panel and The New York Times over the jailing of the Occupy trio and 13 other activists, were the expected reaction to the government finally putting its foot down.
They talked of “political persecution to curtail freedom of speech” and “suppression of dissent by prisoners of conscience”.
I agree with Alex Lo’s column (“The real criminals behind the Occupy trio”, August 19).
Far too many youngsters have been misled into believing that they are self-sacrificing martyrs seeking to gain freedom and democracy for the ignorant silent majority among us.
However, there is a hidden agenda – to stir up enough unrest in Hong Kong so as to result in a local “Tiananmen”, to invite foreign intervention to cut off Hong Kong from China.
I hope the people behind this jailed Occupy trio will soon be brought to justice.
Peter Lok, Chai Wan
Original punishment was too lenient
The international press has a jaundiced view of Hong Kong.
The imprisonment of Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Alex Chow is not “the latest sign of Beijing”s clampdown on dissent” as the Financial Times claimed.
The public outcry by the vast majority of Hong Kong people in reaction to the ridiculously lenient sentences originally handed down was echoed by the courts.
They used the judicial appeal system to legally re-examine the facts and hand down sentences that reflected the violent acts these three perpetuated and encouraged others to do.
There has been no “transparent attempt under pressure from Beijing”, simply the use of our courts to fit the punishment to the crime. Hong Kong remains a city where the rule of law prevails, independently.
Mark Peaker, The Peak
Pokemon is still attracting large crowds
While walking along the waterfront on Thursday, my way was blocked by a lot of pedestrians playing Pokemon Go.
Last summer, this virtual reality game took the world by storm, but it was thought it would just be a short-lived fad and would soon die out. However, the creators of this game have introduced upgrades which keeps users interested, hence the large crowd.
I did not mind them being there, as they were just enjoying themselves. I think the game can be good for families, bringing people of different generations together to play. However, people need to remember that it is just a game to be enjoyed.
Like other internet activities, there is always the risk of becoming addicted. And, at all times, users have to think about other pedestrians in order to avoid accidents.
Kelvin Ng, Ma On Shan
Get tough with landlords of cubicle flats
Many citizens are forced to rent low-priced subdivided units, because flats in residential blocks and even studio space for working are far too expensive. But many of these cubicle apartments are located in old industrial buildings and do not have the fire safety equipment installed or fire exits that are statutory requirements.
This means there is a greater risk of an accident, including a fire, in one of these old factories than in residential and office blocks where all fire safety regulations have been obeyed.
If these subdivided units are to be with us in the city for the forseeable future, then the relevant government departments must ensure that landlords comply with the fire safety laws. Officers must be allowed to enter any of these buildings to undertake safety checks. All renovation work must be approved by them.
If the current ordinances do not allow them to enter these buildings, then the law must be changed. All these buildings must have such things as fire escapes, proper ventilation systems, emergency lighting and sprinkler systems, which can all help to save lives.
It is important that all old industrial buildings are upgraded to the necessary safety standards.
Kong Lok-son, Tseung Kwan O