Letters to the Editor, August 27, 2017
Jailed activists campaigning for HK’s future
Regarding the jailing of the three pro-democracy students, Joshua Wong Chi-fung, Alex Chow Yong-kang and Nathan Law Kwun-chung, I note the comments of Court of Appeal vice-president Wally Yeung Chun-kuen.
He slammed the “‘unhealthy trend’ in which intellectuals advocated the idea of civil disobedience” (“Jailing of trio ‘will deter others from joining protest’”, August 18). He also criticised the perpetrators of law-breaking acts as seeing these acts as something to be proud of.
I disagree with the judge. These three activists were campaigning for Hong Kong’s future; they had nothing to gain personally. They are concerned that the government continues not to listen to the voices of democracy. I accept they broke the law, but they should be proud of the stand they have taken.
The judge talks about an unhealthy trend for teens, but it is clear young people are concerned about political developments here.
Emily Leung, Tseung Kwan O
Seeing loss of BBC station in negative light
I, along with other correspondents, am deeply disappointed by the government’s decision to cease digital broadcasting and replace the BBC World Service feed on analogue channel AM675 with China National Radio (CNR) in Putonghua.
The World Service has been aired in Hong Kong since 1978, whereas CNR only arrived with digital broadcasting in 2010.
An RTHK executive says it is necessary to keep broadcasting CNR because it was “tailor-made” for RTHK when it introduced digital radio and “can enhance the cultural exchange between the mainland and Hong Kong” (“Digital audio broadcast dies as RTHK bows out”, August 12).
RTHK executives may choose only to see such harmonious virtues, but I see the replacement of one of the world’s most popular and respected English programming stations by a Putonghua channel from one of the world’s most censored and controlled media sources as another small step down the road that the movie Ten Years pointed towards. The move could also be seen negatively in light of our government lashing out at foreign media criticism of the Court of Appeal’s re-sentencing and jailing of Joshua Wong and two other Occupy activists. I doubt we shall hear much on CNR about that inharmonious story.
Of course, if the government hadn’t been so slow to introduce digital radio (15 years later than the UK), maybe the disastrous failure, which has wasted many millions of taxpayers’ dollars, might not have come about.
John Andrews, Lamma
Many people still working during storm
Like many Hongkongers, I enjoyed a day off work because of Typhoon Hato on Wednesday.
However, apart from the many medical staff in hospitals, and policemen who were there to protect lives and maintain law and order, in my housing estate, many people still had to go to work. Fast food outlets, supermarkets and convenience stores stayed open.
I thank them from the bottom of my heart for making my life convenient and comfortable that day.
Many people like me enjoyed their services while these workers had to brave the winds and rain, and even risk their safety to come to work, not to mention the difficulty of commuting with most public transport cancelled.
I hope they got double pay. All these typhoon workers should be well compensated for coming in on Wednesday. But in future, except for emergency services staff, I hope these other employees can be spared having to go to work during a typhoon.
L. Kwok, Lam Tin
Toll chaos on airport road inexcusable
The Transport Department has yet again shown its incompetence (“Officials admit failings after toll chaos on airport road link”, August 22). A day after a new toll arrangement caused chaos, it said the problem had been solved, but that is not the point.
As a world city, the traffic congestion should not have happened in the first place on the way to the airport.
One performance indicator for staff is foresight.This seems to be totally lacking in the department and we end up with an embarrassment.
A. Wilson, Tuen Mun
Housing policy must take long-term view
Despite more flats being built every year, property prices remain high in Hong Kong. Citizens struggle to pay the high prices and rents in the city and face a heavy financial burden.
Skyrocketing rents adversely affect the quality of life of many people, especially those on low incomes.
One solution is to provide more public housing, but demand is outstripping supply and so families from the grass roots face a wait of 41/2 years or more before getting an apartment in a public estate.
The situation is made worse by well-off investors from the mainland buying flats here and this leads to the property market overheating. This is an inevitable consequence of China’s rapid economic development.
A piecemeal approach is not going to be effective. The government must come up with a comprehensive long-term strategy to deal with our housing woes. If it fails to do this, it could weaken the stability of the administration.
Yuki Lam Yuk-yu, Kowloon Tong