Letters to the Editor, September 22, 2017
Independence activists must not be abusive
I agree with Tian Feilong about the advocacy of Hong Kong independence (“Zero tolerance”, September 15).
The pro-independence camp caused a brouhaha with controversial posters advocating Hong Kong independence at Chinese University. In addition a callous message was posted at the Education University to the education undersecretary who had just lost her son, and activists shouted insults at mainland students. These were not the first such provocative actions in recent years, and I, like many other people in Hong Kong, have been outraged by them.
Whether or not advocating Hong Kong independence accords with the Basic Law, the behaviour of a considerable number of pro-independence advocates should be condemned. Free speech should not be equated to profane and derogatory language, bullying, or rioting; there are better ways to get your view across.
It is understandable that many Hongkongers may be angry with the government and the motherland, given certain events that have unfolded as well as a failure to resolve issues such as the housing crisis and growing wealth gap. However, besides supposedly exercising their right to free speech, as they may argue, how have any of the pro-independence camp’s actions been productive?
I fail to see how all the support for independence and anti-China rhetoric would help resolve anything. Like it or not, Hong Kong is an integral part of China, and becoming an independent state was never on the agenda for either the current government or the former colonial one, and never will be.
If we want the city to progress, we need to learn to work with the mainland rather than against it, otherwise the end result will forever be the same political mess that we’re currently in, if not worse.
Andrew Nunn, Stanley
Stop putting youngsters on a pedestal
Alex Lo is absolutely right in his column (“Professors reap the ideological whirlwind”, September 16), in particular his last paragraph saying that “our professors and administrators are usually too craven to do anything. Perhaps they deserve to be walked all over by their students.”
The seeds of showing disrespect and contempt by the students are sown by our university professors who are more concerned about their liberal image among their students.
Over the years, we have become a society of putting our youngsters on a pedestal and giving too much attention to their feelings and rights without demanding responsibilities and respect from them in return.
To nurture our youngsters into becoming caring, respectful and civil individuals must be the first and most important task of our educators. This is really needed in our society now.
Cecilia Clinch, Mid-Levels
Impose total ivory trade ban before 2021
I find it astonishing that in the 21st century the ivory trade is still legal in Hong Kong.
The Legislative Council agreed to a total ivory trade ban by 2021, but the government should speed up the process and set an earlier date to outlaw the buying and selling of ivory products.
It should follow the example of the central government, which will make the entire trade illegal by the end of this year.
How will a visitor respond to this difference – that the rest of China bans ivory and this international city hangs on for another four years and is, in effect, encouraging elephant poachers? Implementing a ban earlier than 2021 will hurt these criminals as they will lose another lucrative market, along with the one on the mainland.
But if the 2021 date remains unchanged, they will shift their focus to Hong Kong, leading to an expansion of the local ivory trade. We must all work together to save our planet and that includes ending the poaching of endangered species.
Stephen Leong, Fanling
Waste paper collectors in city need help
Cardboard collectors in Hong Kong have struggled as the prices paid by recycling operators for waste paper have dropped.
These collectors are really struggling to get by and many of them are elderly and frail, such as an 89-year-old woman you reported on, who has been collecting cardboard in Causeway Bay for years.
She lives with her son in a subdivided flat, which costs HK$6,000 a month. It is very difficult for her to make ends meet, especially now with the drop in prices.
Surely, the government could and should be doing more to help these elderly citizens so that their lives are not so difficult. It could offer them guaranteed higher prices for waste paper, even if market prices have dropped, because the waste paper is not being accepted at the moment by mainland recycling firms.
In fact, all citizens should be aware of their plight and we should be willing to give them a helping hand.
Yoyo Tsoi, Tseung Kwan O
Technology classes should be on syllabus
I understand why new research would show that the prospects of Hong Kong students are not as good as their peers in Singapore and South Korea (“HK students ‘not prepared for future’ ”, September 20).
They concentrate their studies on revising for the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) exam, but this means they have a narrow focus. Therefore they are not well prepared for adult life in a society where technology will be dominant.
There is still too much rote learning for the DSE exam. Schools should be trying to broaden horizons and get students to develop their creative, leadership, digital and technical skills.
These are skills they really need if they are to succeed in the workplace of the future and if Hong Kong is to remain competitive in the region.
Crystal Li Wing-yan, Tsz Wan Shan