Letters to the Editor, December 11, 2017
MTR’s track record is not impressive
Some MTR Corporation construction projects are not going as smoothly as planned and costing a lot more than was estimated (“Cost of Sha Tin-Central rail link balloons to HK$87 billion, making it the most expensive rail project in Hong Kong history”, December 6).
Most commuters use the rail system to get to work and the network keeps expanding. The latest cost overrun is the link between Sha Tin and Central.
Work at some locations has been disrupted and delayed for various reasons including “unfavourable ground conditions” and discovering heritage sites. Delays and increased costs are proving controversial.
When these problems do arise I feel that the MTR Corp is sometimes less than forthcoming about the causes and reluctant to take the blame. I sometimes sense there is a passing of the buck which is not acceptable.
With more lines planned, the corporation must learn to be more open and let the public know about any problems it is facing promptly, including delays and cost overruns.
The corporation has a duty to provide the best possible service to the citizens of Hong Kong.
Kyle Wong, Kwai Chung
Bright neon signs part of unique culture
I admire the efforts of one of the city’s last neon sign makers (Wu Chi-kai) as he is using his creative skills to continue to make his own designs (“The bright stuff: shining example of neon master”, November 21).
These unique neon signs are part of the city’s culture, but are being replaced by LED lights. However, Wu has refused to give up and keeps going forward with his neon designs.
He will not abandon his craft even though it is dying out in the city. Wu is always trying to get the right mix of colours, which is not easy to achieve. His perseverance is inspiring for youngsters, showing that despite the obstacles he faces, he keeps on plying his trade.
These neon signs are an integral part of the culture of Hong Kong and I hope people will try to learn more about them. They are part of the shopping experience for many people, whether they are locals or visitors.
Rachel Shek, Yau Yat Chuen
Victims need help so they can speak out
I refer to the article about local top athlete Vera Lui (“ ‘Speaking up is my birthday present to myself,’ Hong Kong hurdler says of sex abuse revelation”, November 30).
Her plight highlights the need for more to be done to stop young people being sexually harassed and in some cases assaulted. There are victims of primary and secondary school age.
Lui rightly makes the point that youngsters have nothing to be ashamed about and should feel free to speak out if they have been victims. However, the best ways to ensure more young victims do come forward is through education. Many of these young people are not just upset but confused when they are harassed in this way and education can help them.
As Lui points out she “didn’t sense anything wrong at that moment”. A lack of the right kind of education and guidance can leave young victims confused.
A dedicated group should be set up in every school in Hong Kong, comprising teachers and social workers, which deals with sexual harassment and abuse.
It would provide education and guidance and pupils would be encouraged to approach its members if they have had a problem.
They would probably feel more comfortable talking to these people than to the police. It is important is to raise levels of awareness.
Margaret Kwan Yun-lam, Kwai Chung
Increase birth rate by offering tax breaks
I agree that more must be done to enable Hong Kong to deal effectively with its ageing population.
Of course, I appreciate there are other important issues that have to be dealt with, such as the shortage of affordable housing and the extreme disparity between the rich and the poor. But if there is no increase in the birth rate the problem of a greying population will get worse.
Officials must draft policies that encourage young couples to start a family. One way to do this would be to offer financial incentives, such as income tax breaks and subsidies for buying things like baby clothes.
Vanessa Wong, Lantau
Technology know-how could be better
I can understand why Singapore is considered to be a much smarter city than Hong Kong in the global technology rankings.
One reason is that many Hongkongers do not seek to raise their level of technological know-how.
Contrast this with Singapore and its efforts to raise knowledge with a smart-nation initiative. Hong Kong has still to come up with a smart city initiative so it is no wonder it is trailing.
The Hong Kong government has squandered funds that could have been spent on developing new technology and education, instead wasting them on projects like Disneyland, so it is hardly surprising we have fallen behind.
If there is a greater level of public awareness then people are likely to make the effort to become more knowledgeable. The best way to achieve this in schools is through promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education. This also helps older citizens as youngsters pass on the technological knowledge they have acquired to their parents.
With the right kind of government investment, Hong Kong can become a much smarter city.
Giselle Leung, Tuen Mun
Wrong way for fans to make their point
I do not agree with Hong Kong soccer fans booing when the national anthem is being played and I think the best way to deal with the problem is through education.
There is nothing wrong with people expressing their dissatisfaction with the central or Hong Kong governments, such as writing letters or signing petitions, but they should not jeer when the anthem is played. It creates a bad impression with visitors. It could also lead to the soccer team facing penalties.
However, I would not support fans being punished when they take this course of action. This will only make things worse. The best solution is to raise levels of awareness so that people recognise that this is not appropriate behaviour.
Cyrus Yeung, Tsuen Wan