Letters to the Editor, January 5, 2018
UK can have Irish Sea bay area project
The Greater Bay Area development project [linking Hong Kong and Macau with nine cities in Guangdong] is inspiring.
It is an example of the sort of project that a post-Brexit United Kingdom should be undertaking, and the government should started on the planning stages.
The UK needs to be fully interlinked by means of an Irish Sea tunnel to enable freight and passengers to board trains at Belfast bound for London, with the same ease and convenience as, say, between Glasgow and London.
Last January, the first through train reached London from China along the New Silk Road route.
A more interlinked UK will enable Belfast to become a very credible transatlantic port and thus the UK can take its place as a pivotal trading partner in between the transatlantic route and the New Silk Road route.
The integrity of the UK in political, economic and social terms demands a physical interconnection.
John Barstow, Pulborough, West Sussex, England
Release from subdivided flats a priority
I believe Alice Ma (“Containers far from ideal as housing fix”, December 31) has misunderstood those correspondents like me who have called for prefabricated housing.
The proposed shipping container/prefab solution is not meant to be a housing “option for the disadvantaged”.
It is seen by those who are advocating it as the quickest way to get hapless tenants out of their subdivided flats, as these places can only be described as hellholes.
These people are not in a position to be able to help themselves, and I think they would agree that the converted container homes are a better option than the present substandard accommodation they are having to endure.
The container homes can be made safe and comfortable. Sites will not be difficult to find within walking distance of the ends of MTR lines, with a travelling allowance paid to the tenants.
This debate has dragged on now for more than six months.
Peter Lok, Chai Wan
Innovation sector needs more support
At the centre, artificial intelligence will help to determine whether damaged parts of an aircraft need to be replaced or repaired.
It is good to see this project launched, because there has been frequent criticism of inadequate government support in Hong Kong for the creative and innovation sector, and the lack of available talent.
This new research centre at PolyU is a big step forward.
It shows that, with the right support, Hong Kong can make great strides in the innovation industry.
I am sure there are many local youngsters who have the required innovative ability and, with encouragement and the right kind of training, can do really well in the area of research and development.
Some already have suitable qualifications, but if the jobs are not there they will go elsewhere, including joining those planning an innovation start-up.
I have read reports and blogs online, where these people talk about their frustrations trying to get things done in Hong Kong and electing instead to move overseas or cross the border to the mainland.
The city will become less competitive if it cannot develop its innovation sector.
There is an urgent need to promote the importance of creative and scientific research among teens and young adults.
Tiffany Lau Wing-chin, Yau Yat Chuen
Pupils must work at finding time to relax
Some parents have called on the government to introduce a seven-hour cap on the time children spend every day on studies.
The aim is to ease the pressure many pupils feel from overwork, with some of them suffering from depression and, in extreme cases, resorting to suicide.
I think you can see a link between the increased rate of student suicides and the high-pressure education system.
Especially in the upper forms of secondary school, there is fierce competition as youngsters battle to get a coveted place at a local university.
Often, if their workload is too heavy, they do not have enough time to rest and this can lead to high levels of stress.
What is important is for youngsters to try to find better learning outcomes. They need to work out their own timetable so that they can make time to relax. In this way they can help to reduce pressure.
Kathy Li, Po Lam
Using private hospitals cuts overcrowding
I am pleased that the government is hiring more part-time private doctors to work temporarily in public hospitals and help ease overcrowding, especially in the accident and emergency departments.
Overcrowding gets particularly acute during the holidays and winter flu peak period. During such times, A&E wards can be filled to capacity with patients in beds which block corridors, because there is just no room for them anywhere else.
I believe it makes much more sense to continue to send non-urgent cases to private hospitals.
Queenie Li, Kwai Chung
Look at reason behind vocal anthem protest
I think Hongkongers, such as soccer fans, who have chosen to boo the national anthem should be entitled to do so.
Protests against anthems have also taken place recently in the US, with football players kneeling rather than standing when The Star-Spangled Banner is played.
Critics of such protests say Hongkongers should show respect for the Chinese national anthem, but why should they?
Many local citizens hate the country’s Communist Party and its stubborn, unyielding attitude towards Hong Kong.
They argue that “one country, two systems” is dead.
That level of resentment will only get worse if people are threatened with punishment, including jail, for outward displays of disrespect.
The party’s leaders are paranoid. Just look at the elaborate and tight security for the visit of President Xi Jinping. The queen did not need that much security when she visited Hong Kong during the colonial period.
Unless the central government changes its attitude, many Hongkongers will continue to resent Beijing and keep fighting to protect the freedom of speech in the city.
Leo Tse, Yau Tong
Street art can dispel views of cultural desert
In October, the French undercover artist Invader heavily criticised officials for removing his work from locations around Hong Kong.
However, his work at Harbour City, in Tsim Sha Tsui, will be preserved. This shows that the issue of street art remains controversial here, with government departments still reluctant to embrace it. And it can lead to people sometimes describing Hong Kong as a cultural desert.
It certainly seems to me that the government regards developing the economy as a priority over nurturing the arts, despite the establishment of the West Kowloon Cultural District.
Hong Kong as a city needs to learn to accept art in our daily lives and this should include street art such as graffiti.
Tsang Ka-yee, Tseung Kwan O