Letters to the Editor, February 5, 2018

PUBLISHED : Monday, 05 February, 2018, 5:30pm
UPDATED : Monday, 05 February, 2018, 5:30pm

Lam right to slam Nobel call for Occupy trio

I agree with Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng ­Yuet-ngor, who has reacted strongly to three leaders of Occupy Central being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize (“Carrie Lam hits out at US congressmen over Joshua Wong’s Nobel nomination”, February 3).

Lam said, “It is regrettable that foreign politicians are using [the Nobel Prize], apparently for political intervention … and to send political messages.”

It is not just “regrettable”, it is disgraceful.

Primarily, it is an ­indictment of the US politicians who nominated them. I guess you can’t expect better from US right-wing politicians living in topsy-turvy Trump­land.

However, let’s hope more ­objective heads in Norway will see that actually awarding the prize to the Occupy trio would devalue the Nobel Peace Prize to a point where it is seen as a joke.

It is the “peace” prize – these individuals have done absolutely nothing meaningful to further peace, either locally or internationally.

None can suggest with a straight face that Joshua Wong Chi-fung or his young colleagues, ­Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Alex Chow Yong-kang, or the “umbrella movement”, deserve to be on the same list as Mother Teresa, the International Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières, the UN peacekeepers, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Elie Wiesel or Martin Luther King Jnr.

If Wong, Law and Chow have any intelligence, historical education and decency, they will come out and thank Republican Senator Marco Rubio and the 11 other US congressmen for thinking of them in these terms, but confirm that they obviously do not deserve the prize, no matter how important they consider their own political views to be.

Martin Rogers, Central

Housing plans must help those most in need

I refer to the article on the uncertainty over a plan to offer 4,800 cheaper, subsidised flats in the New Territories (“Flat sales plan in doubt amid fears over rental queue”, January 26).

These flats in Fo Tan, originally built for public rental housing, were earmarked as the next batch of units to be sold under the Green Form Subsidised Home Ownership Pilot Scheme this year. But fears have been raised that this will prolong the average waiting time for public rental housing, and I agree.

Granted, home prices in Hong Kong are extraordinary high. Many young workers find it impossible to own a flat. However, is owning absolutely necessary? A stable living environment is something to be treasured as well.

Watch: what fuels Hong Kong’s housing crisis

As has often been reported, many people in Hong Kong are now living in substandard, subdivided flats, extremely tiny spaces that are potential fire traps.

There is also a problem with adequate hygiene, with many families sharing the facilities. And many of such residents have been on the waiting list for public rental housings for years.

If the green form pilot scheme for home ownership impinges on the quota for public rental housing and further lengthens waiting times for these families, would that not be an injustice?

I believe the government should first help the people with the most urgent need for decent housing, instead of giving priority to those who already have a reasonable place to live in.

Shortage of housing is an issue of utmost concern in Hong Kong. What is needed is close cooperation between the government and citizens’ bodies to resolve related problems.

Charmaine Ho, Tsing Yi

Convictions highlight safety issue for bridge

I refer to the recent conviction of contractors over worker casualties on the cross-border bridge in 2014 (“Three contractors found guilty over Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge death”, January 27). In fact, the list of fatalities during the construction of the multibillion dollar bridge is unfortunately long. As reported by you, as many as 10 workers have died and more than 600 have been injured in 275 incidents since work began on the bridge in 2011.

With deadlines delayed multiple times, and repeated budget overruns have sent costs soaring to HK$117 billion, not to mention lab technicians falsifying concrete compression test reports, the bridge has sparked much controversy and even protests.

I believe the government should prioritise the security of workers above all else, as a dangerous working environment has caused several fatal incidents. Safety should be the top concern, with workers given better protective equipment and guidelines, and contractors made to do more to safeguard lives.

Ivan Tsoi, Po Lam

Xenophobic acts will hurt image of city

I agree with your correspondent Karen Ip’s reading of the food fight at an airport noodle shop (“Noodles drama showed level of discrimination”, January 29).

I was shocked to read of the ­incident at the Hong Kong airport, where an employee of a noodle and congee chain threw a bowl of food at a mainland tourist after swearing at her and her friend.

Before this, I was aware that some Hongkongers dislike mainlanders. They seem to deny that they themselves are also Chinese and think mainlanders are impolite and disorderly, so they discriminate against them.

But this incident at the airport was an instance of very serious and obnoxious behaviour. This kind of behaviour is certain to ­destroy the international image of Hong Kong.

People from other countries will think Hongkongers have poor manners and a bad temper. Not only that, they will feel we discriminate against visitors who may not speak the local language.

As a Hongkonger, I am ashamed of the behaviour displayed by the worker.

Joanna Tsang, Shau Kei Wan