Letters to the Editor, March 27, 2018
Wrecking sports clubs is no solution
The civilised world has long successfully embraced a mix of sporting opportunity provided by private citizen organisations and municipal facilities.
The original sports policy in Hong Kong followed this example, allowing private citizens to provide high-quality coaching and facilities to people of all ages and backgrounds.
Many of these clubs in Hong Kong have developed excellent facilities and sports management know-how, all funded by their members. They provide access to sports and recreational activity, train new players and represent Hong Kong in overseas competition. They and their counterparts, municipal facilities built with taxpayer funds, are part of the rich mix of life in a modern society.
Turn then to the current mischaracterisation of this debate, centred on the cheap politics of envy and false justification.
The myth of “clubs for the rich” is equally foolish: the “rich” don’t need such things, they own their own facilities. A visit to the sports club soon reveals the wide societal mix of their users.
So what is the answer to the under-utilisation in some clubs? The government audit report pointed to dated requirements for “opening up”. There is surely room for much more of this and for the development of better facilities in many clubs.
The policy objective is clear: wide participation, high-quality opportunities and international competition. Why don’t we focus hard on that and drop this nonsense about taxing sports? As for housing, the answers are staring at you: go visit the New Territories.
Mark Ashton, Sai Kung
Local vision revived Central Police Station
I read with great interest your article on the upcoming opening of the former Central Police Station. While your article states that the project was “conceptualised” in 2007, the seeds for what is soon to open to the public were actually planted back in 2005, in a long-forgotten ideas competition organised by the Central and Western District Council.
The winning entry in that competition proposed that the compound be transformed into a showcase for the arts, history and culture – with alfresco dining and links to the Mid-Levels escalators. This was widely covered by local media, including your publication, and exhibited to the public.
It would be remiss not to recognise the efforts and contributions of the locally based architects and other design professionals here in Hong Kong that helped manifest a local vision into a reality which will ultimately benefit the people of Hong Kong.
Thomas Schmidt, Taikoo Shing
DSE fee waiver good news for poorer parents
Despite all the criticism and debate, I think the Hong Kong government did well to waive the fees for the 2019 Diploma of Secondary Education Exam.
With costs of HK$414 to HK$619 per subject, and about HK$3,000 for the whole exam, parents struggling to pay education and hobby class bills would welcome the support. It would also help repeaters, those who may not do well in this year’s DSE, by giving them another shot at a better result and university place.
Jolly Chow, Kwai Chung
China’s ethnic minorities need a lingua franca
I refer to Jason Ng’s letter, “History will be lost if nation loses Cantonese” (March 20).
While a couple of lines in a few of the 300 Tang dynasty poems do not rhyme if recited in Mandarin, this is also true of other Tang dynasty poems if they are recited in Cantonese.
There is no intention to wipe out languages and dialects other than Mandarin.
There is a dedicated TV channel for each of the minority ethnic groups, apart from the Mandarin channels of identical content, covering all mainland provinces.
These minority ethnic groups have to have a lingua franca, Mandarin, to communicate among themselves and with the Han.
Peter Lok, Heng Fa Chuen
Tune in to K-pop for sake of Hong Kong
Back in the 1990s, Hong Kong’s entertainment industry was still a mighty force. Fans of Canto-pop singer and film star Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing were spread around the world, and cult action films from the day, like A Better Tomorrow, are still remembered fondly.
However, K-pop and J-pop have since taken our crown.
K-pop is enjoying a golden age; it has almost become the common language of the Asian region, with star groups like BTS, Twice and BIGBANG bringing economic growth for their country.
But why is the Hong Kong industry fading? Is it because we are running out of talent?
No, we have Jackson Wang and Elkie Chong Ting-yan, Hong Kong members in Korean pop groups, with millions of fans.
Or maybe yes, since the talented ones are either working in South Korea or giving up their dreams.
We do have girl groups, like Super Girls and As One, but they are not even well-known in Hong Kong. To recapture our status in the entertainment industry, we should learn from South Korea.
The Korean government gives massive support to the industry, with many venues and competitions for recruiting pop stars. Hong Kong should follow this model. It could also introduce more reality shows like in mainland China, where The Rap Of China and Street Dance Of China generate great public interest and boost revenue for the industry.
Raini Ng, Kowloon City