Letters to the Editor, March 28, 2018

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 March, 2018, 5:31pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 March, 2018, 5:30pm

Singapore wins, as Hong Kong dithers

It’s lucky that your columnist, ­Peter Kammerer, has not been to Singapore in years.

That is because he would surely be shocked by all the changes that have taken place as a result of “overplanning” (“Stop comparing Hong Kong with Singapore; the two are so far apart it’s meaningless”, March 26).

I must admit that when I first moved here from Singapore in 2004, I shared Mr Kammerer’s sentiments about the micro-management in the Lion City.

But, after 14 years in Hong Kong, my opinion has shifted.

Procrastination as a starting point for an administration may sound cool but, in practise, Hong Kong people suffer from the government’s lack of vision and ability to deliver.

Mr Kammerer takes a weakness for an endearing quirk, by claiming that: “There’s a certain charm in the procrastination, a sense that even though with our trillions in reserves, we can have whatever we want, but delivering it is such an effort that we’d rather not. Shining through is creativity, shown through artistic endeavour and innovative ways to get around problems”.

That sounds great but, in reality, most Singaporeans have a much better quality of life than most Hongkongers.

Mr Kammerer mentions as one of the “charms” of Hong Kong “shops and neighbours coming and going due to rent contracts”.

Unfortunately, this coming and going generates endless disruptive building activities, noise pollution, mounds of waste and unnecessary destruction of virtually new interiors.

I’m certainly never charmed when, for the umpteenth time, I find out that a shop I used to go to has moved again, or another new neighbour has decided to gut a flat in my building.

Josephine Bersee, Mid-Levels

Standing up to be counted in march for lives

For the first time in 50 years, I saw hundreds of Hongkongers come out to march for gun control in the US, chanting “enough is enough”, although President Donald Trump seems to hardly listen to or care for anyone except the NRA (National Rifle Association) and the strong American gun lobby.

He suggests impractical ideas like arming teachers to protect students, and raising the legal age for assault rifles purchases from 17 to 21, instead of banning the sale of automatic/semi-automatic guns/rifles altogether, under the excuse of constitutional rights.

The “March for our Lives” rallies took place across US and in major cities around the world.

The movement has begun, and should not die till tighter gun control, stricter background checks and the use of semi-automatic or automatic rifles, like the AK47, a weapon of war, are banned. Lawmakers and leaders must care for lives, not votes.

A. L. Nanik, Tsim Sha Tsui

New energy for Trump is total chaos for US

If, as President Trump says, his “administration is running like a fine-tuned machine”, how come there’s such a huge turnover? It seems there are a lot of loose screws that have to be tightened.

Instead of running like a 2018 Cadillac, the administration sounds more like a 1908 Model-T Ford, with disastrous domestic and foreign policies to match. Amid the firings and resignations of key department heads, Trump sees “new energy”, while the rest of America sees “total chaos”.

Herb Stark, North Carolina

Coupons can cut wait ­for second dose

I support Peter Wei’s call for coupons for the elderly to buy over-the-counter drugs (“Give the elderly coupons for common drugs”, March 24).

I suggest such coupons especially target the problem of buying the second dose of prescription drugs, when the first has yet to cure a common illness.

Under the current practise, one needs to have another doctor’s consultation before being give the prescription, again wasting time and money.

I caught the flu recently, and one prescription was not enough to cure the throat irritation and coughing. The government outpatient booking hotline showed spots full all the time. A coupon could do away with the need for repeated calls and outpatient pressure and, more importantly, would cure the illness effectively.

Edmond Pang, Fanling

Ditching sexist baggage not easy on the job

I am writing in response to your editorial on the debate over ­female cabin crew at Cathay Pacific wanting a change to their uniform (“Sexist baggage must be ditched by airlines”, March 21).

Hong Kong is often considered a liberal society with respect for gender equality. But, frankly, is that the whole truth?

In fact, gender stereotyping has long been a global phenomenon, and Hong Kong is no exception. The crux of the problem is not an intention to exploit women or flout gender rights, but biased thinking on gender.

For instance, we hardly see male nurses in hospitals. Nursing is generally believed to be a woman’s job, which has given rise to a female-dominated sector.

If you question such a phenomenon, the answer is that women are seen as more sympathetic and considerate. So along comes the ­so-called sexist baggage – gender stereotyping of careers, based on old-school viewpoints.

Much more effort should be put into gender-sensitive education, to deepen young people’s understanding of their own potential, whatever their gender.

Having an in-depth understanding about ourselves is of paramount importance, as this plays a critical role in decisions like choosing our careers. “Sexist baggage” should not hold us back.

Woo Cheuk Yi, Yau Yat Chuen