Letters to the Editor, April 1, 2018

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 April, 2018, 10:32am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 April, 2018, 10:32am

Question of love and respect defines future

I am writing in response to the column by Tammy Tam: “Are loving China and the Communist Party the same thing?”(March 25).

Whether “loving the country” equates to “loving the party” has remained a troubling question for Hong Kong and Beijing for the past few decades. And now, under the strong leadership of President Xi Jinping, it is again a hot topic.

In his speech at the end of the National People’s Congress’ ­annual session two weeks ago, Xi declared that Hongkongers needed to “strengthen their sense of belonging to the nation and their patriotic feeling”, while he also spoke of the central government’s commitment to “one country, two systems”, “Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong” and “high degree of autonomy”.

In fact, this is not the first time that he has mentioned this. This requires Hongkongers to clearly define their own identity, including their understanding of the country and the recognition of their ­national identity.

The crucial point is that no matter who you are, you must love your country. But it does not mean that patriotism is a slogan for some unwise behaviour.

So,what is the real meaning of “respecting the constitution” for Hong Kong and Beijing? When this question has a clear answer, I believe,a series of problems in Hong Kong will also be resolved.

Meng Xin, Kowloon

Caution must rule on digital payments

I refer to your article on the growing popularity of fintech (“Small Hong Kong companies keen on technology”, March 21).

Digital payment technologies are popular and facilitate growth and revenues. But some potential problems shouldn’t be ignored.

Such technologies could also have negative effects on employment. While they help save office rents with online services and social media, what would it mean for jobs? Hong Kong is well-known for its tertiary industries, such as restaurants and retail outlets. Some staff may be made redundant by such technologies, as companies chase lower costs. Risks of unemployment may fuel potential social instability.

Secondly, risks matter. Small businesses, in particular, should take a cautious attitude towards digital payments, especially cryptocurrencies. Technologies, especially emerging ones, do benefit people, but should also be placed under a strict and clear legal framework for risk monitoring and identification. As online payments become more popular, more attention will turn to trade security and risk evaluation.

Michael Li, Yau Ma Tei

Bullying at school leaves lasting scars

I agree with Kitty Leung (“Schools are first line of defence against bullies”, March 10) that school bullying can leave mental scars.

I remember being bullied in junior secondary school and how I dreaded going to class every day.

However, besides verbal and physical abuse, there is another type of “silent” bullying which warrants attention. I was bullied by classmates who put the belongings of other pupils into my writing desk, and then complained and blamed me for it.

Bullying affected my personality; I became even more introverted, and was afraid to meet and make new friends, thinking that this would at least protect me from harm. I clearly remember how junior secondary was not a place of joy and laughter for me.

Eunice Li, Shanghai

‘Holier than thou’ is just not cricket

About a month ago, while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, I had an angst moment.

Here we were, climbing a mountain and with us were several porters, each earning less in six days than we probably spend in a day in Hong Kong.

I was angry with myself and the world in general. For them it is considered a good living, but there is an incredible imbalance in this world – an unfair and ­unjust one.

On to the present, and the last few days have seen the headlines in the Australian press and probably some other cricketing nations pumping out “holier than thou” articles on the cheating Aussies, as if this blemish on Australian sport was the end of the world as we know it. It isn’t.

Maybe we all need to take a step back and get some perspective. Why can’t real issues and problems get this kind of coverage and create this kind of indignation and soul-searching?

Frankly speaking, our values and value systems seem pretty messed up, to say the least, and I am not being “holier than thou”. I realise that I am very much part of the system.

Gunther Homerlein, Pok Fu Lam

Fear the next ice age, not global warming

The Earth is a dangerous place, but ice, not global warming, is the big killer – and this recurring ­calamity often strikes quickly.

Humans are not immune to the threat of extinction, but it will not come from today’s warm, moist atmosphere or from carbon dioxide. It will probably come from the next glacial cycle.

The planet is in an interglacial phase, where long bitter glacial eras are separated by short warm periods, such as the Holocene warm era in which we live.

In every short warm epoch like today’s, the warming oceans expel enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to terrify the likes of today’s global warming alarmists. And these times have always supported abundant plant and animal life. The use of carbon-rich fuels like oil and coal not only provides ­energy but also adds carbon dioxide, plant food, to the atmosphere. However, never has “global warming” from this “greenhouse gas” prevented the cyclic return of the ice.

Viv Forbes, Queensland