Not so easy for Carrie Lam to shut down Hong Kong after a typhoon
Typhoon Mangkhut had a devastating effect on Hong Kong and arguments continue about whether the chief executive should have ordered all public and commercial offices to remain closed the following day. Actually, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor did take appropriate measures to handle the critical situation caused by the typhoon: first, all schools suspended classes on the day after the typhoon; second: Lam called on employers to show understanding/flexibility to staff having difficulties getting to work.
Hong Kong, as a cosmopolitan metropolis, can’t afford to have a break in commerce, even if it’s just for a day. Local businesses would lose revenue. Moreover, business would continue as usual globally and things in Hong Kong should continue as normal despite a difficult situation. Local firms, especially the air/sea freight business, are under contract to firms overseas. Can the local merchants declare the contract with foreign companies void simply because of the delay thus caused? If a special “holiday” were granted, it would indeed be a costly mistake that would result in severe financial loss.
It must be stressed that Lam has no right to force employers to give staff a day off as there’s no mechanism in place for her to assess the legal impact of granting “a day off” to all workers. Some people became impatient waiting for public transport, and vented their anger at the government for their tedious commute. But Hongkongers show endless patience in queuing for hours (even days) to buy a ticket to a concert, or a flat or the latest smartphone.
Peter Yim, Tin Hau
Wanted: a better use for trees felled by typhoons
I have followed the aftermath of many typhoons in Hong Kong and I am always sad to see fallen trees being cut up into pieces which are then placed in thick black plastic bags for disposal in landfill sites. Surely there is a more useful and environmentally friendly way to dispose of the fallen trees? Has anyone in the government ever thought of this?
Peter A. Tanner, Sai Wan Ho