Letters | To encourage vaccination, Hong Kong has used carrots. Now it’s time for a stick
- Readers discuss the need to get tough on the unvaccinated, the Come2HK scheme, airmail to the UK, the future of Afghanistan, and Marvel’s first Asian superhero film
The “carrot and stick” is a metaphor for the use of a combination of reward and punishment to induce a desired behaviour.
This could take many different forms, along the lines of banning those that are unvaccinated from entering shopping centres and restaurants, and from travelling on any form of public transport.
The government should stipulate a date when we are going to reopen Hong Kong, so that those that are not yet vaccinated have a very last chance to get vaccinated.
We should not let the unvaccinated minority override the majority.
It is time for the stick.
David Passow, Pok Fu Lam
Deal allowing mainland visitors in was poorly negotiated
Hongkongers have worked hard to bring the pandemic under control here. Yet we continue to pay the price, from BBQ sites that remain closed to no relief from wearing masks outdoors, from families separated to economic hardship.
Mark Peaker, The Peak
Air mail to the UK too slow
On frequent visits to my local post office in the past weeks and months, I was repeatedly informed by the clerks that there was no air mail to the United Kingdom.
On September 8, I visited the post office in Central where I was informed that air mail is now available to the UK but that my letter would take more than a month to arrive. This seems like an inordinately long time for air mail.
B.J. Carroll, Ap Lei Chau
Future of Afghanistan looks grim
These past weeks, we witnessed a grave humanitarian tragedy and possibly the most terrible geopolitical blunder from a superpower since the end of the Cold War. The planned withdrawal of the Nato forces from Afghanistan this summer degenerated into a chaotic escape from the country, with the Taliban quickly gaining control of most of the country’s territory, including the capital.
Afghanistan is currently at a crossroads. With the Nato forces went huge numbers of educated and skilled Afghans, causing a brain drain. On top of that, Western countries have suspended their aid to the country, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have halted their payments, and the foreign reserves of Afghanistan’s central bank have been frozen.
The Taliban now inherits a country that has been through 40 years of fighting, and distrusts any central government emanating from the capital; also, the international community refuses to accept its legitimacy, due to its human rights record.
The Taliban has been undertaking a massive public relations exercise, claiming it has “moderated” its policies. But from the latest reports – the ban on music in public places, for example – we can quite safely infer that the moderation of policies is rather limited.
The rhetoric about trying to form an inclusive government, although promising, may not translate into action, considering the decades of conflict and distrust between various actors in the country.
Isis-K poses a huge challenge to the Taliban. Its only resort might be strengthening relations with the country’s neighbours, particularly Pakistan, China and Russia.
This might help legitimise the Taliban government, and ameliorate the country’s economic malaise. But it probably won’t do much to create a unified central government, bring peace and security, and help improve human rights in Afghanistan. The future of the country appears to be grim.
Roberto Santos, Belas, Portugal
Timely launch of Marvel’s Chinese superhero film
In the past few years, films featuring Asian characters, such as Crazy Rich Asians and Parasite, have gained attention around the world. The recent Marvel movie is a step towards diversifying the portrayal of Asians in Western cinema.
I hope we can see more of such films so that the world will realise we are all the same, even though we may look different.
Jamie So, Sai Kung