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PUBLISHED : Friday, 18 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 18 June, 2004, 12:00am

Despite suffering a drop in income and numerous health problems, Mok Kwong-keung is determined to maintain a positive outlook on life

Mei Foo to Quarry Bay: $140

Many Hong Kong people have lost their ambition. Everyone is very pessimistic. They are dissatisfied with almost everything. They complain all the time. Their biggest worry is their own job. Many of them have a job today but they are not sure about tomorrow. That's a very bad atmosphere.

When you reach my age, it's even more difficult to find work. I'm a 61-year-old.

I don't make much money. I have been a taxi driver for more than 30 years. I used to make at least $500 a day but now I make only about $200, even though I work from 5am until 4pm. That's around $6,000 a month. How am I supposed to support my family?

If I don't have enough money to spend, I just spend less. I don't ask my three children for money because I know they have their own families and lives. I am glad they sometimes squeeze in time to have lunch and dinner with me despite all being busy with work.

I still recall the days when I used to make more money. I had more spare time to spend with my children. Those were the days.

I hope the government will do something to improve our lives. I am not asking for much ...just a stable life will do.

There are too many different voices in the community. I hope they can understand and forgive each other, so that we can all live in harmony.

I wish Hong Kong people would stop complaining a little bit. They should try to relax as they are always under pressure. If they don't, there's a chance they will suffer mental problems, like I do.

I've been suffering from mental problems for two years. The tense living environment makes me nervous. My doctor advises me to relax. So now I try not to look at things seriously. If I make $200 today, I cheer myself up by thinking I may make $300 tomorrow. Always think positively, that's my motto.

I also have a sleeping disorder problem - sleep apnoea [pauses in breathing during sleep]. I have to carry a snore box [a device to detect sleep apnoea] that costs about $10,000, when I go to bed. If not, I will die. The machine is a heavy burden as I am paying a $2,000 monthly instalment. That's a huge part of my income.

I have slightly high blood pressure. I need to go to the hospital every month to get my medicine. It takes me four hours every time. I don't understand why doctors can't give me a six-month prescription as they have in the past. It's just a waste of time waiting for a few hours every time.

The government is even planning to charge a medical fee. I don't think the plan is feasible in Hong Kong. Nowadays people don't earn much money but they have to pay for their flats, MPF and other expenses.

I've been a volunteer worker for the elderly for over 15 years. I feel that social workers are now less aggressive than they used to be in fighting for the welfare of elderly people.

Perhaps the difficult economic environment has made their job harder. But I somehow feel social workers nowadays are a little bit lazy in terms of helping those in need. So now I seek help from district councillors when searching for welfare for the elderly.

When I visit my clients at homes for the elderly, I feel I am lucky that I can still go anywhere I like because many of the elderly can't move anymore. They have to stay in bed.

Old people need to exercise regularly to keep themselves healthy, so I always play tennis and football.

Although I've reached retirement age, I am not planning to retire. I don't want to spend most of my time walking or sitting in parks like many old people do. It would make me feel even older. As long as I have the energy, I want to continue working.