The elderly need more help

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 September, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 September, 2008, 12:00am

At the MTR station near my house in Lok Fu, there are always a lot of elderly people who are not waiting for trains. It took me some time to realise, but I know now they are simply waiting for people to give them copies of Recruit, the giveaway job newspaper.

They are collecting the newspapers so that they can sell them to a recycling company.

I think it's a terrible shame that Hong Kong's old people are reduced to collecting newspapers for money. It seems rich people are getting richer and poor people are getting poorer, and we are not doing enough to help the poor.

I am looking for some spirited debate by our new legislators on social issues of this kind. If our old people are being forced to collect newspapers for a living, I think it is something we should be talking about and trying to do something about. Kevin Lam, Hang Seng School of Commerce

From the Editor

Thank you, Kevin, for your insightful letter. I have also observed elderly people collecting paper waste at various places in Hong Kong. There are always two sides to every story.

You are right when you say it is shameful for elderly folk to be struggling to survive in a wealthy society like Hong Kong. I do hope the government ensures their needs are taken care of. It's very easy to only look to the future of a city, without paying much attention to its past.

That being said, it is also good to see our elderly folk become part of the recycling business. Someone has to collect the waste paper for recycling and if they can earn some pocket money while doing it, that is also good.

Susan, Editor