PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 12 December, 2008, 12:00am

Means test for elderly acceptable

I believe there should be a means test for the 'fruit money'. I agree with the government's original proposal which requires the elderly to prove they deserve the monthly HK$1,000 payment.

Many people said such a test was an insult to the elderly. I disagree.

The government proposed the means test along with an increase in the fruit money. If the authorities didn't respect the elderly, they wouldn't have raised the old-age allowance in the first place.

Our economy is now in recession. Hundreds of workers have lost their jobs. More and more people are likely to seek government assistance in future.

Raising the allowance for the elderly may become a heavy financial burden. The government cannot help all of them at once.

Only those who are in genuine need should be paid the full allowance.

Now, the fruit money has been increased to HK$1,000. By 2033, the expenditure would surge to HK$14 billion. This is a lot of money.

We don't know when the global financial crisis will end.

The government should set aside enough money for more urgent projects.

During these troubled times, we need to look at the overall picture and take steps accordingly.

Janet Yeung Tsz-ying, Our Lady of the Rosary College

Buses don't suit busy Hong Kong

Hongkongers are used to a fast-paced lifestyle. We want to get from one place to another as quickly as possible. Hence, buses are not a good option.

Usually, we have to wait for about 15 or 20 minutes to get a bus.

Although schedules are posted at bus terminals, they are not very accurate. So we don't know how long we have to wait.

Sometimes, we have to decide whether to wait for a bus, or take the MTR or a taxi.

A taxi is the quickest but more expensive.

On the other hand, going by train is a lot cheaper and the waiting time is relatively short.

Unless the waiting time is reduced, many people won't travel by bus. Over the next few years, we may see public buses disappearing from our roads.

Liz Fung, Hang Seng School of Commerce

Respect parents

Many teenagers treat their parents badly. They may even ignore their parents and turn to their friends for advice.

Some students may get angry when their parents punish them. But these children should realise their parents love them.

Parents punish their children for a reason. Children should try to learn from their mistakes.

Never use bad language in front of your parents or shout at them.

From now on, try to be nice to your parents. They deserve your respect.

Wong Kin-wai, PLK Tang Yuk Tien College

Relax and enjoy life

Hong Kong people work too hard. Their only objective is to earn more money.

They don't have time to look around as they go about their daily business.

As for students, very few of them listen to music when they are studying. And they rarely exercise.

However, taking a rest can help boost your efficiency.

Stop working and look at the world around you.

You'll realise there are many beautiful and interesting things in your life.

Ava Cheng, Our Lady of the Rosary College

Tell the truth

Children are always told not to lie. As we grow up, we learn there are white lies. Some people tell white lies in order not to hurt someone. They should not be blamed because their intentions are good. But a lie is a lie, whatever the reason.

People behind the melamine scandal were accused of lying. And there were serious consequences. Everyone should tell the truth at all times.

Tom Chan