• Fri
  • Nov 28, 2014
  • Updated: 12:23am

Cab Chat

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 April, 2009, 12:00am

The recent controversy over bad language started when League of Social Democrats lawmakers used puk kai, a Cantonese expression that the League said can mean 'go to hell', during the Legislative Council Finance Committee's scrutiny of the budgets for various bureaus. I think puk kai in Cantonese is foul and abusive language. It is meaningless to use foul language, even to vent anger. I think we should make comments on issues, rather than make comments on a particular person. Using foul language vents anger at a person rather than the issue.

I think it is wrong to use foul language to express opinions. Look at the incident when a legislator tried to physically sweep away the financial secretary's budget this year. Have you ever thought about what students would learn from that? Students may sweep away teachers' things at school. So using foul language and such behaviour as sweeping things away set bad examples for students. Also, I don't agree with throwing bananas in Legco. Is there any need to express opinions by throwing bananas?

I believe everyone has his own viewpoint. Hong Kong is also a city with freedom of speech. Everyone can express his ideas and opinions freely. But we cannot use foul language if our ideas differ from those of others. Using foul language is improper. Most of us know what foul language is and when its use is appropriate. It is no big deal to use foul language in private. However, using it in public is impolite.

I think everyone has his own identity and we have to respect others. Lawmakers cannot act as casually as if they were at a wet market. Their behaviour not only reflects on them. They represent the voters, who have chosen them to be lawmakers. It is not appropriate for lawmakers to use foul language in Legco. To a certain extent, this incident will affect the image of Hong Kong.

Legco president Tsang Yok-sing has proposed making a list of expressions that should be banned in Legislative Council meetings. I think there is no need to make the list.

As an adult, everyone should know what we can and cannot say. I think lawmakers should discuss other matters instead, rather than using extra time to discuss the expressions on the list.

As a parent, I teach my children that someone may be offended if they use foul language. I tell my children that using foul language is not a useful way to express ideas. The personal impression would also be affected. I also explain to my children the drawbacks of using foul language. People will treat you well when you speak politely. People will ignore someone who is rude to them. Lawmakers should behave well. They should shoulder the responsibility of educating the public about good behaviour. They should have social responsibility.

The Coroner's Court inquest found the death of a 19-year-old University of Hong Kong student who was hit by a collapsing tree in Stanley could have been prevented. I think inspection of all trees, one by one, is impossible. However, I think the government should check trees frequently, especially those trees in busy areas.

I think society lacks care for the old trees of Hong Kong. If people cared more about the old trees, the major branches of the wishing tree in Lam Tsuen would not have broken off. I am afraid of being hit by falling objects. There is no alternative. The authorities should check trees regularly.

Three teenagers have been arrested for possessing explosive materials. I think schools should provide more science lessons for students. If they did, this incident would not have happened. If the time given for science lessons was longer, teachers could instruct students more on explosive materials. The teachers can explain the dangers of making explosive materials and the right way to use them.

Instructions on making explosive materials are easily accessible on the internet. I do not stop my children learning new things. But I tell them the drawbacks of learning a particular thing. Is that action a breach of the law? I tell them to think carefully before they act. It is important for parents to help their children develop good judgment.

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