PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 April, 2009, 12:00am

Unfair money gap not necessary

I am writing to draw readers' attention to the poverty problem in Hong Kong.

There is a big gap between the rich and the poor in Hong Kong. We should focus on the underprivileged during this economic downturn.

The underprivileged are experiencing a worse time than before this disaster. They live in small and crowded conditions, and some are homeless.

Even when the economy was good, many people could not afford decent meals.

Now that many low-income workers have been laid off, they have even less money to spare.

I have the following suggestions for the government to help to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor.

Firstly, the rent for the public estate housing should be reduced.

Secondly, there should be a government loan, rather than just handouts.

Social security solves problems in the short-term. But in the long-term, people should be helped to find a job.

If they had a low-interest loan, they could pay it off once they had work, and feel proud they could afford to do so.

Thirdly, outlets could provide free meals for the needy. This would create job opportunities and ensure people were getting enough food.

If our government could beat poverty in Hong Kong, many related social problems would also be solved.

Anthony Kwong, Shun Lee Catholic Secondary School

Don't waste time, speak English

I'm very pleased I'm taught English by an overseas teacher, but she doesn't seem very happy to teach us. Or at least she's not happy about the noise we make in her lesson - not in English, but Cantonese.

She shouts 'Speak English or don't speak!' every lesson, but we ignore her.

I think our learning attitude is terrible as we don't speak in English during English lessons.

Speaking English in class would improve our speaking skills.

We will not improve if we always speak Cantonese, or Chinglish.

We're wasting our time as well as our teacher's.

We may think it's fun to chat in Cantonese during class and exclude our non-Chinese teacher from our conversation. But in the future, we will regret not taking the opportunity to practise our English.

We should all stop torturing our English teachers and ruining our own chances.

Let's speak English during English lessons.

Lawrence Lam

Going organic may not be worth it

After the tainted milk scandal, an increasing number of people turned to organic food, which seems to be healthier as it is more likely to be free from harmful chemicals.

While genuine organic products are probably safer, we cannot guarantee what we buy in Hong Kong actually is organic, even if it's very expensive, because there are no regulations. Without regulations, people can claim to produce organic food that a isn't 100 per cent organic.

And while some people believe organic food might be higher in nutrients, several overseas studies have shown the difference is not significant.

In fact, a varied and balanced diet that includes plenty of fruit, vegetables and starchy foods provides all the nutrients an average individual requires.

Carmen Ip, Hang Seng School of Commerce