PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 June, 2009, 12:00am

Discovery Bay losing its shine

There have been many changes to Discovery Bay in recent years. I think most of the changes are for the worse.

Discovery Bay is always clean and it is easy to get whatever you need. Life is centred around the Plaza, a commercial hub containing a bus terminal, ferry pier, an open piazza, lots of shops, clinics and a vet centre. The Discovery Bay Plaza also has lots of restaurants serving all sorts of cuisine.

But there are also four 7-Eleven stores in the Plaza - I can't see the point of having so many in such a small area. It would be better to use some of that space to have different shops there.

Apartments and houses in Discovery Bay are some of the most expensive in Hong Kong. The prices have almost tripled.

Travel expenses have increased, too. The ferry fares have gone up, although they were never cheap. You can't drive cars in Discovery Bay - you have to use golf carts. But the golf carts can cost as much as a brand new luxury car.

There are no high-quality sport facilities in Discovery Bay - there's only a football pitch.

I think the developers that run Discovery Bay should build a sports facility instead of constructing more buildings and opening more shops.

Last year, children and their parents staged a 'protest', playing football in the Plaza to make their point. But their pleas seem to have been ignored - a hotel is being built instead of a sports ground.

So much has been taken away from Discovery Bay over the years.

It's becoming more expensive to live there and it no longer has that 'small community feeling'. Now, it's more like a tourist attraction.

Kale Hyde, Discovery Bay

Don't hesitate to praise others

Everyone likes to be praised. Being told you are clever, that you performed well, or that your test results are amazing is really good for your self-confidence.

But we don't often think about praising others often.

When you admire someone and let them know, both you and the person you're praising will feel happy. It doesn't take much effort to express admiration, and it will cheer people up.

Make a difference to someone's day right now, and praise the person sitting next to you. There is always something to admire in others.

She Chin-ching, Christian Alliance S. C. Chan Memorial College

Students given a second chance

My school has been in the news recently as three students collapsed after taking drugs.

Our principal Tam Man-kwan made a speech, saying there were seven known drug-users at the school, and this was not a big number out of a total of 1,079 students. He was criticised for saying this, although he later added that 'one student taking drugs is one too many'.

I appreciate Mr Tam's honesty and support.

Students at our school may not get excellent academic results, but Mr Tam never judges us for that reason. He believes everyone can and should be educated. Unlike many teachers, he's prepared to give even the weakest students a chance.

He gave me a chance when I joined the school. I have fresh hopes, and I'm looking forward to a bright future.

I hope that my fellow Pak Kau students show their appreciation of Mr Tam's support by studying hard for their A-levels and doing the best they can.

Wong Sin-him, Pak Kau College