Invaluable virtue

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 25 April, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 25 April, 2010, 12:00am

We spend a lot of time worrying about air pollution and the way it damages our bodies. But there's another form of pollution in Hong Kong, which affects the soul - and its principal cause is money. This spiritual pollution causes people to abandon their code of ethics in order to get their hands on the trappings of affluence.

One of the most unpleasant manifestations of this pollution is compensated dating, the practice whereby teenagers - girls and boys - will meet with men in order to receive luxury goods in exchange for companionship and/or sex. Harriet Chung Yin-sze is to be congratulated for writing a play (I Sell Love finishes its run at the Cultural Centre today) about this practice. However, Chung has stressed that she did not write the play in order to judge. So let us do the judging for her.

A society that creates circumstances where children will have sex with an adult in order to get a mobile phone or a monogrammed bag has clearly gone off the rails. Maybe the brands that have gained so much through their extraordinary expansion in Hong Kong might like to establish some educational programmes to teach teenagers that the greatest luxury of all is self-respect.