PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 May, 2010, 12:00am

Minimum wage for maximum happiness

People who disagree with minimum wage legislation worry that the rise in labour costs would limit the entrepreneurial spirit that has been a key to Hong Kong's success.

But I am not convinced by their arguments. I hope they will bear the Golden Rule in mind: do to others as you would have others do to you. Business owners who oppose the minimum wage should put themselves in the shoes of low-paid workers, and imagine how miserable it makes their lives.

How would these employers feel if their own children worked from dawn to night for just HK$18 an hour? Is that a 'reasonable' wage?

Anyone who wouldn't be happy to see their children exploited like this should vote for the minimum wage, instead of turning it down again and again.

More importantly, we all know that it is soaring rental costs that force businesses to close, not increases in wages. Employers are just using the latter as an excuse to avoid paying their workers a fair wage.

For businesses to do well, society has to be doing well. If no one has any money, then businesses won't make any money either. Eventually, firms will be forced to reduce the prices of their products and their profit margins will therefore fall.

If they try to balance this by lowering their costs, the vicious cycle will only continue.

The good news is we have a chance to end this vicious cycle today.

Vivian Leung Cheuk-yan

Learn to forgive

I think students nowadays are very selfish. Most of them don't forgive anyone who has done anything to upset or irritate them, even if they've already received an apology.

I think teachers can help them to understand that it is important to have a good relationship with their classmates. School should be a harmonious place, where students can study and make friends.

Cherry Tsui Yin-lam, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School

Putting people before profit

The Australian Prime Minister has apologised to the thousands of children sent to his country by the British Government who were used as cheap labour.

But so many other nations have exploited their people simply to make money. I often wonder why those in authority only worry about the welfare of the rich and don't value the underprivileged. Sadly, across the globe, many have regarded the economy as their first priority, just as the British and Australians did.

I want governments around the world to think deeply about whether a country should really just be a money-making machine.

Pakco Chan, Hang Seng School of Commerce

Give Zheng Sheng students a chance

I agree Zheng Sheng College should be relocated to a vacant school in Mui Wo, and for several reasons.

For a start, the present location of Zheng Sheng College is dangerous. As the media has reported, the school is threatened by massive rocks on a steep slope behind, which will be extremely dangerous with the onset of rainy season. We should make the safety of students a priority.

Secondly, the vacant school campus in Mui Wo could be put to good use if the students moved there. It is true that many local residents are demanding a primary school in Mui Wo and argue that the vacant school would be ideal. But, even though Mui Wo students have the right to a primary school, there is no need for them to oppose Zheng Sheng College.

Basically, Zheng Sheng College students need a safer campus. The students are not going to lead Mui Wo youths astray, because they have turned over a new leaf. I urge the authorities to give Zheng Sheng students a new home.

Hazel Wong, CNEC Christian College