PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 September, 2010, 12:00am

Convenience or liability

People living in a modern city like Hong Kong often use electronic cards for their convenience, for example, to enter housing estates, offices and schools.

It seems a brilliant idea to use stored-value cards such as the Octopus instead of cash. The chip inside the card records how much money is left and how the individual uses his money. Octopus cards are accepted by most shops and can be used for most forms of transport.

But is this the whole truth of the matter? In some recent crimes, Octopus cards have been the key in catching the perpetrators. Police checked the card data and used CCTV to lock on to the suspects. Isn't it scary? Your every movement can be recorded and monitored. What happens if the wrong people get your data? Perhaps nothing for ordinary citizens, but celebrities could be in danger from kidnappers or fraudsters.

I wonder if the risks outweigh the convenience.

Derek Siu, Ju Ching Chu Secondary School (Tuen Mun)

Water polo teaches life's hard lessons

A famous sportsman once said: 'Suffer the pain of discipline or suffer the pain of regret.' This sums up the spirit of water polo, one of the toughest of all sports, and one that requires a lot of discipline.

Other than physical strength, players need to be quick thinkers. Like chess players, swimmers need to think tactically - the team must have perfect co-operation to get the ball into the net.

What I find particularly meaningful about the sport is the hard work, determination, discipline, courage and decision-making put in by each player.

I was a good swimmer but I had reached my peak. I took a break from the swimming pool until I found water polo, the sport I now love. Water polo involves much more than swimming; it's about spirit. It gives me a feeling unlike any other sport.

For me, water polo is a way of life as well as a philosophy for success.

Simon Yeung Chung-yu, STFA Tam Pak Yu College

Learn music for the love of it

I was impressed by the cover story of Young Post on September 13, 'Bringing joy to the world'.

Many parents force their children to study extra subjects outside school. The most common example is making a child play a musical instrument. It's good to learn music - it can help us relax and also express our feelings. But music lessons can soon create more stress in our lives, as many parents think the aim of learning music is to get another qualification.

I am very lucky, as I chose to learn the flute because I love it, and my parents support me. Unfortunately, I am too under great pressure now, as I face a flute exam next week. Getting a certificate is, of course, not my aim - I want to learn flute so I can play music with others, and bring some joy to the world. But the fact is that without the qualifications, I won't be able to meet the requirements of some orchestras. In other words, if you want to play with others, you must pass exams.

Playing music should be joyful. Mozart and Beethoven would have liked us to spread their music to the heart of every soul.

Music should not be a source of stress, but our friend. I look forward to some orchestras welcoming music lovers regardless of their formal qualifications.

Jackie Lo Kwan-kei, Ho Fung College

No role models

I would like to reply Lau Man-man's letter 'Give teen 'pseudo models' a break' (Young Post, September 7).

Nowadays, many young girls in Hong Kong are eager to be teen models. But I think being a teen model has many disadvantages.

Many girls imitate pseudo models because they want to famous. They spend too much time and effort striving to be models and ignore their studies.

Successful models do not need to wear sexy clothes all the time. Their catwalk skills and special charm helped them become famous.

Pseudo models affect children too. During last year's Book Fair, children as young as 12 queued to buy their picture books. Being a teen model is not a good way to become rich and famous. It also sends a bad message to youngsters.

Ting Pui-shan, Po Leung Kuk 1984 College