PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 October, 2010, 12:00am

Eastern tunnel toll hike extravagant

The proposed increase in the Eastern Harbour Tunnel toll has seen different parties voicing objections.

It is not necessary for the company to increase the toll. There is no doubt the company wants to maximise its profit, but it should consider its social responsibility. The proposed increase is extravagant, if not unacceptable.

Hong Kong is just recovering from recession. The cost of some forms of transportation is likely to increase if the tunnel toll is raised. Bus and taxi operators will pass on the toll increase to their customers. This may be insignificant to some people, but it takes up a large proportion of the income of the poor. An increase in the toll will become an extra burden on the public.

The unbalanced use of the three cross-harbour tunnels will worsen if the Eastern tunnel ups its fee. People are price-sensitive - there is no doubt they will choose the cheapest way to reach their destination.

Most will use the Cross-Harbour Tunnel which will see longer queues while the other two tunnels remain underused. Valuable time will be wasted and air pollution will also worsen around the Cross-Harbour Tunnel's entrances.

The government should look into balancing the use of the three tunnels through adjusting their tolls again. It should listen to the opinions of the public.

Hyidi Li, Leung Shek Chee College

Workers need more time with families

I read an article that said most catering, security and hotel staff work more than eight hours a day.

Although I do not have any such experience, I understand why they are dissatisfied. Long working hours mean less time with family and friends, which is very important to humans.

This problem could be solved if employers spent money on hiring more workers. However, they are reluctant to do so even if they have made huge profits the previous year.

As a last resort, the government should legislate against working more than eight hours a day to protect workers' rights.

Tse Lai-him, STFA Tam Pak Yu College

Turn off your air con and save resources

I am writing in response to the article 'A heat island hooked on air cons' (South China Morning Post, October 3). I am all in favour of events raising public awareness of the environmental impact of air conditioning. Hong Kong is becoming more and more air con-dependent, causing the temperature to rise around the city.

Turning off air con units on summer nights has several advantages. Most importantly, it will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.

The cost of each household's electricity will also be greatly reduced by not using air conditioning. As mentioned in the article, air conditioning accounts for about 60 per cent of the total power consumption of a household. This means a bill of HK$1,000 could be reduced to HK$400 if we didn't use air conditioners in the evening. Sleeping without air conditioning would make us feel less sleepy in the morning.

I do not turn on my air conditioner in summer if the weather is not very hot. Instead, I use my electric fan. Failing this, I have heard elderly people offer a wonderful piece of advice: we will feel cool if we don't have too much in our mind.

Simon Ko Chin-hung, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School

Don't live by other people's standards

I recently discovered that some of my friends are unhappy about what others think of them. This made me think about who I used to be.

For a long time, I was a quiet and passive person in class. I seldom talked and locked myself up in my own world. This created a negative attitude in me and poor self-esteem. Whenever people mentioned me, I would presume it was in a bad way. I cared too much about what others thought. I was always unhappy and depressed in those days.

I now realise that no one is perfect and that everybody is different. Since the key to success lies in what you think of yourself, we should not define ourselves by other people's standards. All we have to do is play our part in the world to the best of our ability and believe in ourselves.

Chan Lai-man, Christian Alliance S. C. Chan Memorial College