Everyone's needs taken care of

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 December, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 December, 2010, 12:00am

Recently, I read a book by a Taiwanese writer. One chapter talks about the definition of a developed country. How do you define a developed country? Does it mean a country packed with skyscrapers or a place with a well-developed transport system? To me, a developed country means more than that. It should be a place where those in need are provided with special care and services, such as ramps and toilets for the disabled.

What's more, the people should be civic-minded and considerate. The crime rate should be low and everyone should be respected.

Of course, a developed country should allocate resources to boost its economy. But more importantly, the government should take into account the needs of different people and groups in society. It should also focus on moral education. Otherwise, the country is merely a developing country, not a developed country.

Jelly Chan, STFA Lee Shau Kee College

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Jelly. When Hongkongers compare their home to those of people in many other Asian countries, and even the mainland, they can't help but realise how lucky they are.

In Hong Kong we have modern facilities of all kinds, a highly efficient transport system, incredible skyscrapers, an effective and fair legal system - the list goes on.

But there are still many examples of how Hong Kong favours the rich, the able-bodied and the young.

For example, access to cultural events can be very expensive, so many people miss out. There are a lot of buildings with stairs and no lift, so people in wheelchairs can't get in. And elderly people are often neglected, and viewed as unimportant.

I like your idea that, until a country provides ways to make everyone equal, it is merely 'developing', not developed. It supports the idea that a country's success is not just based on finance and image, but on how happy and appreciated its citizens feel.

Karly, Deputy Editor