PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 July, 2011, 12:00am


Helping the poor should be a priority

Looking after poor people should be a top priority for Hong Kong's next chief executive. Many of them live in terrible conditions, such as 'cage houses'.

Sham Shui Po, for example, is notorious for its cage homes. Many small flats there have been subdivided so that sometimes 10 or more people are cramped into one unit. They pay a high rent per square foot for the tiny space they live in.

It is important for Hong Kong's leaders to try to narrow the wealth gap. If the government doesn't tackle this problem soon, things will only get worse and there will be public protests.

As an international business centre, Hong Kong should do more to share its wealth around. One way to do this is to provide more public housing for the homeless and people from low-income families.

Regina Chan Ka-yan, Pooi To Middle School

Teachers now show much friendlier side

I have noticed a big difference in the way teachers and students interact these days.

Years ago, teachers were often too strict on their students. They were quick to criticise students and hand out punishments.

Nowadays, teachers are much more friendly and easy going. They are very patient with the students, even though they may have done something bad.

Tony Ng, Hang Seng School of Commerce

Healthy option beats fast food every time

People often visit McDonald's, KFC and Pizza Hut to have a quick, convenient meal. However, eating too much fast food - rather than having a balanced diet containing plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables - can cause people to put on weight, leading to health problems.

Many people choose quick, easy alternatives when they buy food, without thinking about their health.

Fast food, such as burgers, French fries, fried chicken wings and pizza, is full of fat and preservatives. Many people eat such food because they are in a rush to get to work or meet someone.

They do not think about better, healthier food, such as a sandwich or congee.

Also, they often do little or no exercise. So it is no surprise when they become obese or suffer from diabetes or heart disease.

Sensible people will always make healthier choices - and bid 'goodbye' to fast food.

Christy Sun, Sha Tin Government Secondary School

Plastic bag levy can't cover all stores

It is now two years since the government imposed a levy of 50cents on plastic bags. The law covers about 2,000 major supermarkets and chain stores in Hong Kong.

The 'green tax' was introduced with the aim of cutting down wastage and reducing the pressure on landfills. Estimates suggested Hongkongers were throwing away more than eight billion plastic bags each year.

The tax has helped reduce the use of plastic bags but the government wants more shops to join the scheme. I support eco-friendly policies, but it won't be easy to introduce the levy at bakeries or eateries which specialise in takeaways. In this case, hygiene is very important and it won't be practical for people to bring reusable bags.

We have a responsibility to protect the environment, but I think it is better to impose the plastic bag tax only on chain stores, supermarkets, and boutiques that sell brand-name goods.

Wong Wing-ki, Leung Shek Chee College

We need to count our blessings

Many Hongkongers are worried about their future job prospects because of problems in Europe and the United States. As a result, we have become intolerant and selfish.

Actually, we should consider how lucky we are because we can voice our frustrations without fear of being arrested. We can support different political parties to help influence policies and stage protests to express our concerns. We don't need to stay silent fearing harassment by the authorities.

Millions of people around the world are denied the basic human rights we take for granted. We should cherish the freedom we have - and say a prayer for the less-fortunate.

Becky Yeung, Ju Ching Chu Secondary School (Kwai Chung)