PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 August, 2011, 12:00am


Three basic needs for a world city

International newspapers rank world cities annually according to factors such as wealth, environment and equal opportunities. I think a good welfare system, affordable medical care and a fair legal system are the most important foundations for a world city.

A good social welfare system should be a basic right. If the government cares for its citizens, there will be no protests.

Affordable health care is essential to maintain the good image of the city. Many people are afraid of going to hospitals on the mainland since the prices of public hospitals are so high.

A fair legal system secures everyone's wealth and safety. It also helps attract more international companies. Hong Kong is famous for its 'non-intervention' policy, which is why it has become a well known financial centre.

Tiffany Yu Yik-tung, Leung Shek Chee College

We can all make a difference

How can I make an impact on the world? What is the purpose of life? Many people wonder about this.

At the Global Youth Leadership Summit I learned that everyone can do something to make a difference, whether it is visiting an elderly neighbour, teaching a child to read or volunteering at an animal shelter.

Giving can bring you some of the greatest joys in life. When you know one person's life is better because you touched their heart or when you inspire others through dedication to your cause, you are reminded what life is truly about.

Just remember: to the world you may be a person, but to one person you may be the world. Start making your contribution today.

Herman Lam, Wah Yan College

Cage homes must go

Hong Kong enjoys a reputation for prosperity. However, some people do not share in this wealth. They live below the poverty line. They are forced to live in cage homes and partitioned flats. In an international city this should not happen.

In some of these flats, there are no windows or air conditioning. Poor ventilation is bad for people's health and helps the spread of viruses.

The living environment is crowded and things are stored in corridors and on staircases. Fire escape routes are blocked. This leads to injuries and death.

Cage homes are inhumane. No one should live in them. However, soaring property prices give low-income people no choice.

The government should act quickly. It should pass laws to protect the poor, cool down property prices and increase the supply of affordable housing.

Catherine Cham, YWCA Hioe Tjo Yoeng College

Railway accident was avoidable

The high-speed train crash in Wenzhou was a tragedy for many people. One of the passengers, Giovanni Pan, received fractures to his neck and back, a broken hand, shattered ribs and chest injuries. Luckily, he avoided being paralysed. But the worst thing is that his girlfriend died in the disaster.

Giovanni blames himself. But actually, this is the fault of the Ministry of Railways. The drivers had been trained for only 10 days. Also, in other countries, trains are tested for a long time before carrying passengers. But this wasn't done.

After the tragedy, the first order given to the police was to clear away the wrecked carriages. This is outrageous. I think that the government should find ways to improve the quality of the ministry and its high-speed trains.

Michael Ng Ho-man, Po Leung Kuk No. 1 W.H. Cheung College

Let's keep Central Market alive

The old Central Market building is partly managed by the Lands Department. It rents shop spaces to several shopkeepers on contracts that are renewed monthly.

The government plans to turn the building into a new 'Urban Oasis' for the people of the district, so the shopkeepers must move out at some point. The Lands Department had promised that it would give the entrepreneurs three months' notice.

However, on August 9, the shopkeepers all received one-month eviction notices. How can the government do this to them? They have been there for more than 15years. The 'Urban Oasis' won't be ready for some time. So what will Central Market turn into? A barren hallway of closed shops?

Alex Chan, Tai Koo