PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 October, 2011, 12:00am


We must do more to help the elderly

Social segregation in Hong Kong is a very serious problem. In my view, poverty and old age are the main culprits. A large number of old people have to collect the junk off the street and sell it in order to earn a little money to live from day to day.

Government aid does not solve the problem - there is inflation in Hong Kong and prices keep rising. The old age allowance is about HK$1,000 a month. It is not enough. Also, recipients have to live in the city for 56 days of the year, but some elderly Hongkongers prefer to live in the mainland where prices are cheaper and many of their relatives live.

This month's policy address offered some help, with the government-subsidised HK$2 on public transport fares for the elderly and the disabled and the extended welfare payments to elderly people resettling in Guangdong.

The elderly are the treasure in our society. They have given so much to the next generations and we have a duty to maintain their living standards. We should show them our respect and care.

Sharon Tsang Yee-kwan, Leung Shek Chee College

Smoking may be the lesser evil

The World Health Organisation has launched a scathing attack on the tobacco industry's attempts to combat anti-smoking efforts.

While I dislike smoking and believe it should be discouraged, I think a lot of workers need to smoke during work to relax. If tighter restrictions are brought in, it could lead to lower morale and productivity.

Also, if smoking is banned completely, workers may resort to other ways of relieving pressure, such as drug abuse. This may lead to more serious problems.

Still, I hope they will give up smoking as it is bad for their health.

Karen Tsoi, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School

Europe will pay for carbon tax on flights

Airlines that fly to Europe are going to be charged a carbon emissions tax from next year.

I think this system will not help solve any environmental problems, but it will cut the number of tourists to Europe and hit its economy.

The amount of carbon dioxide released and fuel consumption are unlikely to be reduced much because workers who need to fly frequently for business will still be travelling despite the extra costs, and the frequency of flights is unlikely to be cut.

Wong Lok-yin, Tsuen Wan

Take some rest when changing the world

It was a shock when I first heard about the death of Steve Jobs. He was only 56 years old, but had pancreatic cancer. My father said that usually the smartest ones die soonest.

The composer Mozart died at the age of 35 and revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen died at the age of 58. Maybe this is destiny and we should not feel too sad about it. At least they did change the whole world.

Furthermore, I have learnt something very important. Money cannot buy everything. In this case, health.

Steve Jobs earned a fortune, but had to face an early death. I think it would have been nore sensible if he had managed his time better and had enough rest. According to my knowledge of biology, huge pressure will increase the risk of getting cancer.

His death also made me think that we teenagers should try to be more creative and contribute new ideas to society.

We should cherish the opportunities for us to create new things. Maybe one of us will be the next Steve Jobs.

Christina Choi, S.K.H. Lam Kau Mow Secondary School

Injustice of life in Shenzhen factories

News of mainland workers being treated unfairly is becoming very familiar. Shenzhen workers are such victims.

Many are working in the factories of world-renowned companies and still have no rights at all - working all day without a break to increase productivity.

The mainland government ought to educate workers on their human rights as well as employers on their social responsibilities.

If workers enjoyed working, they would never be lazy; they would work wholeheartedly. And while productivity may go down a bit, high ethical standards would rule.

Molly Wong Yuen, Tsuen Wan