Law can save our health and society
Air pollution is getting worse in Hong Kong. To tackle the problem, the Motor Vehicle Idling (Fixed Penalty) Bill came into force on December 15. Under the bill, drivers have to switch off the engines when the vehicles are stationery.
I am in favour of this proposal. Most of the time, we can neither see the sky clearly nor breathe fresh air. A rising number of people are suffering from asthma or other respiratory illnesses.
Introducing regulations and penalising those who fail to comply could raise awareness about the issue, and ultimately, fewer pollutants may be released into the atmosphere.
The bill may also halt the brain drain, where highly educated professionals are leaving the city due to its serious pollution problems. If we had better air quality, they would be more likely to stay in Hong Kong.
Cut down on Christmas waste
What comes to your mind when you hear the word 'Christmas'? A Christmas tree, or Christmas dinner?
When we talk about Christmas, we usually talk about the decorations and the delicious food. It's that time of the year when we can relax and feel the warmth of our friends and family.
Besides, we are excited about the gifts. When we give gifts or receive them, they are always wrapped in colourful paper. But we can't re-use the wrapping paper after we have opened our presents. It goes into the rubbish bin.
Also, we won't often re-use the Christmas decorations in our homes. And we usually throw the Christmas trees away after the holiday. This is such a huge waste.
We should use less wrapping paper, while artificial Christmas trees and decorations can be re-used. Every little thing can help save our planet.
Kelvin Lam Cheuk-fung, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College
Thumbs-up for liberal studies
I am writing in response to Donald Lui's letter 'Liberal studies is letting us down' (Young Post, December 13). I don't agree with his views. Though I share his concern about the marking criteria, I think liberal studies encourages active learning and critical thinking.
Without a standard or fixed marking scheme, students no longer have to memorise so-called model answers to get high marks. This forces them to think deeper about the issues.
Students who used to be less motivated now have the chance to understand what they are learning. They cannot just rely on their teachers to do everything for them.
Also, every student has to do a project independently. Maybe some students think this is more time-consuming and not as effective as the traditional 'spoon-feeding' methods. But isn't learning autonomy the objective all of us want to achieve? Teachers are just facilitators who help students to reach their targets.
Students should not always depend on their teachers. Being able to learn on their own will definitely benefit students for their entire lives.
Cheung Sin-ying, Carmel Bunnan Tong Memorial Secondary School
Unreasonable ferry charge for cyclists
Bicycles have been allowed on board the cross-harbour ferry route for free during non-peak hours since 2003. But soon Star Ferry plans to charge HK$20 for each bike on the Wan Chai-Tsim Sha Tsui route, the only harbour ferry that carries bikes.
Star Ferry said that since the Hung Hom routes were shut down, passengers bringing bicycles to and from Tsim Sha Tsui had increased to 46 per day. The company also claimed that the HK$20 fare was not enough to cover the cost of employing extra staff 'to ensure the safety of the cyclists'.
In Hong Kong, there's only a small group of people who cycle to work, and most of them do so for leisure. I do not believe the cyclists will have an impact on other passengers, especially if they park the bikes properly.
A lot of people think that charging HK$20 per bicycle is unreasonable, and I think so, too.
I believe Star Ferry should impose a lesser charge during peak hours and allow bikes on board for free at other times.
Chilli Leung Tze-yin, Pooi To Middle School