PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 March, 2012, 12:00am


One-child policy is so destructive

The one-child policy was launched in 1979 as a form of population control on the mainland.

It has helped bring prosperity to China by boosting economic growth and improving people's quality of life. But it has also brought serious social problems.

It is better for children to grow up with siblings as there are experiences they cannot share with parents because of the generation gap.

Also, many of these single children have been overprotected and, in some cases, spoiled.

This makes it difficult for them to develop the proper social skills.

The most serious effect of the one-child policy has been the creation of a gender imbalance.

According to a recent study, there are 35 million more boys than girls under the age of 20 in China.

This is caused by traditional beliefs. Couples prefer to have a son as the boy can carry on the family name. With the rule that they can only have one child, many women had abortions if they were told the child would be a girl. Either that or a baby girl is abandoned or sometimes even killed.

I believe the disadvantages of the one-child policy outweigh the benefits and I hope the central government will decide to scrap it as soon as possible.

Lui Sheung-yin, Tseung Kwan O

In defence of seal hunts in Canada

I refer to the report ('SPCA urges ban on seal imports from Canadian hunts', March 9).

Canadian seals are not endangered. Authorities in Canada regularly conduct surveys. They are not tortured, the hunters dispatch them by clubbing them on the head. That's a quick death. Humans have always been hunter-gatherers.

Seal hunting is the continuation of our heritage as humans. Of course, you could say that war or slavery is also a human heritage. But seal hunting is not harmful, in fact it's useful. Seals provide fur for coats. The meat can be eaten by humans or pets such as cats. The oil goes in food supplements. Hunting provides jobs to Canadians, including the native peoples of Canada, who live where there are few jobs.

Having a job is good for morale, it beats being on welfare or unemployment insurance. People on welfare or receiving unemployment insurance in rural communities in Canada frequently abuse drugs and alcohol, or get injured while fighting. That is true for Canadian natives. Moreover, seals eat a lot of fish. When we kill some seals, there are more fish for humans.

If seals were ugly and had parasites that killed people, everyone would be for their extermination. But they're cute, so there's a lot of support for saving them. As I said, they are not endangered or tortured. It's far easier to argue that farm animals bred in captivity are physically and mentally tortured.

Jean-Francois Tremblay, Happy Valley

Ticket touts could disrupt MTR stations

Have the promoters of the Lady Gaga concerts thought through the practical consequences of the manner in which they sold tickets?

If, as appears likely, most of the purchasers of tickets for the second, third and fourth dates were touts rather than concert goers and they are unable to offload their tickets over the internet, then they are likely to try to do so on the day of each concert. They will do so either at the AsiaWorld-Arena venue or in MTR concourses in Central or Kowloon side.

Fans who were not able to buy tickets in advance may turn up in the hope of buying them from touts on the day.

In view of the way in which tickets were sold, ticketless fans could outnumber ticket holders.

Unless the promoters arrange for the resale of spare tickets in an orderly manner, there may be a risk of public disorder.

The MTR Corporation and the venue operator may also wish to consider what measures they should take to ensure the safety on their respective premises.

Ian Wingfield, The Peak

It is possible to reduce rich-poor gap

The government has introduced a number of policies aimed at combating the social problems caused by the extensive gap between the rich and the poor in Hong Kong. However, if they want to ease discontent over this issue, officials must do more.

Hong Kong has always been a good place to do business, because of the low tax rate compared with levies imposed by, for example, the US and Canadian governments.

I would like to see citizens on high income levels paying a higher tax rate.

The money could then be used to provide more residential places for elderly people in care homes.

Many fresh graduates and other job seekers find it difficult to get work.

Some will have to take menial jobs just to make ends meet.

The government could do more to help these individuals find jobs.

Providing work opportunities is an effective way of helping people to escape the poverty trap.

We cannot just focus on our role as an international finance centre.

The one-off giveaways announced in Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's final policy address and in the budget may have appeared to offer a solution, but they proved to be very controversial.

One of the main causes of discontent was the HK$6,000 handout which was given to permanent residents.

These initiatives have not done anything to alleviate the serious problem of poverty in the SAR.

There are no instant solutions when it comes to formulating policies which will lead to a narrowing of the rich-poor divide.

However, the problems can be alleviated if the government adopts a more proactive approach when formulating its policies.

This is a problem which needs a concerted effort from all sections of society.

Leung Yuk-hang, Sha Tin

No substitute for nurses' compassion

I refer to the letter by Cynthia Sze ('Nurses need professional dignity,' March 3).

Irony is apparently lost on your correspondent since she misconstrued my suggestion that Hong Kong could do with Filipino nurses ('Hire nurses from the Philippines', February 23), despite their having what Roger Phillips declares is just second-rate US-style medical training ('More depth to British first degrees,' March 2).

More irony is reflected in a report about National Health Service staff in Essex being given courses in compassion. Compassion can't be taught, but the TLC in Filipino nurses' genes is reflected in Mark Ranson's description of the tender loving care his late father received from his nurse ('Grateful to Filipinos who nursed dad,' March 3).

Isabel Escoda, Lantau