PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 April, 2012, 12:00am


Illegal developments must be stopped

Columbariums - places to store urns containing human ashes - have been built without permission on Po Toi Island and in the New Territories, and the natural landscape has been damaged. I think the government is not doing enough to stop these illegal building activities.

Offenders could be fined HK$500,000 and sent to jail. This would send a strong message that the government means business.

Places like Po Toi Island are of great historical and environmental value. The government should step up enforcement against people who operate illegal columbarium businesses.

Also, it should spread the message that it is important to conserve our natural environment.

Christine Chan, SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School

Talent shows are not the same as real life

In talent shows, participants with different skills, such as singing, dancing and acrobatics, compete with one another. They have one thing in common: they want to beat their counterparts and win the competition.

Talent shows are actually a reflection of our society. Every day, we compete with one another. Students strive for higher scores, hoping to get into the best universities. Workers aim for promotions and higher salaries. We want to be winners as we believe this indicates success.

We need an ultimate winner in a talent show. But is there a winner in the real world? Who can define victory? Our chief executive, or a tycoon? The truth is there is no one winner. Real life is totally different from a talent show where only one person wins. In the real world, everyone has their own unique talents.

So don't be so foolish as to use other people's achievements as a way to measure your own self-worth.

Ivy Leung Wing-yan, Hong Kong Chinese Women's Club College

New ways to solve the housing problem

The amount of available land in Hong Kong is not enough to meet current housing needs. Therefore, a lobby group is urging the government to develop 'brownfield' sites instead of reclaiming more land from Victoria harbour.

'Brownfield' sites refer to pieces of land which are left idle or abandoned after industrial or commercial use. In Hong Kong, these sites are equal in area to half of the Kowloon peninsula. At the moment, many of them are being used as car parks or as container truck depots. This is not an efficient use of such valuable land.

Overseas governments often put a priority on reusing 'brownfield' sites first, before opening up undisturbed land, so as to protect the environment.

And environmental protection is very important. Reclamation pollutes the environment and destroys the habitat of dolphins and other animals. It is costly and time-consuming, too.

On the other hand, redeveloping 'brownfield' sites would be a quicker and more efficient way to create new land for housing. The government only needs to buy the land.

As the demand for public housing is much greater than for private housing, I think the government should set aside several lots of land for building public housing estates instead of auctioning them off to private developers. This move would be popular with the public, and would reduce the amount of land being reclaimed.

Lydia Chau Hiu-fung

Don't target unborn children

There have been several reports in the media suggesting that some doctors at British clinics agree to abort babies solely because of the gender of the fetuses. Such practice violates not only medical ethics but also human rights.

Even unborn children should have rights. I believe any abortion is ethically unacceptable, let alone sex-selective abortion.

Doctors should refuse to go along with parental requests to abort babies on grounds of gender.

The British government should step in and stop this immoral practice at once.

It should also punish medical professionals who violate their code of ethics.

In addition, we need to educate people to make sure that no unborn children end up being victimised.

Priscilla Chan Wai-fan, Leung Shek Chee College