Firefighters deserve better work hours
Hong Kong's firefighters have earned great public respect. Not only do they work long and irregular hours, their job is physically demanding and dangerous.
Over the years, some have died while saving lives in blazes. The tragedies are sad reminders of the force's dedication to protecting public safety.
Recently, firefighters voted overwhelmingly to reject the offer by management to cut night shifts, citing public safety as the reason. It is reassuring to see public safety comes before their own interests.
However, as most civil servants switched to a five-day week a few years ago, it is only natural for firefighters to step up the campaign to regulate their working hours.
Lam Wing-tung, Tsuen Wan Government Secondary School
Let's lend a hand to migrant children
I am writing in response to the article 'In need of a leg-up' (Young Post, March 20). While children in affluent countries enjoy luxurious lives, many kids in other parts of the world suffer every day. In spite of rapid urban development, the underprivileged are always neglected and left behind.
In Hong Kong, every child is granted the opportunity to learn. On the other hand, many children in poor countries do not have shelter, let alone the chance of an education.
Quite a number of mainland children who used to live in rural areas have migrated to cities to escape from poverty, and Hong Kong is one of their destinations. Many of them have difficulty adapting to the lifestyle of a prosperous city, and maybe our prejudice is not helping.
Ask yourself frankly: have you ever avoided migrant children? Though our community is said to be well-developed, widespread discrimination against migrants still exists. We have to remember that everyone is equal.
What they need most is our support. A simple greeting, a warm smile and friendly encouragement will help them have a more positive frame of mind which is a fundamental building block of their paths to new lives.
Comics won't boost language skills
Everywhere in Hong Kong we see young people flipping through the pages of comic books - not novels or non-fiction books.
I think they need to develop better reading habits if their oral and written skills are to improve.
Young readers often identify with fictional characters, and are influenced by their behaviour.
It can be dangerous for youngsters to read comics which portray murder, gang fights and other forms of violence.
There have been reports linking cases of youth violence with comic books that teenagers read.
Of course not all comics are bad. But because they contain little text and many pictures, they don't require much thought. They are also not very helpful for improving language skills and expanding the range of vocabulary.
Reading a good book is an important habit. Try to spend 30-60 minutes every day reading a book, newspaper or magazine. If you find it difficult to do this alone, ask your friends to form a reading group. Then you can share books and talk about them. You may then realise reading books can be as much fun as reading comics.
Chris Wan Chi-cheong, Po Leung Kuk Ma Kam Ming College
Tsang's friends were just being kind
I am writing in response to the Face/Off article 'Do you think Donald Tsang broke the bribery law?' (Young Post, March 13). I disagree with Gabriella Wong's opinion that the chief executive broke the bribery law by accepting extravagant perks from tycoon friends. Accepting favours from friends is normal behaviour.
Although Tsang is the chief executive, he is still an ordinary person. He can have his own friends like others do. I think some people have exaggerated the seriousness of his behaviour. His friends were just being kind.
In addition, there is no direct, or sufficient, evidence to show he accepted bribes. Tsang insists he paid for the services his friends offered him. There has been no evidence that he gave his friends anything in return.
Therefore, I hope people can look at this issue objectively. We should not judge Tsang based on information provided by the media.