Good examples will change behaviour
I totally agree with Chan Wai-yan's letter 'Why can't we get along with others?' (Young Post, March 13). There have been a lot of misunderstandings between Hongkongers and mainlanders because of cultural differences.
But everyone has flaws. Hongkongers often eat and shout on the MTR, so they should not blame others when they do that, too.
We need to have good manners ourselves if we want mainland visitors to behave well. Then the mainlanders can follow our example.
I strongly believe that Hongkongers can get along well with mainlanders if they learn to accept others.
Ban or no ban, nothing changes
People have been banned from smoking in bars, restaurants, schools, parks, and most public places in Hong Kong since January 1, 2008.
But, ever since the smoking ban was implemented, government statistics show that people are lighting up more now than they were before the ban. It seems the attempt to change people's habits has had the opposite effect.
This is probably because cigarette prices have not gone up significantly enough for several years, and there aren't enough tobacco control officers to catch those breaking the law.
The ban is not well enforced, as you can still see people smoking in public places. Since the ban was introduced, very few people have been caught and fined.
I think smoking should be prohibited everywhere, so the only place people can smoke is at home. Also, the prices of cigarettes should be increased dramatically.
But, most importantly, we need more officers to catch offenders and fine them.
Learn to think, not memorise
Recently, my biology teacher asked our class to memorise a past paper because she was going to use it as one of our tests.
But the study of NSS biology calls on students to use reasoning based on knowledge to answer questions. In short, scientific thinking skills. These thinking skills are very important, because at university, not all scientific questions have an existing answer. I admit biological concepts and specific terms need to be memorised, but not the process of reasoning.
It is odd that while the Education Bureau is emphasising the importance of critical thinking, some teachers order students to learn model answers. There must be something wrong with Hong Kong's education system.
Jacky Chan Hong, King Ling College
Cruel dog fights should be shut down
I read an article on the web recently saying there were illegal dog fighting centres in Hong Kong. These dogs are going to die fighting or be killed if they lose.
Although the police have been informed about this practice by some caring people, it seems they have done nothing to help the innocent dogs. They were told the triads supported these centres. Therefore, the police could not shut them down easily.
These people then protested and organised a petition which they gave to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.
I hope the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals can help these dogs.
And if anyone knows of such fighting centres, I hope they report them to the police.
Suki Wu, Christian Alliance S. C. Chan Memorial College
Poor struggle to provide good diets
Not everyone in Hong Kong has the chance to have a balanced diet.
In lower-income households, parents often work long hours. They have no time to care about nutrition and often give their children preserved or canned food. They also don't always know the right foods to feed them.
In addition, healthy food is not cheap. Low-income groups may need to spend more money on other household expenses.
Although it may be difficult for them, parents have a responsibility to take good care of their children. Poor nutrition will affect their growth and their future health.
Carol Lam King-nga, Leung Shek Chee College