PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 April, 2012, 12:00am


Elderly need more subsidised care

The plight of 100-year-old Ng King-yin and his wife, Lam Sau-king, 95, highlights the lack of places in homes for the elderly.

Ng was offered a place at a care home for the aged after being on the waiting list for two years. However, his wife was not eligible for a place in a regular care home owing to her worsening health. Ng gave up his place, as he wanted to be with his wife for the rest of his life.

I think the government should offer more subsidised residential care services for elderly couples.

Society owes the elderly a lot. They helped build Hong Kong into a prosperous city. They should be rewarded and allowed to live happily for the rest of their lives.

Unfortunately, community care for the elderly is insufficient.

The children of elderly people may not be capable of supporting their parents. Ng and Lam's daughter has been taking care of her parents since her six siblings are unable to support them.Now she needs treatment for depression.

The shortage of care services for the elderly puts a heavy burden on their offspring.

Hong Kong's population is ageing. There are 21,283 elderly people who are waiting for regular care home places, while 6,575 are seeking nursing home places. The average waiting time for the first type of home is 22 months and that for the second is 33 months. More than 4,000 people die each year while waiting for a home.

It is high time the government took responsibility and provided more resources to boost subsidised residential care services for the elderly.

Lam Hoi-yi, SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School

Downside to a third runway at airport

When Hong Kong International Airport was opened in 1998, the Airport Authority knew that the airport could only satisfy the demands of air traffic until 2010.

Now it has decided to construct a third runway to increase capacity at Chek Lap kok.

This plan has attracted much criticism from the public.

First, the area where the third runway is to be built is the habitat of the Chinese white dolphin. The construction would damage the ecosystem, critics say.

Second, more flights would mean an increase in carbon dioxide emissions, which would add to global warming.

Third, the noise would greatly affect nearby residents.

I understand the government's dilemma. But I hope officials will listen to the public. Instead of considering just the economic benefits of a third runway, they should strike a balance and allow Hong Kong to stay on a course of stable, sustainable development.

Anthony Hung Ying-kit, Maryknoll Fathers' School

Free newspapers aren't the answer

Because of all the information freely available on the internet, not many people are willing to spend money on newspapers nowadays. The appearance of free newspapers is another reason.

We can get free newspapers near MTR stations every morning. This is really convenient for commuters.

Yet the quality of free newspapers is often far from satisfactory. They sensationalise the news and place a heavy focus on celebrity gossip and gory content.

Such reporting will give the wrong idea to readers. News should be unbiased and informative.

Often such tabloids also take sides on political issues. Recently one urged people to join demonstrations against mainland tourists.

Whatever the merits of such demonstrations, newspapers should not use their power to amplify the seriousness of a social issue.

The media should maintain a fair and neutral position in their reporting.

Gloria Chan

Keep gadgets away from children

Electronic gadgets are everywhere, but I think many of them are not really suitable for children.

While many apps may have educational benefits, using such gadgets too often may damage youngsters' eyesight.

In addition, they may become addicted to such devices and lose interest in the world around them.

Parents should realise the dangers of trendy gadgets and make sure that their children stay healthy mentally and physically.

Lilith Ng Lee-fu, King Ling College