Letters to the Editor, May 26, 2015

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 May, 2015, 3:50pm
UPDATED : Monday, 25 May, 2015, 3:50pm

Families need to talk, not just message

There are different kinds of family problems in Hong Kong.

Sometimes they can be due to a lack of proper communication. And sometimes family members are just overwhelmed by having to deal with the challenges of juggling work and school commitments with individual family members' needs.

These domestic problems can be solved.

Technology in this century is becoming even more advanced. Most citizens own a mobile phone and they contain different kinds of messaging apps. On the one hand, they bring us a great deal of convenience. However, there are also disadvantages. Increasingly, people communicate with each other using these apps, such as WhatsApp.

This means that there is now far less face-to-face communication between people, including family members. This can hamper people's communication skills. They do not know how to get on with friends and family in one-to-one communication. I think the rapid development of technology is one of the root causes of these domestic problems.

People need to have more family dinners and talk to each other about issues. And if the family problem gets serious then they should be willing to ask for help and see a social worker.

Zoe Chan Kam-ying,Yau Yat Chuen

Light pollution is getting worse in city

I refer to the letter by Rachel Lam ("Light pollution restrictions non-existent", May 21).

There are increased concerns among Hongkongers about levels of light pollution that affect various aspects of our lives.

Some residents living near the worst-affected areas sometimes have trouble sleeping because the indoor environment has become brighter. Light pollution can lead to psychological problems. This form of pollution also damages the environment.

Now in Hong Kong, with so many bright lights around, it is difficult see the stars in the night sky.

The situation has got worse with economic development. More shops stay open and are fully illuminated until late, and of course 24-hour convenience stores stay open and lit up all the time.

The government should be looking into this problem and see what legislation is needed to curb light pollution. Green groups also need to make people more aware of the problem.

For example, the annual Earth Hour could be organised twice a year.

At home, people need to switch off lights that they do not need.

Tsang Chung-mei, Sheung Shui

Problems with standard hours law

There has been a lot of debate about whether the government should implement legislation on a standard working hours law.

Those who support the introduction of such a law argue that many Hong Kong citizens work for too many hours and this can adversely affect their physical and mental health.

Those who have to work for long hours in the office, and therefore feel a lot of stress and pressure, are more prone to suffer from depression. Parents find they have far less time at home. With a working hours law, they could spend more time with their children.

However, I think there would be difficulties implementing such a legislation. It is difficult to calculate hours of work for some jobs. For example, teachers take work home to mark and this is the same with other jobs.

Also, some workers want to work longer hours to earn more money. A new law might stop them from doing that.

Helen Lau Hei-lam, Kowloon Tong

Parking rules are ignoredat airport

Who if anyone is in charge of parking at Hong Kong airport?

I came home to Hong Kong during last Wednesday night's amber storm and was so happy to return to the efficiency of Chek Lap Kok after a month of travel overseas - until I tried to load luggage into the car.

All the spaces for pick-up and drop-off only were occupied by parked cars with no drivers inside and no one of authority outside.

I saw one driver leave his vehicle and head to the lifts. When I confronted him, he said, "Everyone else does it."

Most of the cars seemed to have dual licence plates.

This flouting of rules has been on going for many months but trying to load luggage in torrential rain brought it home to me that we are indeed "one country, two systems" and clearly that applies also to parking.

Michelle Han, Clear Water Bay

Pan-dems should veto package

I refer to the government's proposals for the selection of the chief executive in 2017.

Under the proposal, two or three chief executive candidates, who are vetted by a nominating committee composed of Beijing loyalists, will be put to all eligible votes for election through "one man, one vote".

It is regrettable to see that the government's political reform proposal falls short of the international standard of universal suffrage.

Democracy encompasses a fair and equal right to elect and be elected. In a democratic society, every citizen should have a genuine choice as to who they want to run the government.

Under the government's proposal, the nominating committee will be largely composed of Beijing loyalists to ensure that only pro-Beijing candidates will be shortlisted for election by the general public.

As such, citizens' right to stand for election as chief executive is unreasonably restricted, and there is no genuine choice for the public in the ballot box.

Worse still, the chief executive elected through such an unfair electoral system will claim that he has the popular mandate through "one man, one vote".

There is every reason to speculate that such a fake popular mandate will unfortunately empower the chief executive to push through bad laws, such as anti-subversion legislation under Article 23 of the Basic Law, to hinder Hongkongers' freedom of speech.

The government has reiterated that there is no room for revision of the political reform package. It is better to stop moving forward than going onto a wrong track.

For the sake of our next generation, I urge all pan-democratic legislators to veto the government's proposal.

Michael Ko, Tsing Yi

Food waste charges offer best option

Every day, about 3,337 tonnes of food waste is dumped in Hong Kong's landfills, and the volume is rising.

I support calls for charges for the food waste thrown out by households every day. This charge is essential if Hong Kong is to solve its waste problem.

Some food waste is easy to cut back, for example, when diners order too many dishes at restaurants.

With Chinese culture, sometimes a specific number of dishes is ordered for good luck (eight dishes), even if it is too much.

Apart from the environmental issue, it creates a bad image of Hong Kong as a city that wastes so much food while some people in the world go hungry.

When a waste charge is finally implemented, I would like to see the revenue collected put to good use.

It should be donated to organisations which are developing technologies to turn food waste into, for example, swill and biodegradable cat litter.

These innovations can help further reduce volumes of food waste.

Some people may suggest building incinerators instead of imposing charges for disposal of food waste.

Although incinerators can get rid of a large amount of waste, they can also cause pollution.

Reducing volumes of food waste is the best way to address the problem of mounting piles of rubbish in Hong Kong.

The charge can make people more aware of the waste problem and of our landfills, which are nearing capacity.

Lee Chun-tung, Yau Yat Chuen

We must make right lifestyle choices

I am concerned that more Hongkongers are leading unhealthy lifestyles.

With the development of new technology, more Hongkongers are encouraged to be lazy, including adults and teenagers.

We all need to be aware of the importance of having healthier habits so that we prolong our life expectancy and avoid some preventable diseases that are a result of making the wrong choices.

So many Hongkongers are in such a rush that they feel they have no time to pay attention to this issue. They have little time to rest and relax and even less time for exercise. They often eat fast food as they want to finish a meal as quickly as possible.

However, we all need to find the time to do more exercise, such as jogging and hiking. We can hike with family members, which brings us closer to our children.

More restaurants now are offering healthier dishes and we should choose them when they are offered.

Samjo Tam, Tseung Kwan O