Letters to the Editor, July 04, 2015
Importance of expressing an opposing view
After the government's proposed political reform package was defeated on June 18 in the Legislative Council, my classmates mocked the pro-establishment camp and the embarrassed lawmakers.
They are all supporters of the pan-democratic parties, while I am pro-Beijing.
I think it is fair to say that most teenagers in Hong Kong do not support the central government with regard to these proposed reforms. This is hardly surprising, given that most of the leaders of the Occupy Central movement were young students, some still in their teens.
Many of my friends responded to the call from Joshua Wong Chi-fung, a leader of the student group Scholarism, to join the street protests against "fake" universal suffrage.
Many of my peers equate the pan-democratic camp with liberation and freedom, and the pro-establishment with totalitarianism.
I admit that, as a secondary student, I have a limited knowledge of politics, but I sometimes feel that if I express my view, I will be looked on as some kind of freak.
What is important in this debate is press freedom. People of differing views must continue to use the press to express those views.
I should be able to talk freely about what I consider to be a core value.
The great thing about a free press is that it accepts diverse voices in our society, and long may that continue.
I urge those teenagers who are pro-Beijing to stand up and express their own ideas.
They should not be worried about doing so, because controversy is part and parcel of a free society.
Zac Ko Wai-lok, North Point
Totally wrong to blame the pan-dems
I refer to the letter by John Shannon ("Pan-dem leaders should now resign", June 20).
Was I living in a parallel universe on Thursday, June 18, when I saw the pro-Beijing legislative councillors walking out en masse, thereby triggering a complete collapse of support for the proposed "false" democratic reform package that had been put before them?
That is what the rest of the world and I saw, but not according to your correspondent. It was the fault of the pan-democrats who, according to him, scuppered all hopes of Hong Kong people now being allowed to elect their leader of choice.
He is living in a delusional world, and I am surprised that obviously a Westerner from a democratic country would have the gall to say that the pan-democrats should resign.
Vince Loden, Lamma
Find more ways to boost HK population
Hong Kong has an ageing population as more young people choose not to marry or marry later and do not have children.
As the ratio of older citizens to younger ones increases, there will be increasing problems because of labour shortages.
The low birth rate will combine with a falling death rate as people live longer.
With a smaller workforce, productivity will decrease and Hong Kong's competitiveness will suffer.
There is more the government can do to deal with these problems, such as creating an environment that is conducive to child bearing.
The Quality Migrant Admission Scheme can increase the working population and help to counter any gender imbalance. More ways should be found and policies adopted to increase the population in Hong Kong.
Tsang Yuk-in, Tseung Kwan O
Passing debt woes to future generations
I believe every nation today is indebted with bonds issued well above their capacity to repay.
Thus we are always seeing either more bonds issued to refinance debts and pay interest, and/or alternatives such as International Monetary Fund bailouts when that route doesn't work due to downgrades by rating agencies.
Corporations can go bankrupt and restructure. But countries like Greece don't really have the same restructuring process, because they have nothing anyone is interested in absorbing.
The country has no resource of interest, and so it can raise money only via tourism taxation. Nevertheless, if Greece does not pay back its debts, many other countries will begin to consider if their balance sheets are heavy on liabilities that will be hard to pay back by future generations. I think 2016 will be a new test for countries.
If banks check applicants' ability to repay debts, then obviously countries need to have stress tests done, too. I believe many European countries would not pass the stress test.
It is about time investors knew the truth behind the global financial system that is heavily indebted at a rate too high for future generations to pay back.
Rishi Teckchandani, Mid-Levels
How would Trump pick running mate?
Donald Trump wants to be chosen as the Republican candidate in next year's US presidential election.
I actually think he would make a better president than the latest candidate from the Bush clan in every way.
I would be interested to know how he would choose his running mate if he were chosen as the candidate.
I assume he would use the same selection process as he did in the US version of the reality TV show The Apprentice.
K. M. Nasir, Mid-Levels
Ads needed to teach about food waste
Some correspondents have written about the necessity of cutting back on food waste.
I agree with them that we waste a lot of food. Especially during festivals such as Lunar New Year, a lot of food is uneaten and just thrown away.
But should citizens shoulder all the blame? Surely it has a lot to do with government policies regarding waste.
For example, the government could do more to teach Hong Kong students about the importance of environmental protection.
It could put out more adverts on television and in newspapers promoting reductions in food waste.
Ultimately, there needs to be better cooperation between citizens and the government to reduce the huge volumes of food waste generated in Hong Kong.
Leo Sin, Sheung Shui
Hong Kong youths are not tough enough
Yonden Lhatoo asks if Hongkongers are the world's most mollycoddled population and suggests compulsory military service for toughening up Hong Kong youth ("Government mollycoddling endures, whatever the weather", June 26).
Coming so soon after the many letters in these columns on the subject of privileged Brit expat youngsters, Lhatoo's thinking has some merit.
Sadly, I witnessed on TV our young men during the student umbrella carnival, a few of them on the point of collapse, being carried away for medical treatment after going up to 24 hours without a burger and fries. For such youngsters, national service would be a death sentence.
Closer to home, I am an active member of a well-known sports club in the city that has ambitions and a vision of being the best in Asia.
The club provides soccer coaching for all ages from 18 months through all the teenage years to adulthood and even senior citizens.
I pay particular and regular attention to all the training sessions of these groups and their performances in competition. Their skill level is passable, but physically they couldn't burst their way out of a balloon.
What I would say to Lhatoo, as an ex-British conscript, is that if Hong Kong's survival in a military confrontation depended on what I witnessed of our youth, we would lose and even the pan-democrats would be calling for the support of the People's Liberation Army.
John Charleston, Tuen Mun
Migrants may end up being disappointed
It has been suggested that many citizens are leaving Hong Kong and resettling abroad.
They are unhappy about a number of issues, such as the current political problems, high cost of living and what they see as a substandard educational system.
I hope these citizens will give careful thought before making such a radical move.
They need to be sure that the country they are going to will fulfil all their expectations. Many countries have their own serious political problems. And while there is no doubt that the cost of living is high in Hong Kong, the unemployment rate is low compared with that of many developed countries.
Also, companies here tend to offer more attractive remuneration than elsewhere for suitably qualified candidates.
I agree that when it comes to the educational system, there is room for improvement. The government should be ensuring that there are more places at universities for Hong Kong students.
When Hongkongers decide to study abroad, they always face challenges, such as cultural and language differences.
Eleanor Lui Lok-ching, Yau Yat Chuen