Letters to the Editor, April 2, 2016

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 April, 2016, 12:15am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 April, 2016, 12:15am

Housing needs imaginative strategy

I am writing to express my deep concern over the shortage of land in Hong Kong.

These days, the chief executive and government officials seem only to focus on the propaganda of political reform and attacks on opposition parties. The high property prices, long waiting list for public housing, a third runway, all seem to be pushed aside into a too-hard basket.

The most pressing social problem is housing, which is a ticking time bomb.

Hong Kong is densely populated and building public ­housing is not a long-term ­measure to alleviate the housing shortage, since the government has already done it for a long time. Every year, the problem gets worse.

Without a shadow of doubt, developing an underground city is an excellent idea. Not only can it increase the capacity of Hong Kong, but can also ­increase efficiency of land use.

The lifestyles of citizens are changing at a fast pace The requirement for a decent quality of life is also much higher than in the past. Therefore, it is necessary for the government to study how to improve our city in order to meet the needs of the community and achieve a more liveable environment.

Joey Chan Yuen-yi, Tseung Kwan O

Students will embrace e-learning

As technology evolves rapidly, teenagers are curious and attempt to spend more of their time with new technology.

Correspondingly, in education, they will pay more attention to something advanced and modern rather than the traditional content used in the past.

Therefore, the education system and society need to keep pace with the progress of new technology.

Classroom layouts are too formal, and the traditional teaching methods will seem ­tedious to many students. E-learning is the way to go for teenagers these days.

E-learning will not just boost the interest of adolescents in studying, but also enhance the interaction between teachers and students.

Teachers can follow up easily on what students have written, and formulate different levels of difficulty of materials according to different levels of students. Even parents can follow their children’s learning progress.

Xenia Ho Sin-lam, Lam Tin

Parents should let children handle issues

I refer to the letter from Christy Lee (“Overprotective approach bad for students”, March 21).

Hong Kong parents always fear their children will get into difficulty and be hurt. Therefore, they try to handle the problems their children face. The students cannot deal with their problems and pressure is caused by overprotective parents. It makes some students choose to ­commit suicide when they are in difficulty. I suggest some ways for students, parents and schools to enhance students’ problem-solving skills.

First, students can set up some short-term and long-term targets for themselves which helps them face the problems they have. Since students lack chances to deal with their problems, setting up targets and reaching them can help ­students learn crucial problem-solving skills.

If students want to reach the targets, they need to solve the problem and this is challenging for them.

Secondly, parents can try to hold back and give their children a chance to learn how to solve problems. Parents are the most important characters in their children’s lives.

Yoyo Li Fung-lan, Sham Shui Po

Selling out tradition for a quick buck

According to Kapil Kirpalani (“Sad to see iconic diner bite the dust”, March 11) Mike Rowse was spot on commenting on the forced closure of Dan Ryan’s in Pacific Place (“Eviction of Dan Ryan’s: it’s not progress but social vandalism”, February 19). And so is your correspondent.

Unfortunately, the Guy Bradleys of this world (chief executive, Swire Properties) have no interest in tradition.

Their only concern is the ­bottom line. If that can be ­improved by HK$2 by chucking out the newly renovated Dan Ryan’s, they will.

Their dream shopping mall is as sterile and exciting as a ­dentist’s waiting room, packed with wealthy mainlanders with money coming out of their ears, looking for the latest jeweller’s shops, and with shop owners ready to get their rent doubled every two years.

The same thing happened at IFC some years ago when Union Bar and Grill was chucked out, so now it looks even more like a desert, and all our friends have stopped going there.

The only thing that could stop this would be if Swire thought it would be a financially good idea to try and keep some gweilos coming to their malls, but I think we all know that is not going to happen.

Sven Topp, Lantau

Public hospital staff crisis can’t be ignored

I refer to the report (“Inside Hong Kong’s public hospital ­crisis: temporary beds, angry patients, nurses and doctors stretched to breaking point”, March 26).

In my opinion, the Hospital Authority should bear most of the responsibility on this issue. It has callously ignored the truth of a public hospital manpower deficit and only patched the problem of a staffing crisis by ­increasing the number of ­medical graduates each year.

Albeit the fact that overseas labour is not a long-term solution to the overcrowding problem, hiring foreign experts is the best way to solve the current shortage of workers.

Another notable fact is that the occupation welfare gap ­between public and private hospital is ascending.

Apart from salaries, surgeons toiling in the public hospitals usually have longer working hours than their counterparts in private hospitals.

Medical workers are stretched to breaking point under quick turnarounds ­between shifts and short meal breaks.

It is little wonder that so many want to quit and find ­other jobs.

During the recent cold weather spells, there was more pressure for medical help from the public health system.

What will happen in hospitals when the government’s plans for budget cuts are implemented?

Most people rely on these services and it is a government responsibility to provide them.

Tai Hiu-ching, Tsuen Wan

Water parks should set mammals free

I agree with those people who say that marine animals should not be kept in captivity.

An engaging documentary, Blackfish, reveals the truth about captive killer whales. I was shocked by the brutality of humans towards these intelligent mammals and the serious effect on their welfare when they are confined.

Marine mammals live in complex social groups and travel hundreds of miles in the wild. They are not suited for life in captivity where they live in solitude to swim in a small pool and their lives will be shortened.

Also, they have many training sessions and performances in water parks every day and all just for our amusement and to make money for their captors. We must stop this cruel practice.

Kally Cheng Wu, Kowloon Tong