Letters to the Editor, July 16, 2016
Consult pupils before deciding on TSA’s future
There have been continued calls to abolish the Territory-wide Systems Assessment (TSA).
Last school year some schools were accused of drilling students, even at primary level.
Some schools wanted to continue with this practice, because the want their students to get good grades which would reflect well on the school.
However, parents complained that an excessive workload could have a negative impact on students and society as a whole.
The situation regarding the TSA remains unresolved.
It has led to a competitive environment between schools, with schools seeking to enhance their reputation by getting good overall results in the TSA.
I think there are positive and negative aspects to the TSA. Before a final decision is made on its future, the Education Bureau and schools should consider the views of students.
Iris Law Ka-yee, Kowloon Tong
Get youngsters involved in more sports
I am concerned about the lack of overall development of students in local schools.
The emphasis is on students to work hard on academic studies.
This means that other important aspects of their development, such as sport, are neglected. This is a pity, because it is important that they get enough exercise.
The Education Bureau has an important role to play here by increasing the number of physical education lessons taking place in local schools.
Students should be able to discuss with their classmates, what kind of sport they would like to get involved in and there should be different kinds of sport made available.
As well as more PE classes there should be sports competitions within and between schools.
Some sports are good at developing team work, such as volleyball. Getting involved in sport also allows the more all-rounded development of young people.
Kassie Chau, Shek Kip Mei
Vast majority of Muslims are peaceful
On behalf of ordinary Muslims in Hong Kong, I would like to thank David Wood for his letter (“Racism has no place here or anywhere”, July 2).
Instead of remaining a silent bystander to an overt act of racism and Islamophobia, your correspondent bravely confronted the man of French descent who was verbally attacking a Muslim family on the MTR.
If only there were more people like him, Islamophobia would lose “the oxygen” it needs to grow.
However, I would add that Hong Kong people have generally been very welcoming towards Muslims over the last few decades.
Most of them broadly understand that recent events in the West are a consequence of its failed foreign policies in Muslim countries since time immemorial, among a host of wide ranging factors.
Nevertheless, the vast majority (more than 99.9 per cent) of the world’s Muslim population cannot be held responsible for the heinous actions of fringe groups like ISIS that accounts for a tiny minority of Muslims.
In the same way every Christian cannot be held responsible for most of the mass shootings in the US or an Israeli settler shooting an indigenous Palestinian.
Should car manufacturers have to apologise when drunk drivers kill people using their vehicles?
Should every single gun owner in America have to apologise whenever innocent people are killed by firearms? Should I be required to apologise if my sibling gets a speeding ticket because we share the same last name?
If we don’t already believe that Muslims condemn terrorism by now, then repeated broken-record condemnation from any Muslim leader or ordinary Muslim will not help cure the growing Islamophobia today.
The sooner average ordinary citizens of the world begin to understand this, the sooner peace and harmony will prevail. Meantime, the world needs more people like David Wood who speak the language of peace rather than people who spew hatred and who seek to divide us.
Siddiq Bazarwala, Discovery Bay
More Koreans refusing to eat dog meat
I was pleased to learn from news reports earlier this year, that fewer restaurants in South Korea were serving dishes comprising dog meat.
The decline in demand for dog meat in South Korea may be influenced by the pet culture in Western countries.
In the past having a pet was not a widespread practice in the country. However, it is now quite common to have a pet and the pet-selling sector has grown dramatically.
As more people have a dog or a cat and develop a fondness for them, they are put off the idea of going to a restaurant and ordering a meal comprising dog meat.
Many South Koreans now fight for the rights of dog to be allowed to live and not to be slaughtered for their meat.
They have been impressed by the long-held belief in the West that a dog is “man’s best friend”, because they have developed a connection with their dog as a pet and cannot bear the thought of dogs being killed in this way.
It is not just that they object to them being killed, but activists are also appalled by the method.
The dogs are hanged and then beaten to make the meat more tender.
It is not that all these people are opposed to eating meat of any kind, but they draw the line at dogs and the cruel method of killing. They do not think these animals should have to suffer in agony to satisfy diners in a restaurant.
I agree with them, although I am not saying we should never eat any meat. However, we should also consider other animals and the way they are killed for their meat.
Chloe Ko, Sha Tin
Piles of refuse damage city’s reputation
Hong Kong is blessed with some beautiful beaches.
Thousands of families head out every weekend to enjoy them. However, they are increasingly confronted by mountains of litter, both on the shoreline and floating in the shallow water.
If Hong Kong wants to maintain its reputation for being a great place to enjoy the outdoors, something urgently needs to be done to curb the rubbish making it into our waters.
It’s a shocking eyesore and a hazard to people and sea life.
Sam Turvey, partner, Hong Kong Bell Pottinger
Roof gardens not only way to go green
Many buildings have rooftop gardens. The aim is to have a greener future and lower urban temperatures.
This trend has slowed down with the collapse of a rooftop at a sports hall at City University.
Now people have expressed concern that they are not safe.
Another way to reduce urban temperatures is to make use of natural wind and reduce our reliance on polluting energy like electricity.
In this context we need to consider the whole issue of pollution and how to reduce it. Having homes with large windows allows in more natural light. This reduces the need to switch on lights during the day.
Also, if we want a greener society we have to tackle waste at source. Direct charges for users based on the polluter-pays principle can effectively help reduce waste.
Sammi Lo Wing-sum, Sai Kung