Letters to the Editor, July 28, 2016
Trash should be treated as a resource
Every year I have watched our refuse problem in Hong Kong get worse.
We seem to be unable to effectively recycle and our landfills are overflowing.
Added to this, a vile amount of trash floats into Hong Kong waters from the Pearl River Delta, offloaded from container ships or from communities further afield.
I suggest, as we are clearly unable to stop the rubbish, that we instead embrace it and become a refuse collector for our neighbours.
A short search of the internet brings up companies like Renova in Sweden which imports trash in order to create energy through a clean and effective method which leaves only 1 per cent remaining for landfills and does not pollute the atmosphere.
If we treat this trash like a resource, instead of a hazard, perhaps we can clean up, make money and create cheap energy at the same time.
I remember reading that the owners of Green Island Cement in Tuen Mun have wanted to do this for years at their plant which is easily accessed by barge and has the advantage of being on existing land. Why aren’t we giving this initiative our support? This could be good business for Hong Kong.
At the same time we can take to the water again without the joy of plastic bags and other unknown refuse for company.
Karen Prochazka, Shouson Hill
Food trucks show city’s true spirit
How refreshing to see Hong Kong’s entrepreneurial spirit alive and well with the competitive flair deployed to win the first phase of the food truck allocation (“Victory tastes good: 16 winners of food truck cook-off selected after heated competition”, July 27).
It is a reminder that away from the negative actions of those who seek to divide Hong Kong along political lines we remain, at heart, a city capable of tremendous originality and ability.
Now let’s just hope the trucks will not be parked on double yellow lines.
Mark Peaker, The Peak
Complain to school about homework
Many students find that they cannot relax during holidays as they still have to do homework.
I recall being happy and carefree during my time at primary school, but the present generation of primary pupils have a lot more homework to do. They may be burdened with school tasks even when they are supposed to be on holiday.
Parents exchange their views about this on Facebook, describing their children as grinding their teeth when they are asleep, which is not a good sign and which they say suggests they are under too much pressure.
Actually having a lot of homework is not necessarily a bad thing. And if parents think their children are being given too much to do, surely the best solution is to negotiate directly with the school.
This is better than complaining on social networks.
Michelle Ho, Yau Yat Chuen
All children deserve a shot at university
In Hong Kong there is fierce competition among parents to get their children into the best kindergartens, and primary and secondary schools, in the hope of eventually getting a university place.
It is felt that young people must get a degree to have any hope of eventually securing a well-paid job. And to get accepted as an undergraduate at a Hong Kong tertiary institution, there is further competition, not just from their peers, but also from mainland students.
However, many think that in this race for places at good schools, children from low-income families are at a disadvantage. They may be expected to have acquired a number of skills and may even face an interview. To help their children, better-off parents can sign them up for the necessary extracurricular activities. Poorer families do not have the money to do this.
Some of these schools have high admission standards and cannot be expected to lower them. However, the government can help to create a more level playing field so that students from all strata of society have a fighting chance.
The government must provide more financial resources to low-income families so their children can become more competitive.
Sarah Lam Kwan-fong, Kowloon Tong
New game fun but finding balance is key
Many people are really pleased that Pokemon Go has now become available in Hong Kong.
It has grabbed my attention and is a really enjoyable computer game. It is something that you can play with your friends and enjoy as a group activity.
Also, whereas with so many computer games you are sitting at home in a chair, with Pokemon Go you go outside and as you walk around playing it you are getting a lot of exercise.
However, while it can be fun, there is a downside. Some people are so intent on catching pokemons they neglect their work and their studies.
As with all smartphone apps you must find the right balance, so you avoid getting addicted and pay attention to your job.
Anson Hung Nga-wai, Kwun Tong
Latest mobile craze will be overtaken
I refer to the report (“Before Pokemon craze, there was geocaching”, July 14).
In this era of new technology, new games and gadgets are being introduced and updated all the time. They are trying to meet a growing demand for higher levels of realism and excitement and the latest game to become a craze, Pokemon Go, seized the opportunity to capture people’s interests.
One positive aspect of the game is that many people are now exploring the cities where they live.
On the downside there have been people playing the game in inappropriate places, and they have been told to steer clear of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, for example. Clearly, the game has a dark side.
When players ignore their surroundings they can put themselves at risk. The pokemon-hunting craze will soon be over, but then another game will come along and go viral and this trend will continue.
Eventually we will enter the age of virtual reality. And once it becomes affordable to a mass market it will revolutionise the gaming industry.
Woo Chung-yu, Lai Chi Kok
Doctors’ image tarnished by reform block
Let’s hope that life-threatening assaults by disgruntled patients and their relatives, as faced by doctors on the mainland, do not happen here in Hong Kong as a result of Legco failing to pass a bill to make changes to the make-up of the Hong Kong Medical Council.
This failure to get the bill enacted has led to the general public’s perception that doctors opposed it and this was a result of their “self-interest, stemming from a mind to protect their own”, as was stated by former long-time council chairman Professor Felice Lieh Mak (“Doctors against bill to reform Medical Council ‘irrational’ ”, July 15).
Ng Chi-kong, Tin Hau