Letters to the Editor, August 22, 2016

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 August, 2016, 5:35pm
UPDATED : Monday, 22 August, 2016, 5:35pm

We can learn from athletes’ self-discipline

While the Olympic Games have come to an end, I hope will not forget the effort made by all ­athletes in Rio.

It was not easy for them to get to Brazil. They had to submit to a harsh training regime and adopt a disciplined lifestyle, striving for personal best performances that would enable them to ­qualify for their national team.

Even when the training got tough and they were in pain, they did not give up and pushed themselves beyond their limits.

They should be an example to all of us and we should apply the same determination in our lives, striving to overcome difficulties and chase our dreams. Famous Olympic champions like Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps were not born winners. They had to work hard to achieve their goals.

Individuals should adopt the same attitude when they are ­trying to get a university place or a good job.

We should also follow the ­regime of these athletes who ­ensure that they eat and sleep well.

Unfortunately, many Hongkongers do not get enough sleep and eat too much fast food. We all need to get enough sleep and ensure we have balanced diets if we want to be able to operate efficiently during the day. While we should work hard towards our goals, we need to also keep in mind the importance of rest and eating well.

We can learn from the determination, perseverance and self-discipline of these Olympic athletes.

Judy Chow, Kowloon Tong

Other airlines now offering better deals

I read your report on Cathay Pacific’s profits slump, attributed largely in part to “travel budgets” shrinking (“Cathay Pacific’s 1H net profit misses analyst’s estimates, slumps 82pc as travel budgets shrink”, ­August 17). I beg to differ.

While budget cuts are a ­reality for many businesses and families, I think a lot also comes down to consumers getting ­better value for money on other carriers with similar services. In addition, Cathay’s recently scaled-back loyalty programme gives little or no benefit to ­frequent flyers, especially on lower fare classes.

As a father of three, a small business owner and a Marco Polo member since 2003, I have, over recent years, found it ­harder to justify paying Cathay’s prices. Cathay are often asking double, or more, the prices of similar direct service carriers to Europe and the US.

When considering family vacations we now generally choose not to fly with Cathay and, as a business traveller, I use Cathay only as a last resort.

Devon Bovenlander, Sai Kung

More control from Beijing would be bad

I disagree with E. Fung’s letter (“Let Beijing appoint HK’s leader”, August 20).

While it is debatable whether British rule was better than what we have now, there is no doubt that autonomy matters to this city.

The people who know most about different aspects of a city are its citizens, such as its ­economy, culture and urban planning.

Why should we submit to rule by a regime from outside Hong Kong? I am not saying we should be separate from China. In fact, our autonomy is ­protected by the Basic Law. We should not give it up just to try and ­ensure more stability in the city.

Indeed, if we allowed Beijing to appoint our leader we would see even more turmoil.

Our chief executive has failed to gain the people’s trust. What citizens want is a government that they have elected and that comes up with policies that ­benefit them.

We are able to make our own decisions, whereas under the British we were told what to do. We should not grant more power to a party that knows little about our city.

Josh Sin, Tuen Mun

Allow pupils open teaching environment

The issue of discussing indepependence for Hong Kong in ­local schools has proved to be controversial.

Students in some secondary schools proposed setting up concern groups to discuss the feasibility of Hong Kong ­becoming a city state. This raised ­eyebrows among officials in the Education ­Bureau and created a ­dilemma for some school heads.

They wondered if they should give the green light to the setting up of such groups given that this has long been considered by some to be a taboo ­subject.

Some teachers were worried about how they should ­approach the subject and what teaching materials to use.

The bureau said it would not allow the schools to be used for propaganda purposes to ­promote independence for Hong Kong and that teachers promoting independence could lose their jobs and teaching qualifications.

If I was employed as a ­teacher I would probably steer clear of this topic of discussion in order not to get fired.

I do not know much about the Basic Law, but I do not think the right conditions exist for Hong Kong to be independent. But will talking about it make it more likely? I don’t think so.

Students are entitled to enjoy an open teaching and learning environment, and ensuring freedom of speech should be ­regarded as a priority in our schools.

If too many constraints are imposed on teachers, then this will be baffling for students.

That kind of learning environment is not good for teachers or for pupils.

Randy Lee, Ma On Shan

Still looking for high degree of autonomy

Congratulations to health secretary Dr Ko Wing-man for his quick action, honesty and transparency in handling the poisoned pork incident. This is the kind of action which encourages people to trust government.

With reference to the ­concern for calls to have independence for Hong Kong, I see this as more of a plea to the mainland to keep the promise of “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong”.

Independence for Hong Kong, as Margaret Thatcher had to acknowledge, has no hope of success without China’s highly unlikely agreement. Beijing did, however, promise a high degree of autonomy. Is it still to come?

Many years ago, a political group in the UK called for the independence of the Isle of Dogs. No threats of prosecution or panic there.

Jasper Tsang Yok-sing has the right attitude.

Tom Mulvey, Wan Chai

Parents must reassess their priorities

I refer to the letter by Rico Lam Man-ho about the way some parents are bringing up their children in Hong Kong ­(“Parents should stop pushing their children”, August 10).

I agree that parents can be too harsh in their efforts to get their children a place at a good school.

They often force their children to attend extracurricular activities and tutorial classes in order to give them an edge and impress a principal when they apply to a top school.

These parents need to think again about what they are doing and about their values.

They should not always equate ­success with earning a high ­salary. It is not good to focus too much on academic and financial success.

Children should not have to sign up for extracurricular activities that do not interest them.

They already have to endure a spoon-feeding culture in the classroom which kills creativity and crushes their dreams.

It can also make them ­become disillusioned.

Parents should aim to give children a carefree and happy childhood so that they can chase their dreams.

Doing well in school does not guarantee that you will do well in life and parents need to understand this.

Young people should also give careful thought to their ­value systems and think ­carefully about what they really want to do.

Chloe Hung Yee-ching, Lai Chi Kok