Letters to the Editor, October 8, 2016

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 October, 2016, 12:18am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 October, 2016, 12:17am

Boost positives so children say no to alcohol

I am writing in response the ­article (“Children drinking ­alcohol as young as 10, study finds”, October 3).

The survey from Polytechnic University’s school of nursing found that 38 per cent of 840 Form Three students surveyed had drinking experience, with peer influence a key factor.

There is no doubt that this is a matter of grave concern that schools, parents and society at large must come together to tackle urgently.

To start with, offering moral education lessons should be a must for schools, to inculcate the important message that drinking alcohol may cause irreversible brain damage and harm the nervous system.

Parenting education is ­another crucial factor in helping children. Caring for children’s needs, listening to them and showing love are important things parents should always keep in mind.

Children are basically ­vulnerable and easily influenced by acquaintances and schoolmates. Keeping an eye on their activities can help prevent ­unhealthy habits and more heart-to-heart conversations can bolster the parent-child ­relationship.

Above all, if society as a whole has a healthy, energetic and ­positive atmosphere, doubtless we, the next generation, will be influenced by the positivity. Conveying the message of ­saying no to alcohol requires the cooperation and willingness of all sections of society.

Kathleen Kong Hoi-hung, Tseung Kwan O

Welcome step to encourage organ donation

I refer to the article about more than 70 local schools agreeing to use Hong Kong’s first organ ­donation teaching materials (“New teaching materials seek to boost Hong Kong’s poor ­organ donation rate”, ­September 20).

The government has ­decided to use teaching ­materials to improve awareness and boost organ donation, with the materials to be used mainly in liberal studies lessons.

The response from most ­students was good, as they felt such teaching can raise awareness and clear misconceptions about organ donation as being sinful or banned in some ­religions.

Hong Kong’s organ donation rate ranks among the lowest in the world, with 5.8 donors for every million residents.

I think that teaching about organ donation in school is really a good way to promote and raise awareness, not only for secondary students but for all Hongkongers.

I believe that if citizens are willing to step up, more lives will be saved.

Christy Chung Chi-ching, Yau Yat Chuen

Administration needs to heed voice of people

The “umbrella movement”, which lasted for 79 days, was a meaningful event for Hongkongers as they sought to ensure a democratic future for the city.

However, it did not achieve its goals. Two years on and Hongkongers are still fighting for universal suffrage, which the Hong Kong and Beijing governments now seem to want to avoid.

This is the wrong approach to take. Both local and central governments should listen to Hong Kong citizens.

If they do not, there will be more political protests like the umbrella movement and we will face a future of disunity as we ­approach 2047.

There are issues which need to be resolved if Hong Kong is to have a bright future.

Edwin Chung Yiu-king, Yau Tong

Low ranking on quality of life is appalling

I was utterly appalled to learn of the very low ranking for Hong Kong in terms of the quality of life. Something must be done to deal with this dire situation.

The composite “Hong Kong Quality of Life Index” has been compiled by the Chinese ­University of Hong Kong since 2002, yet the research results are neither made known to the ­public nor made use of by the government to devise policy.

What can actually be done to ensure that we have a better standard of living in the future?

From an economic perspective, the widening wealth gap as well as the soaring price index should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Having served as an enumerator in the last Hong Kong ­by-census, I feel deep sympathy for those having to live in a 50 sq ft flat while earning merely HK$5,000 per month.

Another family I interviewed had to put in 30 years of toil and sweat to own a 400 sq ft flat that cost them nearly HK$6 million.

If these situations continue, Hong Kong people will never live a happy life, but have to work round the clock without ­satisfying their spiritual needs.

We cannot ignore political instability either if we want to live peacefully. The Occupy Central movement in 2014 clearly demonstrated our ­distrust of our government.

Restoring people’s confidence in the government is ­crucial for the quality of life to be maintained. This can be achieved only when the government plans and implements policies in line with the majority views of citizens. It may sound like a far-fetched goal but is essential for our well-being.

Last but not least, we have long endured poor air quality in the city but a fresh and healthy environment is the key to an ideal standard of living, as ­suggested by a number of noted researchers.

The government could do more to encourage the use of ­bicycles and public transport to tackle this problem.

Do not let our quality of life index drop any further. The ­better our standard of living, the more competitive our society will be, and the happier and wealthier – both spiritually and monetarily – our lives.

Ho Seung-kwok, Tsuen Wan

Many students enjoy reading actual books

I refer to the article on the government website (news.gov.hk), titled, “Subsidy suspension is reintegration”, justifying the decision to end book subsidies for primary and secondary schools.

The secretary for education, Eddie Ng Hak-kim, argues that reading habits have changed, with more young people getting their reading material from electronic gadgets.

The subsidies were used by both primary and secondary schools to buy books and multimedia reading materials. ­Because of the change of policy, schools will not have the budget to pay for new books and help promote reading habits. This was not the right time to end this subsidy.

Many students still enjoy reading actual books rather than scanning them online, and when they read more they ­improve their language skills, in both reading and writing.

I hope officials will ­reconsider this decision.

Tsang Cho-him, Ngau Tau Kok

Young drivers drawn to apps over taxi trade

I am writing in response to the article (“Hong Kong taxi trade hit by driver shortage as young are put off by its bad reputation”, October 3).

People nowadays don’t take a taxi as frequently as before, ­because they have an alternative. GoGoVan is one such. It is the first app-based platform for transporting goods in Asia, and the app GoGoVan was created to connect drivers and customers.

As more ride-hailing apps are launched, young people are tending to choose to become van drivers. The first reason for this is the desire to avoid paying expensive rental fees for taxis. Some drivers have their own cars. They are afraid earnings will not cover costs if they ­become taxi drivers.

The sector’s reputation of rude drivers overcharging and taking longer routes also puts off young people.

Candy Ho, Tseung Kwan O