Letters to the Editor, November 28, 2016

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 November, 2016, 5:26pm
UPDATED : Monday, 28 November, 2016, 5:26pm

Localists are forcing the hand of Beijing

Matthew Harrison suggests that because voters want what the localists “sell” – independence – they should be taken seriously (“Disqualified pair raising serious issue”, November 28).

The sad irony is that by ­“selling” a proposition to voters which is not for sale, they are only accelerating the “mainlandisation” they are trying to prevent. The German social theorist Max Weber (1864-1920) describes a good politician as someone “who combines a passionate conviction in supra-mundane ideals that politics has to serve and a sober rational calculation of its realizability in this ­mundane world”.

He stresses the importance of the ethics of responsibility: a politician’s duty to assess the consequences of his/her actions to determine if, ultimately, they will lead to the desired effect.

This is in contrast to the ethics of conviction, whereby a politician is motivated single-mindedly by a righteous goal – regardless of the cost – because it is deemed intrinsically good. Weber was of the opinion that both the ethics of conviction and the ethics of responsibility should be taught in schools. An idea for Hong Kong maybe?

Josephine Bersee, Mid-Levels

Tourists will flock to larger theme park

I support Disney’s plans to expand its theme park in Hong Kong (“Frozen and Marvel superhero attractions to boost Hong Kong Disneyland in HK$11 billion expansion”, ­November 23).

I think this expansion with some new features and a six-year upgrade will attract more tourists to the city and add ­thousands of new jobs to the tourism sector.

This expansion is needed, because some features of Hong Kong Disneyland are now a bit old and some visitors might even find them boring now.

With this expansion, the park will look even more beautiful and gain a global ­reputation as a place to come to Hong Kong to visit.

It will increase the number of visitors who stay for a night or even longer, especially as new attractions come online. Superheroes from the Marvel comics series, for example, will arrive at the park in phases.

Cherry Chan, Tseung Kwan O

Concerned about planned food bazaar

I think the government propposal to allow a cooked food bazaar to be set up in Mong Kok or nearby areas during the Lunar New Year could have some ­shortcomings.

Mong Kok is a very lively and busy place. Having a cooked food bazaar with about 40 hawkers may adversely affect other ­people.

It would likely be quite noisy and this could cause a disturbance for nearby residents. I am also concerned that discarded food could attract rats and ­cockroaches.

Also, it will only help 40 hawkers.

There will probably be many more who want to set up their food stalls, but are unable to do so. And officials say restrictions will be placed on hawkers about how they cook the food, which may restrict the variety of the food that is on offer.

Therefore, I am not convinced that this proposal is practical and am not sure it will be successful.

Tiffany Wong, Sham Shui Po

Parents must not ignore breakfast

Research shows that youngsters benefit from having a proper breakfast every day (“Hong Kong pupils who eat breakfast daily ‘18 months ahead of those who skip the meal’”, November 27).

They tend to perform better in school, having had something to eat at the start of the day.

By having regular and nutritious meals, they can avoid unhealthy weight gains.

Some Hong Kong ­parents are so focused on their children doing well academically that they neglect other areas, including making sure their ­children get a good breakfast.

These parents need to recognise that making sure their ­children get a nutritious breakfast is more important than ­signing them up for tutorial classes or additional training courses.

Because they sleep more than adults, in the morning they need a good breakfast so that they can adequately refuel.

They should not skip breakfast as this can make them less ­effective.

It is good that, as children, they should get into the habit of having breakfast every day so that they continue to eat a ­healthy and balanced diet throughout their lives. Parents must ensure their children get into this daily habit.

Iris Law Ka-yee, Yau Yat Chuen

Mainland teens need proper sex education

I refer to the report, “Why China needs to talk a lot more gay sex and HIV” (November 27).

Concerns are being raised about the lack of sexual knowledge among young people on the mainland, especially those who are homosexual and sexually active.

They don’t know about the precautions that are needed to prevent contracting HIV.

Some parents do not want their children to have sex education, because they fear it will encourage their children to be­come sexually active at a young age.

This means that many teenagers are unaware that condoms can prevent pregnancy and contracting sexually transmitted diseases. It is clear that sex education on the mainland is inadequate and this is leading to an increasing number of people being diagnosed with the HIV virus.

This is a serious problem that must now be addressed.

I think it is time for the central government to make the necessary changes in schools so that young people are taught sex education.

These lessons should be part of the timetable in schools throughout the country.

The government should also run a campaign explaining how HIV can be contracted and ­prevented.

It is also important that the attitude of parents is changed, so that they can communicate with their children on this topic and keep them informed.

Parents have a very important role to play on this issue. Part of their role as parents should be explaining to them how to prevent getting HIV.

They need to spend more time talking to their children and sex education should be part of these conversations, as and when it is necessary.

Young people on the mainland should be encouraged to talk about sexual matters.

This is surely the best way to ensure that the rate of HIV infection among teenagers in China finally begins to go down as they learn to take the necessary preventive measures.

Rachel Leung Cho-kwan, Kowloon Tong

Young people disillusioned about future

I refer to the report, “No reason to stay, no way to go for many of Hong Kong’s disillusioned young people” (November 23).

Research has shown that 40 per cent of people want to leave the city, and we need to look at the reasons for this. I think many people feel hopeless about Hong Kong’s future.

I think there are political reasons for this, highlighted by the recent oath-taking controversy in the Legislative Council. It has left people wondering if their fight for democracy will be in vain and if the freedoms we enjoy will be lost bit by bit.

Many young people feel hopeless about their futures, ­because of their grim economic prospects. Most citizens will never have enough money to buy their own flat.

The government must act to help these young people so that they stay in the city.

Kate Leung Ting-ting, Kwai Chung