Letters to the Editor, February 25, 2017

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 February, 2017, 12:16am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 February, 2017, 12:15am

Food quality move to be applauded

I refer to the report (“Hong Kong upgrades food quality scheme to enhance safety standard”, ­February 9). Any move to help improve the traceability of products, keeps the consumer ­informed and raises standards should be welcomed.

At the same time, the ­upgrade of the scheme can also increase public awareness on the topic of food safety and alert them to think more about the quality of food before choosing it. For example, when they are eating seafood, they should check whether it is fresh and ­reject it if they have any doubts.

The scheme also can ensure consistency in work practices. As chief executive of Sun Fat Heung Food Products Law Mang-hing, said, when workers enter a warehouse they have to retrieve specific batches of product, not choose themselves. This allows a strict procedure in the manufacturing chain and thereby delivers safer food for the consumer.

To sum up, the upgrade of Hong Kong’s food quality scheme should be applauded on several levels, particularly if it opens people’s eyes to the potentially harmful effects of lax safety standards.

Jessie Leung Jessie Cheuk-yau, Yau Yat Chuen

China must do more to tackle air pollution

I am increasingly worried about the air pollution problem in China. The report (“Beijing orders cuts on ‘smog highways’ ”, February 14), states that 20 mainland cities sitting on three pollution “highways” have been told to reduce emissions. That’s a start but the government must come up with more solutions to tackle this problem.

Air pollution has been a serious problem in China for a long time but has become much worse in recent years. As air quality has decreased, public protests about environmental degradation have increased. And it’s not just within China that the pollution problem is having a negative impact. The country may be an economic powerhouse but its image is being tarnished overseas. Persistent smog is discouraging international firms from relocating or expanding in China and airborne pollutants are ­worrying neighbouring ­countries.

Add to that the fact that many factories have relocated to cheaper bases overseas and many neighbouring countries will get the impression China is being selfish in “exporting” its polluting manufacturing. This could have a serious impact on relations.

The central government must step up its fight now against pollution or risk the ­consequences.

Miki Li Ka-ki, Kowloon Tong

All study and no play not healthy

In a report released by the Chinese University Hong Kong’s young people scored a “D” in overall physical activity levels when compared to 37 other countries.

This illustrates the need for the government to review the curriculum, which, especially for secondary schools, is very demanding and doesn’t allow any meaningful time for other activities. Students have to learn so much within the limited school hours. Senior secondary students have to study six to eight subjects for three years to finish the Diploma of Secondary Education syllabus. For example in chemistry, DSE students have to study about 70 chapters in three years. Isn’t the syllabus too tight? Because of this crazy curriculum, the time for students to spend on physical pursuits is minimal in order to cram in more classes.

Second, the government should rethink the goal of education. Should entering a good university be the sole barometer? In order to achieve this goal, students attend tutorial classes and do countless exercises at home. Where’s the time for sport? It seems our society’s current thinking allows only for teenagers to keep their noses in books to study for high marks and be a success in life. There must be a better balance for healthy minds and bodies.

Physical activities are very important for all the citizens, especially energetic teenagers, but the government and parents have not accepted the key role of sport in a child’s well-being. A change in this narrow thinking is long overdue.

Joyce Li Hei-ying, Yau Yat Chuen

Student suicide tragedies not to be ignored

As more Hong Kong students commit suicide, there is a danger it is no longer news and we become complacent.

We musn’t ignore these tragedies and should increase our efforts to find out the reasons so many can’t cope with life. Educators, parents, officials and fellow students should join forces to combat the worrying trend of suicides. Detailed studies should be conducted to determine root causes and offer concrete action.

It’s hard to deny the fierce competition for a university spot but parents should not add to the pressure and over-work their children. An exam may determine the chance of entering university, but definitely not a young person’s entire future.

Most teachers have heavy workloads but have a larger role to play than teaching – to nurture the character of students. If a teacher shows they care, students will discuss a troubling issue. Parents, of course, must foster a caring environment. And, it would also help if the education authority didn’t change course syllabus and exam content unnecessarily.

Randy Lee, Ma On Shan

Don’t demolish important athletics venue

I read with interest the letter from Joey Leung Man-nga (“Schools and athletes rely on sports ground”, February 19.

I agree that the Wan Chai Sports Ground is a very important place for a lot of people. It has been a major venue for school competitions and demolishing it would affect so many. I’ve been taking part in athletics contests and training there for seven years – it’s part of my collective memory.

Demolishing it to extend the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre may attract more visitors from abroad and allow more conventions but it’s already huge. Does it really need to be bigger?

Many athletes stand to lose a fully equipped ground with a proper running track and all the necessary equipment for track and field training. Its loss would hurt the development of sports in Hong Kong.

As Joey Leung suggests, Hong Kong should still be able to offer more convention facilities without sacrificing the sports ground.

Surely it is not an urgent issue as the tourism industry can be advanced in other ways, such as diversifying the products being sold here or raising the quality of services.

Elanor Lo, Sai Ying Pun