Letters to the Editor, March 15, 2017

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 March, 2017, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 March, 2017, 5:01pm

City must engage China and the region

Both Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and John Tsang Chun-wah offer the same promises as chief executive candidates.

With a lifetime as civil ­servants, what should we expect? A more transparent think tank, ­involving 20 or 30 young people? Stingy fiscal and monetary ­policies?

It is with distress that I write in such a way about the town I love. No developers should be allowed to sit on land waiting for a better economic climate, and if they do so they should be taxed.

We need education policies which open our children’s minds, not nationalist propaganda intended to control ­future generations.

Implementing a national security policy, as required under Article 23 of the Basic Law, for ourselves would be wise, ­before Beijing issues yet another white paper to tighten its stranglehold on the people of Hong Kong. Real consultation with real Hong Kong experts would allow us to add to the nation’s ­future. Avoiding it because it’s not popular just opens the door for Beijing.

We need to engage the ­region and China, as supplier, customer and guardian, but, as the path to anonymity continues, we need a clear vision of what we should become.

Pragmatism should not turn into cowardice for fear of repercussions from the all-powerful security services, roaming back and forth across our borders.

Freedom of speech should not be eroded by the whims of our own police force. It must not follow the examples of neighbouring security forces, nor act as judge, jury and executioner.

Police officers are there to serve the community. A police force recruited to serve and protect all citizens under the rule of law is possible.

On another issue, I also ­believe a universal pension scheme is possible. Housing and land sale policies can be implemented to benefit all ­Hongkongers.

We should listen to our own Hong Kong experts, and keep outsiders from interfering in our political system, which is guaranteed under the Basic Law.

Let us be guided by intelligent thinking, not by fear of our ­leaders, and let us continue to have two systems.

Peter E. Wright, Tai Po

Bad parenting styles harmful for adolescents

The spate of student suicides in Hong Kong can be attributed to a number of factors.

It is normal for adolescents to suffer from emotional upheavals and encounter difficulties they do not know how to cope with. Also, if they are struggling with their studies, they can often suffer from low self-esteem. Additional stress can come from peer pressure and high expectations of parents.

Parenting styles can have a profound effect on youngsters. “Helicopter” or “monster” ­parents can hinder the personal development of their children. They are not equipped to deal with failure, and some may ­become so desperate that they take their own lives.

The Education Bureau must ensure the syllabus offers them different avenues to develop their strengths and weaknesses.

Schools need to have more programmes teaching moral, civic and national education, to help students foster positive attitudes about their future.

More school social workers are needed to counsel students showing serious ­emotional ­problems.

If more help is available, fewer students will feel isolated.

Cathy Yuen Tsz-wai, Tseung Kwan O

Children often put under too much pressure

A lot of people blame the local education system for the numerous cases of suicide by students, but I believe there is another reason for some youngsters being put under enormous pressure.

Many parents are keen for their children to get a place at a top primary school. Once there, they sign the children up for a lot of supplementary classes so that they can get into a prestigious secondary school.

They put themselves and their sons and daughters under intense pressure. The children may end up struggling with mental illness. This causes poor ­parent-child relationships.

There needs to be a change in parenting styles and the government must also review the ­education system.

Angela Chan,Tiu Keng Leng

Disney still popular and helps economy

I accept that the housing ­problem in Hong Kong is serious and getting worse. However, I disagree with Peter Kammerer that this would justify shutting down Disneyland (“Scrap loss-making Hong Kong Disneyland and put public housing on the site ­instead”, February 27).

Although some may claim that the theme park is losing its appeal, it is still helping the ­tourism sector and therefore the city’s economy. Travel agents overseas and on the mainland still use it to tempt people to come here for a holiday.

I accept there is a new Disney that opened in Shanghai last year, but there are distinct differences between the two attractions. Our Disneyland is not just popular with tourists but gets a lot of custom from local residents as well.

There are short-term measures which can be adopted to provide additional homes, such as the government paying far more attention to the development of brownfield sites. But, as I said, we won’t solve our housing problems by destroying this popular theme park.

Phoebe Ko, Tseung Kwan O

Tailor shows it is vital to keep traditions alive

We see so much innovation – with new technology, for example – and some of our traditions are disappearing.

So it is good to read about people like tailor Kan Hong-wing who is keeping alive the tradition of cheongsam-making (“Old style Hong Kong ­tailor has a passion that’s always in fashion”, February 25).

I really appreciate the ­passion he shows for his work. Despite the fact that it is difficult to sell traditional Chinese clothes nowadays in Hong Kong he continues to work long hours to make the cheongsam.

His dedication proves that you need to be enthusiastic about what you are doing if you want to succeed.

Even though he now gets fewer customers, Kan believes there will always be demand in Hong Kong for cheongsam. It is important to preserve our ­Chinese culture.

Mary Yan, Kwai Chung