Letters to the Editor, March 24, 2017
Waste charge offers financial incentive
I support the government’s proposed quantity-based charging scheme for municipal solid waste. It will help to reduce the waste generated by households in Hong Kong.
I think it can be effective, because it offers residents economic incentives. They will have to purchase rubbish bags of different sizes. If they generate less waste they can buy a smaller, cheaper bag and therefore save money. They will start thinking about items that can be recycled instead of thrown in the refuse bag and this will lead to far more material being recycled.
Offering a financial disincentive is a tried and tested formula. This is why the plastic shopping bag levy has been so successful. It has led to a drop in the number of plastic bags being used and discarded and helped to raise awareness and make people more environmentally friendly.
This new waste charge scheme can achieve the same result and this will ease the pressure on landfills.
At the moment, many people misuse or ignore the city’s recycling bins, but this can change as they recognise the need to recycle as much as possible.
Sara Wong Kit-yu, Tseung Kwan O
Working hours law can bring back the expats
In recent years, Hong Kong has become a less popular place for expatriates (“Expat women spurning Hong Kong’s long working hours and high cost of living: survey”, March 11).
In the survey of expat women, Hong Kong had a very low ranking for its work-life balance.
I think there are several reasons for this high level of dissatisfaction, including the gruelling working hours many employees have to endure in Hong Kong, often as high as 50 hours a week; the average globally is 36 hours.
Everyone should be able to enjoy a satisfying and energetic working environment, but because of these long hours, they end up feeling exhausted and stressed.
Expats also have to deal with the city’s high cost of living, especially when it comes to rents. Add to that the city’s bad air pollution and many expats will say this results in a poor quality of life. This has led to more of them choosing to take jobs in other cities.
The political instability caused by events like the “Umbrella Movement” might also have led to some expats raising concerns about the city’s uncertain future.
Expatriates would be more likely to come here if we had standard working hours legislation. This would make it easier for people to enjoy a proper work-life balance.
Rachel Hui, Yau Yat Chuen
Cowardly terrorists will never succeed
The tragedy that struck Westminster Bridge in London on Wednesday reminds us again of the frailty of our peace and that those who seek to undermine our way of life will never succeed.
Those who choose to kill innocent people reveal only their own cowardice and failures. Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, we are the foundation of humanity and no individual who kills in God’s name shall ever win.
Mark Peaker, The Peak
Beijing and Seoul must sit down and talk
China has complained about South Korea’s decision to deploy a US anti-missile defence system.
There have been protests by Chinese citizens including boycotts against South Korean firms, such as the Lotte retail giant.
I think these actions are misguided. They can harm relations between Seoul and Beijing and lead to economic losses for both countries.
I do not see how boycotts and other protests can achieve anything.
The best course of action now is for both sides to sit down and talk about this.
A country has a right to protect its territory, while at the same time aiming for peaceful coexistence with its neighbours.
Alicia Lau Chung-yi, Tsuen Wan
Bureau should note schools’ views on test
Many primary schools in Hong Kong are not willing to participate in the basic competency assessment, which is designed to replace the controversial Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA).
I can understand why they have made this decision, because students in local schools face even greater pressure than before.
Primary students should not have to deal with this kind of stress. They should be provided with an enjoyable studying environment instead of being made to sit so many tests and exams.
It should have been clear to the Education Bureau that the TSA was deeply unpopular and the new assessment would be greeted in the same way.
There has been such a negative reaction and few positive comments.
Therefore, the bureau should respect the views of the schools, parents and students and scrap the new assessment.
Mercury Wong Cheuk-in, Kowloon Tong
Teens must recognise risks of online games
Playing computer games should be a relaxing form of entertainment. However, for many teenagers, these games become more than that and end up dominating their daily lives.
Some of them become obsessive and play these games for more than 10 hours a day.
If they do not nip this problem in the bud and change these bad habits, this could damage their prospects in their academic studies.
They can also develop serious psychological problems if they start watching games with content of a violent or sexual nature. They begin to see the virtual world as reality and this can lead to them doing crazy things.
I read one story about an 18-year-old who attacked his parents with a knife when they tried to stop him playing these computer games. His father was killed and his mother badly injured.
Teenagers need to be aware of the risks involved if they spend too much time playing computer games, and that they can become addictive.
Teens may enjoy these games, because they do provide a lot of entertainment, but must recognise the importance of practising self-discipline when they are online.
Anshar Mok, Hang Hau
Swiss gender imbalance on display
In your March 17 edition, you included a very interesting special report entitled “Switzerland – Business Report”. It was, obviously designed to showcase Switzerland’s commercial importance.
It was done quite well with one important exception. It included photographs of some 49 Swiss business leaders, only two of which were women. Is that really how business operates in the country?
We know that women had a difficult time obtaining the vote in Switzerland, but I had thought that things had improved since then.
Edgar Gold, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia