Online Letters page, March 28, 2017

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 March, 2017, 3:43pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 March, 2017, 3:43pm

Buskers should enjoy some legal protection

Busking is widespread in Hong Kong. People generally do it for money, but sometimes also because they enjoy it.

However, when it comes to busking the government does not appear to have a specific policy and there are a lot of grey areas. These street performers do not enjoy any protection. Some citizens may resent their presence when they start performing in busy areas and complain that they are creating noise pollution which is a cause for concern among local residents. We have to ask if it is possible for buskers and the public to coexist.

When buskers have performed somewhere that is the property of the MTR Corporation, MTR staff have moved them on. Some buskers complain that they are often treated like beggars and that this is unfair as they actually enrich street culture. They point to the fact that in many states in the US there are by-laws which protect buskers and give them certain rights.

Hong Kong is an international city which attracts a lot of tourists who would enjoy seeing these performers, so they should enjoy some legal protection. We believe in freedom of speech in Hong Kong so we should recognise buskers’ right to perform in our streets.

I think we can all enjoy watching them. It is another way to help us relax. I hope the government can come up with policies to project buskers.

Alvis Lee Ki-yung, Tseung Kwan O

Students can learn to cope with pressure

When students complain about not getting enough sleep at night due to the pressure of homework, I must ask how they spend their time every evening.

While there are students who study late into the night in the hope of doing well in their Diploma of Secondary Education exam, some have to work late, because they have not organised their time sensibly, playing online games and using other entertainment apps on their smartphones. This means they have to stay up later to do their homework, which could easily have been done earlier in the evening. Others go to so many tutorial classes that they do not get home until late in the evening and then have to do their homework.

Parents and children need to ask themselves if they really need to attend a tutorial class, because it takes up so much time. It is all about doing what is most effective so that you actually learn something useful. Ways have to be found to help young people cope with the pressure they feel, before it becomes too much for them to bear.

Parents should help their children to develop problem-solving skills and try to learn what they need academically from textbooks instead of being dependent on tutorial classes. They should learn to have better self-control. If they have the right motivation they can do well at school and be capable of coping with any reversals in school and later in life.

A. Leung, Tai Po

New charge will make citizens adopt greener values

I think the proposed new charge per bag for municipal solid waste is a good idea and can lead to a reduction in the volumes of rubbish which are generated in Hong Kong.

Many Hongkongers have failed to separate waste at source and to get into the habit of recycling. This is a problem we have to face given that our landfills are nearing capacity. The larger the bag the household purchases the higher the cost and so many families, after the new charge comes into force, will try to cut back on the volumes of rubbish they generate.

Then we will hopefully see people recycling more paper, aluminium cans and plastic. This new charge will raise citizens’ levels of awareness so that they embrace the concept of the “4Rs” – recycle, reuse, reduce and replace. I hope this new charge scheme we will lead to a better Hong Kong.

May Lo Mei-hang, Yau Yat Chuen

We can all help to fight global warming

I refer to the article (“What winter? Hong Kong sees one of the warmest starts to year since records began”, March 23).

Hong Kong has seen one of its warmest starts to the year. Mean temperatures from December to February were a warm 18.4 degrees Celsius. Also, according to the Observatory’s director, 2016 was already warmer than usual.

We should not just blame the El Nino effect for this temperature rise.

We need to recognise that a major factor is related to our thoughtless attitude to nature. China has more CO2 emissions than the US and Canada combined. India is also a major CO2 emitter. Carbon dioxide makes up 72 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases. The greenhouse effect will likely lead to a continuous rise of the Earth’s temperature, causing global warming.

All countries should be trying to counter this problem by saving energy. All citizens can do their bit by buying only what they need. If there is less consumer demand factories will reduce output and emissions.

In Hong Kong, we should all try whenever possible to use public transport instead of private cars. Levels of roadside air pollution will drop if there are fewer cars on the road.

Chloe Ng Sin-yee, Tseung Kwan O

Carrie Lam has a lot of experience in government

There have been many critics of Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor who will be our next chief executive, but I would like to look at the positive aspects she will bring to the job.

She has worked in government for many years and so has plenty of experience. She has held a number of senior posts, most recently chief secretary, so she is familiar with the way that the Hong Kong government works. This will enable her to strike the right balance between different stakeholders in government and the private sector. She also understands the importance of introducing sound welfare policies.

As a senior civil servant she showed she was able to deal fairly with sensitive issues, such as unauthorised structures in the New Territories and protests over the dismantling of Queen’s Pier. She went to the pier and spoke to the protesters. I think she will be able to deal proactively with certain issues.

She has said she wants to see more affordable housing constructed for the middle class and she wants to help ease the strain felt by students in local schools. While campaigning for chief executive she spoke out against the Territory-wide System Assessment for Primary Three pupils. She is clearly committed to trying to improve society.

Instead of moaning about John Tsang Chun-wah losing and Mrs Lam being unpopular, why don’t we get behind her and try to understand the policies she is proposing to introduce.

Woo Cheuk-yi, Yau Yat Chuen