Letters to the Editor, April 1, 2017

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 April, 2017, 9:01am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 April, 2017, 9:01am

Fixed hours would balance work and life

I refer to your report about expat workers shunning Hong Kong (“Expat women spurning Hong Kong’s long working hours and high cost of living”, March 11).

The report cited a survey by expatriate networking website InterNations, which found Hong Kong ranked 53rd out of 191 destinations in the work-life balance category. Only 5 per cent of respondents said they were completely satisfied in this area, compared to the world average of 17 per cent. Some of blamed the high cost of living and long working hours.

However, an earlier survey by HSBC, also cited in your report, found women considered Hong Kong to be the best place in the world to advance their careers.

As for Hongkongers, I believe most locals are forced to lead hectic lives because they want to improve their living standards, and the only way to do this is by earning more. With living costs going up along with economic progress, people must work longer just to be able earn a bit more to live a little better.

However, people must strike a balance between life and work. I think the government should soon implement the law on standard working hours, so that workers have time to spend with their families and can be ­assured of a good work-life balance.

Christy Chung Chi-ching, Yau Yat Chuen

Street shows must not be noisy nuisance

I wish to express my concern about the high levels of noise generated by some street ­performers in Mong Kok’s Sai Yeung Choi Street pedestrian area. I recently went there on a shopping trip with my husband and two-year-old son. The street was vibrant with street ­performers entertaining ­passers-by.

However, one group of singers was ­extremely loud, with their microphones and huge loudspeakers.

The sound level was so ­unbearable that I instantly left the scene with my family, as I was worried that my son’s hearing might be damaged. How do local residents live with this kind of noise every weekend and public holiday? I fully respect the street performers who can really enliven the city, but shouldn’t they be more considerate?

The authorities could set a limit on the sound levels of street performances in such densely populated areas, and launch a campaign to promote responsible use of loudspeakers in public spaces. Performers should also display self-discipline. Do they want street performances to thrive or be labelled a nuisance?

Cherry Fu, Mong Kok

Daily workout gives teens a healthy future

I am writing to express my views on how teens can nurture the healthy habit of daily exercise.

The most effective way would be signing up for an exercise course or sports club. If you make the effort to do something regularly, it will become a habit. And, when you pay fees, you wouldn’t want to waste it. That could be a motivator.

A second way could be to organise sports activities or set up exercise clubs with friends. Teenagers would look forward to spending time with friends and get fit in the process.

The third way is by setting up a timetable. This would foster better time management, so teenagers can exercise more ­effectively and regularly.

There are many benefits of regular exercise.The most visible one is the physical effect: one looks and feels better, and can keep at bay high blood pressure and lifestyle-related diseases.

But there are mental benefits as well. Exercise releases endorphins in the body and promotes a more positive mindset.

And let’s not forget the social benefits. Joining sports activities can help teenagers make more friends outside school and deepen existing friendships.

Mandy Chan Sze-ki, Yau Yat Chuen

Parents may be role models on use of phones

I am writing in response to the letter from Winnie Yeung ­(“Parents should be strict about smartphones”, February 8).

As technology advances, smartphones are becoming ever more popular. Most people play with their phone all day as if it were a pet. This addiction is ­getting more severe by the day, especially among students.

The most important duty of students is to study well but smartphones hinder this. They chat and play games on their phones day and night, and miss out on sleep. They play on the bus, during class and even at mealtimes. Naturally, their studies suffer.

Moreover, their addiction to smartphones means they hardly take part in any outdoor activities with peers. This not only makes them unhealthy, they will also grow up lacking social skills.

Parents are the most effective role model and their authority can improve the smartphone habits of children. But this does not mean setting a time limit.

Parents should be a role model on the correct use of smartphones and related social etiquette. They can also advise their child but not order them to behave a certain way. I believe this is the most effective way to inspire students to change their habits and break their addiction.

Kyle Yung, Tiu Keng Leng

Cycling can be a win-win for all concerned

I am writing to express my opinion about the long-term personal and environmental benefits of cycling.

I think it is good for people, especially those leading busy city lives, to get on their bicycle. Urban workers and students ­often find little time for exercise. But riding a bicycle to work or school everyday would solve that problem. We would not only get fitter, we would also save money on public transport, and could then spend it on something we really need.

Second is the impact on air quality. Air pollution is getting worse around the world, and a major contributor is vehicular exhaust, which releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Cycling is a non-polluting alternative to fossil-fuel vehicles and harmful emissions.

Small changes we make can help save the world.

Cheng Tsz-wai, Yau Yat Chun

Sports ground demolition unacceptable

Chief executive Leung Chun-ying proposed in his policy­address that the Wan Chai Sports Ground be redeveloped.

This sports ground has been used for inter-school athletics competitions for years – a lot of records were made there and it has created a lot of memories and history among athletes.

The stadium has been ­considered the home of athletics in the city since it opened in 1979.

It is unacceptable for it to be ­demolished, as it plays a key role in local sports development.

This stadium is an important venue for students on Hong Kong Island to organise sports competitions, as the number of sport grounds there is limited.

Demolishing the ground would discourage sports development in our city. The government ought to push for better development of sport.

The Hong Kong Amateur Athletics Association called the ground “unique and irreplaceable” for Hong Kong and said it was “shocked, disappointed and most concerned” about the demolition proposal.

Jacky Leung Kai-kit, Tseung Kwan O