Letters to the Editor, August 31, 2017

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 August, 2017, 3:26pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 August, 2017, 3:26pm

Mothers in the workplace left with tough job

I agree with Katrina Lo that achieving a work-life balance proves difficult for many working mothers in our city (“Hong Kong working mothers need more help to find right work-life balance”, August 12).

She referred to a survey which showed that over 60 per cent of the respondents felt frustrated while trying to balance ­family and work.

Having enough leave and flexibility in the office are key ­factors in helping working mothers get the right work-life balance. Many employees here work an average of 50 hours a week, which must be among the longest in the world. This leaves people, especially mothers, with little time to spend with their families.

Compare this to developed nations like Australia. In the same survey, fewer than half of Australian working mothers complained about lack of flexibility or inadequate leave.

The maternity and paternity leave allowed in Hong Kong is inadequate (10 weeks and three days, respectively). The government has to allocate more ­resources to help working mothers. It must also ensure ­offices are mother-friendly, especially for those who are nursing.

The right work-life ­balance would also make these ­employees more productive.

Jason Wong Kun-tong, Tseung Kwan O

Food labels hold key to healthier diet

I agree with correspondents who urge that people always read food labels, for the sake of their health.

Because most Hongkongers lead such hectic lives, they often buy snacks because sometimes they are too busy to sit down for a regular meal.

But how often do they look at the labels on the packaging to check the salt and sugar content, or level of other additives?

Manufacturers do use additives to improve the taste and look of a product, and these may not be good for our health.

It is important for us to get into the habit of reading these ­labels and making healthier choices, so that we limit our ­intake of fat and sugar and ­ensure a lower-calorie diet.

One of the most popular snacks in Hong Kong is instant noodles. However, they can be very bad for your health if you eat a lot of noodles, as they ­contain a lot of additives and have a high sodium content.

Too much sodium can lead to chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension, and heart problems.

Ella Tang, Ma On Shan

Inaction over LGBT issues­ is a blot on city

Hong Kong lags behind most developed societies on protecting the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and helping to change ­entrenched attitudes.

As an international city, Hong Kong attracts visitors from all over the world. We are supposed to be an inclusive society, regardless of gender, nationality and, of course, sexuality.

However, because of deeply ingrained traditional views, many Hongkongers will not talk about LGBT issues.

Many countries have laws to protect the rights of LGBT ­citizens, but Hong Kong does not seem to have made any ­progress in this regard.

Pride in London is one of the largest LGBT festivals and ­parades in the world. It gives people a platform to raise awareness about LGBT issues and to campaign for equality. Even Taiwan has taken the first steps to becoming the first country in Asia that allows same-sex marriage. And yet, in Hong Kong, LGBT people still don’t enjoy equal legal rights, and some LGBT citizens still face ­discrimination.

The government should raise levels of public awareness about the LGBT community and help to shatter stereotypes.

Katy Law Tsz-yi, Sha Tin

Playing with fire could cost North Korea

Following its firing of a missile over Japan’s airspace, North Korea defended its actions, with leader Kim Jong-un saying the missile was a “meaningful ­prelude” to containing Guam.

What Pyongyang is doing is very dangerous. What if there was human error and one of its missiles hit a civilian airliner? Such a disaster would lead to a serious reaction from countries like the US, and even China.

Misunderstandings like this can lead to an escalation of the crisis. I hope Kim faces reality and realises that he has to stop these missile tests.

The aim of Kim’s government and the international community should be to seek a peaceful solution.

Adrian Wong, Po Lam

Age of peace? Not if you are Kim Jong-un

The North Korean missile which flew over northern Japan did not threaten the country, but it did cause some confusion.

One citizen in Hokkaido who was interviewed on a TV news report said people were being advised to take shelter, but she did not know where she should go, and whether she should evacuate her home.

Another citizen interviewed hoped the US would not react too strongly, because this could exacerbate tensions.

People have often described this era as “the age of peace”, but when you see what is happening on the Korean peninsula and elsewhere in the world, you know that is not really an accurate description.

I wish the political and ­military leaders involved in these conflicts would realise the cost to countries involved in them, in terms of economics and loss of life.

We should learn lessons from the past and realise that, when a war starts, citizens in those conflict zones lose friends and family members.

Tsang Ka-yee, Tseung Kwan O