Letters to the Editor, November 15, 2017

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 November, 2017, 4:34pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 November, 2017, 4:34pm

People tend to ignore basic lift etiquette

I share Luisa Tam’s frustrations over the attitude some Hong Kong people have when they enter a lift (“Would you hold the lift door for a stranger? The ­answer says a lot about Hong Kong”, November 13).

It seems that citizens have forgotten about basic good manners. It is not uncommon to see people pressing the close-door button as soon as they get in a lift. For some it seems to be automatic, even if someone is approaching carrying a lot of bags, or a baby, or is pregnant. Most lift users would not hold the door open so these ­individuals could get in.

People have become so ­accustomed to this kind of behaviour that they consider it to be normal and acceptable.

Perhaps they react in this way because, in my experience, people seldom say thanks when you do hold the door open for them. Often they are still glued to their smartphone and do not even look up to show their ­gratitude.

If that is the attitude of adults, I cannot imagine how bad it will be with the next generation. Will we see a society where rudeness is prevalent? If so, surely that is a cause for concern.

Fiona Chan, Ma On Shan

Let food trucks be powered by market forces

Food trucks have been in the news again for all the wrong ­reasons, with some having failed and only a few remaining.

Niall Fraser excoriates the government’s handing of them, and he’s right to do so (“Food trucks hard to stomach after glory days of street stalls”, ­October 31), but what should be done? To abandon the ­scheme now would punish the remaining truck operators who have ­invested millions of dollars. Surely the solution is easy.

Food trucks are successful in other countries, why not here? The answer is simple – the dead hand of bureaucrats. Get them out of the way.

Allow the trucks to be located where they want to (with limited exclusion zones). Scrap the ­requirement for a backup ­kitchen. Let more trucks operate without the ridiculous tests the first batch had to go through (only a bureaucrat would think of that). In short, let market ­forces bloom.

Get the dead hand of government off the trucks. And, while we’re about it, how about letting those wonderful street stalls back in our city?

Everyone loves them, residents and visitors alike.

Peter Forsythe, Discovery Bay

More schools could make learning fun

I appreciate the efforts made by the head and teachers of a school in Tin Shui Wai to provide education that is not just ­focused on academic learning (“How one Hong Kong school broke away from city’s cramming culture”, November 11).

Instead of following the spoon-feeding system of education so common in Hong Kong, W F Joseph Lee Primary School encourages pupils to learn practical skills useful in daily life.

They do follow the traditional academic syllabus, but they also have extra classes featuring 40 different activities, “from gardening to learning how to wash dishes”.

These “multiple intelligence” classes should be started at other local schools as well.

They are a method of teaching that has proved to be effective, having been successfully in place at Joseph Lee for a decade.

Our education system is too stressful, not only for ­students, but also for teachers. The curriculum in local schools is overly exam-oriented, with the focus mostly on getting good results.

School social workers must help pupils find ways to relieve the stress and anxiety they experience. Giving them more freedom and flexibility is important, as well as cutting back on the volume of homework.

Just like at the Tin Shui Wai school, our youngsters must be given time to take part in the ­activities they enjoy. A more flexible, freer system must be implemented in local schools.

Angus Lee Chak-man, Tsuen Wan

A good night’s sleep can boost exam results

School pupils have to tackle such heavy ­workloads, including memorising a lot of material in the ­evening for tests the next day, that they often work late into the night.

I understand the need to get good results in tests, but young people should never ­neglect the importance of sleep.

They will be far better equipped for the busy school day if they make sure they get nine hours of sleep every night.

It will be easier for them to ­remember the material they memorised the previous night if they wake up feeling ­refreshed, not tired from lack of sleep.

Shirley Yeung Suet-yi, Yau Yat Chuen

Why research into GM food is worthwhile

In Hong Kong, genetic engineering is still treated with a lot of suspicion by some sections of society.

However, I think this science can ­improve the nutritional ­value of food and bring health benefits. Therefore, I welcome the ­latest development at the University of Hong Kong (“Hong Kong ­researchers create tomatoes with anti-ageing properties”, November 10).

Genetically modified tomatoes created by the researchers are reported to “carry more anti-ageing antioxidants than usual”.

The popularity of genetically modified food is growing around the world. GM food that contains more vitamins can be good for people’s health.

I think the government should ensure that more funding is made available to ­genetic engineering research projects at our local universities.

It should also try and inspire talented scientists in this field to come to Hong Kong to carry out their research.

When it comes to genetic engineering, I believe that we are entering a new and exciting era that will benefit mankind.

Leo Yick Ling-ho, Tsuen Wan