Letters to the Editor, November 30, 2017

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 November, 2017, 3:56pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 November, 2017, 3:56pm

Schools should help children build character

Whenever you read a report about claims of school bullying, it draws attention to the need for more preventive measures to be deployed before the problem gets out of control.

­Schools should be attaching greater importance to children’s character formation.

While equipping pupils with knowledge and skills may ­ensure better career prospects, moral education can help them grow up to become decent members of society.

Children should be guided to understand that the school is a miniature society in which all members should treat one ­another with respect and friendliness. They will then learn to be caring about others’ needs, rather than their own.

While still competing fairly for better performance, they will not do harm to others out of ­selfishness.

In addition, teachers should watch out for unusual behaviour, such as a child who is ­exceptionally quiet or emotionally unstable. Children’s complaints are not to be taken lightly, and bullying incidents should be dealt with firmly.

Parents play a crucial role in character formation, as the home is the first place for promoting friendly and respectful relationships. They should also ensure their children’s use of electronic devices does not ­expose them to violent material.

School is a place where children should feel safe and enjoy learning and making friends. Every possible step must be taken to stamp out bullying in school.

Angela Chong, Macau

Bring back community spirit in the city

I agree with Luisa Tam about the rude behaviour shown by many Hong Kong citizens (“Do you hold the lift door for a stranger? The ­answer says a lot”, November 14).

I accept that many Hong Kong residents are very hardworking, but they are always in a rush and can be very inconsiderate towards others. While waiting at an MTR station, they will push other passengers out of the way in order to be the first to board, and will not apologise for their behaviour. This kind of rudeness is common as people are in such a hurry to get to their destination. In the workplace, they are often very competitive and impatient to succeed.

I agree with Tam that we all need to show greater courtesy. I would like to see a revival of the community spirit in Hong Kong.

Angelica Fung, Lai Chi Kok

Electric cars offer a route to cleaner air

I refer to Tony Leung’s letter (“Effective road traffic management scheme long overdue in Hong Kong”, November 24). I think that greater government support for electric vehicles (EVs) would be a much better option than traffic management ­measures.

Given that they produce no emissions, unlike traditional vehicles, having a lot more EVs in Hong Kong would also reduce the levels of roadside pollution.

Critics argue that the greater demand for electricity will make pollution levels rise, because of power plants burning more fossil fuels but, overall, I still think the air quality would improve.

One obstacle to having more people purchase EVs is the cost, as they may be priced upwards of HK$600,000.

Also, in the last budget, the financial secretary announced a drastic reduction in the waiver on the first-time registration tax for private EVs, which will be capped at HK$97,500.

Moves such as this do little to encourage ­motorists to buy an EV, and the government should restore the full tax exemption.

It also has to provide more charging stations throughout the city. While the number of EVs have increased substantially since 2011, there has not been a matching rise in the number of charging stations.

The government of Hong Kong has often reiterated its pledge to protect the environment, so it makes sense for it to take steps that encourage more people to buy EVs.

Yeung San-pui, Tuen Mun

Mega bridge will lead to more pollution

Jacky Chui is wasting his time with his pleas for government action to ease congestion on our roads (“Fewer cars the only way out of traffic jam”, November 24). As the economy prospered and property prices rose throughout the 1980s, the number of vehicles on our roads ­increased substantially. Rich ­citizens in chauffeur-driven cars don’t mind being stuck in a ­traffic jam. They sit at the back and look at their electronic ­devices or listen to music.

With new infrastructure projects being built, traffic congestion and pollution problems can only get worse. For example, with the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge, more vehicles will stream into this small, crowded city.

Edmond Pang, Fanling

Biogas facility at landfill is worth the price

I was pleased to read about the opening of the biogas conversion facility at the Southeast New Territories landfill, which will cut Hong Kong’s carbon dioxide emission rates.

It is the also biggest landfill gas conversion project in Asia.

The project cost HK$350 million and, while that is a high price tag, I ­believe it was worth it.

The Towngas plant will turn surplus landfill gas into syn­thetic natural gas, cutting an extra 56,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions a year. I am sure people living near the landfill will welcome the ­reduction of gas emissions from the site.

Biogas emissions make the fight to cut air pollution levels more difficult and they are bad for public health, so any initiative that cuts back on these emissions is welcome.

This is clearly a project which will lead to improvements to the environment in Hong Kong.

John Wu, Tseung Kwan O

Restaurants must take note of health study

I refer to the report about the health effects of our dining choices (“Choice of restaurant may be the key to healthier eating”, November 16).

Most diners at restaurants probably give little thought to the ingredients of the meal they order. But a study has revealed high sugar and salt levels in some of Hong Kong’s most popular dishes. Obviously, regular consumption of these dishes can be bad for a person’s health.

An excessive amount of salt can lead to people developing high blood pressure and heart disease, while too much sugar in the diet increases our risk of ­getting diabetes. Some of these dishes also use a lot of oil in the cooking process and so have a high fat content.

All restaurants should take note of this study. They should instruct chefs to cut back on fat, sugar, salt and oil content in their dishes.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department should also establish a system whereby they can monitor restaurants to try and get them to put healthier dishes on their menus.

Kelly Wong, Po Lam