Twenty students yesterday took home awards in a bilingual news and commentary writing competition aimed at enhancing secondary school pupils' civic awareness and critical thinking.
More than 7,500 pupils took part in a series of competitions organised by the Hok Yau Club, a non-governmental organisation, from September to January.
At the awards ceremony held at Heung Yee Kuk in Ma On Shan yesterday, Chiu Wing-laam, 16, who won the senior secondary Chinese writing segment of the competition with her commentary about the city's growing anti-mainland sentiment, urged Hongkongers and mainlanders to show more mutual respect and understanding towards one another.
"Many mainlanders flock to Hong Kong to buy milk powder because the food security is low in the mainland," said the Form Five pupil from HHCKLA Buddhist Ma Kam Chan Memorial English Secondary School, explaining mainland mothers' frenzy over infant formula here.
First runner-up Eric Chen Chi-hang was more concerned about the government's lack of long-term planning for sports development in the city.
The Form Six student from Shun Tak Fraternal Association Cheng Yu Tung Secondary School, who wrote his commentary on the issue, said: "After Wong Kam-po won two gold medals in the 2006 Asian Games, the government promised to build competition centres, [and] after Lee Wai-sze got third place in the London Olympic Games, the government emphasised the development of athletes.
"The government's sports planning seems only to respond to mass fervour."
Hok Yau Club late last year also polled students over their top ten news stories. The national education controversy, Diaoyu Islands dispute and Lamma Island tragedy topped the list.