Letters to the Editor, October 18, 2016
Jobs, housing making people want to move
I am writing in response to the article, “4 in 10 Hongkongers want to relocate” (October 12).
First and foremost, the situation can be improved by providing support to local talents, such as with more subsidies. Hong Kong has been thinking about how to attract foreign experts but neglecting local talents.
As a result, local talents choose to go overseas for career development.
More support would put more resources at their disposal to make a mark and reduce the likelihood of relocation.
Also, the survey revealed that younger people had a stronger desire to move. It is clear that this is because it is hard to get into university, and parents will send young students overseas to enhance their competitiveness.
I believe less emphasis on academic results can uncover more talents who may have relatively poor academic results but excel in other fields. In the long term, the government can also build more universities.
The political environment is another reason why people want to relocate. The government should allow more diverse opinions to be voiced.
Young people can also be given more of a say in policymaking.
Last but not least, the housing situation should also be tackled as it is a major reason why people want to relocate. Building public housing takes time, so the government can team up with social enterprises to launch projects like the Sham Tseng Light Housing project. Revitalising abandoned factories and housing is a good way to ease the problem.
Natalie Siu Hoi Tung, Yau Yat Cheun
Lack of proper labelling is act of deception
I refer to the article, “No proper labelling in ‘half of beauty products in HK shops’” (October 13 ).
Why don’t most manufacturers use proper labelling on their products? Is it because if all ingredients are properly named, such as microbeads, many customers may choose not to buy?
It cannot be anything but profit motive that makes manufacturers avoid proper labelling.
This is deceptive behaviour. Microplastics in cosmetic products not only pollute the sea, but also affect human health. Therefore, manufacturers have a responsibility to use proper labels. What can we do to ensure this?
In my opinion, passing relevant laws is one way to solve the problem. The fear of fines will deter manufacturers from concealing whether their product includes materials harmful to the environment.
The government could also carry out random checks on products at retail outlets.
Chloe Wong, Sheung Shui
Blind need to hear traffic for sake of safety
I refer to the article, “Hong Kong blind community calls for louder noise from electric cars to improve safety” (October 16).
I agree that the government should introduce legislation to regulate that e-vehicles emit a louder noise to ensure the safety of the visually impaired .
Indeed, the silent nature of electric cars can reduce noise pollution and hence improve the quality of life in general. So it is not difficult to understand why the proposal to have e-vehicles make a louder noise has provoked so many different opinions and even opposition.
But while noise for a healthy person may be annoying, for the disabled it is a safety issue, as it is an important signal helping them to be easily alerted to the movement of e-vehicles.
The blind rely heavily on surrounding noise for orientation and for distinguishing between vehicular and pedestrian areas.
Services to support the disabled are clearly insufficient in our community. Hong Kong society places great emphasis on equality, but isn’t it an irony if we tend to treat the disabled unequally?
Joanna Chan, Kwai Chung
Bright lights, big city, but at what cost?
Hong Kong is a city that never sleeps. As night falls, the city’s skies light up, creating a spectacular sight. However, these dazzling neon lights also create light pollution.
Studies have found Hong Kong to be among the world’s worst cities for light pollution, and it also affects quality of life. Disturbed sleep is a serious consequence. Light pollution affects quality of sleep and hence moods are also affected.
In the long term, people may end up with insomnia or other serious health issues.
Bright lights also involve unnecessary energy wastage. Many neon lights can be seen until midnight.
More power means more burning of fossil fuels, which contributes to air pollution and global warming.
But, at the same time, Hong Kong is famous for its spectacular night views, and related tourist attractions and activities are a major draw.
The government launched the Charter on External Lighting this year. Businesses who take part are mandated to voluntarily switch off external non-static lights used for decoration, promotion or advertising, as well as rooftop signs, at preset times. However, the charter is not very effective as signing up is voluntary for properties and shops.
We need stringent laws to regulate excessive outdoor commercial lighting. The most important and difficult thing is to strike a balance between Hong Kong’s economy, people’s lives and the environment – and we may be able to see the beautiful stars in the sky again.
Wendy Wong Wai Ting, Sham Shui Po
New Chinese history course sparks concern
I refer to the article, “Revised history curriculum focuses more on Hong Kong but omits important elements of the past” (September 30).
Education Bureau chief Eddie Ng Hak-kim said the new syllabus aims to increase students’ interest and understanding of the city’s background and China. Thus, it will omit topics such as the Three-anti and Five-anti campaigns issued by Mao Zedong (毛澤東), and the fall of the Qin and Han eras.
I see no reason for this. Learning history is a good way to learn from past mistakes. Being a Chinese history student, I believe learning about every dynasty’s demise is essential to understanding the development of history.
The new syllabus is being updated to cover events from ancient history until Hong Kong’s 1997 handover.
I understand this is to make students understand that Hong Kong is an indisputable part of China, especially amid rising localist rhetoric. But the concern is whether this will influence the political ideas of students.
Kerensa Kwun Ting Yan, Kwai Chung
Sugary drinks present health time bomb
I would like to express my views on proposals that the government limit the size of sugary drinks.
Sugary drinks affect health, and obesity is a big problem. This is so not just for Hongkongers – the problem has been globalised.
So the government should limit the size of sugary drinks. In restaurants, diners can pay more to upsize their drinks. This is a practice that may lead to more serious problems.
Secondly, obesity is just the tip of the iceberg. Sugary drinks are linked to lifestyle diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes. A case in point is the US, where obesity has reached epidemic levels. People move with difficulty or may even lose their legs from complications related to this disease.
Also, the government can educate the next generation through lessons in school.
Student awareness has to be increased, since it is the young who eat without considering the effect of their current diet on future health. Students can usually upgrade drinks served with their meal for free, but overuse of such preferential treatment will affect their health.
The government has a key role to play in tackling this issue, but so do citizens themselves.
Li Kai Wing, Tseung Kwan O