Letters to the Editor, October 19, 2016

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 5:51pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2016, 5:51pm

Youth cannot be excuse for antics in Legco

The recent actions of localist legislators Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus “Baggio” Leung Chung-hang during the Legislative Council oath-taking ceremony have met with vigorous condemnation from the public.

When reading out the oath, they pronounced China as “Shina” and Yau even dropped an F-bomb while saying “People’s Republic of China”. Their behaviour showed that they are too naive to be good representatives of Hong Kong people.

Foul language should not be used by anyone, least of all by honourable members of Legco. Also, “Shina” was an offensive term used by Japanese militarists. The pair claimed that Hong Kong had a different history from the mainland, but did they remember the calamity of “three years and eight months”? It is so disrespectful to humiliate the central government and victims of the Japanese occupation at the same time.

Obviously, they believed their rude speech could clearly deliver their stand. However, if they believed what they did was right, why did they deny their actions, blaming their accents instead? Their answers revealed the lack of a sense of honesty.

There are many ways to show discontent with Beijing, like adding the term “de facto” to the name “People’s Republic of China”– as least only pro-Beijing mouthpieces would then blame them for not realising the greatness of the regime. Why did they have to offend the entire city?

I share the view of former legislator Ronny Tong Ka-wah: being young is not an excuse to be foolish or naive. Legco is a place to defend citizens’ interests and Hong Kong’s core values, not offend other people.

Henry Wong, Kennedy Town

Independence debate in class is a good idea

I refer to the article, “Independence talk good for students’ learning and growth, major Hong Kong principal association says”(October 13). The article says principals are against advocacy of independence for Hong Kong but believe students should be allowed to discuss the topic in order to learn and grow.

I agree with their view. It is a good way to help students become more aware of current affairs in Hong Kong. Every discussion will help students learn about different points of view on the topic, and develop informed opinions of their own. Besides, the teachers can also analyse the topic with students.

Of course, the content of the “advocacy of independence” topic should be within the school-based framework or it will violate the law.

Moreover, it is the students who eventually have to live in a future Hong Kong, and such discussions can help them better understand the issues.

Schools can also introduce different ways for students to ­express their views on the topic, by setting up a “democracy wall”, for instance.

Jessie Leung, Mong Kok

Interns need coaching in real job skills

I refer to the article, “Hong Kong student internships: invaluable work experience or slave labour?” (October 10).

Many Hong Kong students who take on internships end up being just unpaid help for the employers.

Also, employers tend to dump more unappealing tasks on interns , who often don’t have any senior staff to guide them or even offer feedback.

I think employers shouldn’t just treat interns as unpaid help, they should arrange for some appropriate coaching for them to improve their working skills.

Work experience is important in the job market. Without such experience, young workers would find it much harder to survive in a competitive world.

But I feel companies should give interns a chance to accumulate some invaluable work experience.

Challenging tasks would help interns be better prepared for their future careers. Also, senior staff could take the initiative to coach interns in different aspects of the job.

Joey Ng, Tsuen Wan

Virtual reality fans must keep feet on ground

I am writing to express my opinion about the importance of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) entertainment.

With VR and AR becoming more and more popular, people often buy the gadgets or headsets and play at home. In Hong Kong, people mainly buy the equipment in game shops.

But apart from entertainment, there are ways VR and AR may change Hong Kong in the future. From the medical aspect, these technologies can be used in robots and help doctors to conduct surgery, thus reducing surgery time. From the technological aspect, these can be used in remote control planes and help technicians to monitor different scenes from the sky.

However, there are some potential risks, that of people injuring themselves or others.

Since they wear headsets when playing VR or AR games, people are unable to see what is around them in the real world. They may lose their balance and hurt themselves or crash into someone.

Secondly, some people have reported dizziness after playing with VR or AR. Some are more prone to it, but a few players may feel dizzy, nauseous or disoriented when they emerge from VR into the real world.

Thirdly, the equipment of VR or AR are relatively expensive, and so are going to put a dent in people’s finances.

Mario Man Yuk-kin, Po Lam

Dogs have no place in public housing flats

I am writing to express my views on the controversy over whether the owning of dogs should be allowed in public housing estates.

I am against the idea, for two main reasons. First, neighbours are disturbed by the barking, as public housing walls are not very soundproof. Such noise affects the quality of life for others.

Secondly, the living environment tends to be less hygienic, as not all owners of pets clean up after them. Cleaning up is the pet owner’s responsibility, but the truth is that some fail to do so as the law is not strict enough to act as a deterrent.

Although some may say that the above situations can be avoided by making sure that the dogs are well-trained and by tightening relevant laws but, let’s be honest, no one can control the barking of dogs. Moreover, some pet owners may still not take the law seriously.

I believe forbidding dog ownership in public housing is the best way to provide a better living environment for all.

Julianna Ma Ka Lam, Kowloon Tong

Education can help beat the poverty trap

I am writing in response to the article, “Hong Kong’s appalling wealth gap is a burning fuse for revolution” (October 14).

I agree that income disparity in Hong Kong is very serious and simply increasing the minimum wage would have no significant effect. The government should focus more on providing better education to the poor.

The education level of parents limits the schooling options of their children. If the parents have a low education level, they usually have a low income, and cannot afford the significant expenses involved in sending their children to university or to earn associate degrees.

This forms a vicious cycle, in which the younger generation cannot get well-paid jobs due to their low education levels and so are rendered unable to break out of poverty.

Hong Kong is now transiting to a knowledge-based economy, and the wages of some low-educated, low-skilled workers continue to lag economic growth. As a result, income disparity has widened.

To narrow down such disparity, the government needs to have better resource allocation.

Education is central to alleviating inter-generational poverty. Therefore, the government should allocate more resources to education, such as increasing allowances or loosening restrictions under the School Textbook Assistance Scheme.

Ruby Fon, Sha Tin