Letters to the Editor, July 29, 2015

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 July, 2015, 4:25pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 July, 2015, 4:25pm

Schools should not hesitate to dial 999

I refer to the report ("Emergency procedures for schools reviewed following girl tragedy", July 25).

You say that the Education Bureau's "guidelines for schools dealing with emergencies do not specify" that they should call 999.

A bureau spokeswoman said it would review guidelines and make the necessary adjustments.

She said the bureau "had guidelines to assist schools in handling emergencies and that schools should establish an effective emergency response system and rehearse it regularly".

Children are our future, and they should be at the top of the list for protection.

In a climate where terrorism is a remote possibility, persons running amok is a possibility (we have had several cases in the past) and accidents and fires are frequent occurrences, it is frightening that the bureau displays such a lack of common sense.

999 is the emergency number, period.

The police, fire and ambulance services would prefer to turn up at dozens of school false alarms in preference to being called late or not at all in an emergency, as in the case in question.

The bureau has to get a grip and send an urgent interim guideline requiring all schools and kindergartens to dial 999 first.

Guy Shirra, Sai Kung

No need to offer healthy menu in city

Late last year McDonald's in the US announced that it would look at providing a healthier menu in its American restaurants by, for example, changing its cooking methods and some ingredients.

It was responding to a fall in sales and the trend of customers wanting to move towards eating more wholesome food.

Some people have said that McDonald's eateries in Hong Kong should follow the example set by the US restaurants.

They argue that the desire for a healthier lifestyle is a global trend that should be accepted in Hong Kong.

I would not be in favour of the McDonald's branches here taking this initiative.

I accept that many people do generally want to have a healthier diet. But there are times when you want to sit down and enjoy some fries along with Chicken McNuggets and McWings, for example.

The wishes of these customers must also be respected, and I would not be happy to see the traditional fare of McDonald's restaurants being taken off the menu.

I have never really seen this company as being geared towards the provision of healthy food. If you want that, there are shops and restaurants where you can get that kind of food.

I am not saying that McDonald's sells junk food. It all depends on the eating habits of customers.

What they are really selling are snacks.

When I visit a McDonald's in Hong Kong, I do not see any drop-off in its trade. There are always long queues at all the counters, so clearly the menu it has on offer is still very popular with Hongkongers.

It should stick with dishes that customers still want.

Mary Wong Ming-yuet, Ngau Tau Kok

Fearing for future of environment

Environmental problems globally are getting worse.

We all have a responsibility to try and protect the earth.

Instead of shirking our collective duty, we must all do what we can to protect the environment.

There are so many activities which cause pollution and threaten the well-being of many people, such as illegal logging in different parts of the world.

When I read about all that is happening in the world, I fear for the future.

Of all the issues that we must deal with, I think the population explosion is the biggest problem that we face and that needs to be addressed.

Efforts must be made to raise the levels of awareness of people.

We should discuss these matters with friends and family members.

If people were more aware and were willing to cooperate, we could see improvements.

Ashley Cheng, Tuen Mun

Netizens can do a lot of damage online

There is a disturbing trend of netizens revealing the information of other people on the internet.

This may be a video of inappropriate behaviour or even personal information about that person and about family members.

Apart from the fact that they are infringing the privacy of these individuals, their malicious acts online can bring harm to others.

Some people are deeply affected by attacks against them on the internet. Youngsters may feel that it will destroy their future prospects.

If a film of them, for example, losing their temper is posted online, they can become the object of ridicule.

These people are, in effect, being condemned without having the chance to defend themselves. And it is totally wrong for these netizens to also reveal personal details of individuals' family members so that they are made to feel guilty by association.

The government needs to look at personal privacy legislation in Hong Kong and see whether it needs to be tightened, and find any loopholes.

While the internet is growing the personal privacy of citizens must be protected.

Wong Siu-yuk, Kowloon Tong 

Not surprised stress levels are high

A survey earlier this year found that many Hong Kong pupils suffer from depression.

As a student who faces a lot of stress, I can understand why this is a problem. Sometimes the stress can be made worse by their parents, who put them under a lot of pressure to succeed academically.

The parents want to ensure they get a place at university. Nowadays, many students can face high expectations from an early age, even at primary school.

They face a lot of tests and exams during their school careers. Some may work hard, but still fail to get the necessary grades, and so they feel disappointed.

They can also suffer stress if they are ridiculed by some members of their peer group. It is important for parents to also ensure their children know they care about them.

Kary Chan Chung-yi, Tseung Kwan O

Initiative good for teens and elderly citizens

I agree with correspondents who have welcomed the new scheme that will train teenagers as carers for the elderly.

I agree that the new career path can help these young people. It can ensure that these school leavers will find jobs, that the government will give them college training and that they will get diplomas. They will learn skills and gain confidence.

It will give them a good career path and a better option than taking a low-skilled job.

This initiative is also important because we will have more retired citizens in Hong Kong who will want to stay in their own homes.

I would like to see the government offering more training to people with low skills, such as Hong Kong citizens who have become parallel traders.

Suki Lee, Hang Hau