Letters to the Editor, September 30, 2015
Protests raised teens' level of awareness
Time flies and we are already marking the first anniversary of the start of the Occupy Central movement.
I think many of the teenagers who were involved during the 79 days of protests will look back with mixed feelings. They remain unsure about what the future holds for themselves and for society.
Many Hong Kong teens still lack awareness about current events. Instead, they concentrate on their school work and doing well in exams.
However, during the protest period, many young people did get involved and their levels of awareness about the importance of freedom of speech were raised.
After all, universal suffrage is a basic human right. Young people were willing to risk jail in defence of that right.
However, it did bring about political discord, not just among different political groups. It also led to families being divided.
Many teenagers emerged from the protest movement determined to continue to stand up for freedom of speech.
I think the advantages of the movement outweighed the disadvantages.
We are all stakeholders in this city and I would like to see a consensus reached so that we can eventually have a harmonious democracy. If conflicts turn violent, they leave a trail of hatred and mistrust that can take decades to resolve.
Teenagers want to have a voice and be able to act as responsible citizens who are able to take part in shaping the future of Hong Kong.
Julianna Ma Ka-lam, Kowloon Tong
Fight goes on for universal suffrage
I refer to the report "Keep torch of democracy alive, Occupy leaders tell Hongkongers" (September 28).
Last year's Umbrella Movement, which lasted for 79 days, was a meaningful event for Hongkongers as they sought to ensure a democratic future for the city.
However, it did not achieve its goals. One year on and Hongkongers are still fighting for universal suffrage. It is a topic that the government of Hong Kong and Beijing now seem to want to avoid.
This is the wrong approach to take. Both the local and central governments should listen to Hong Kong citizens. If they do not, then there will be more political protests like the Umbrella Movement and we will face a future of disunity as we approach 2047.
There are issues which need to be resolved if Hong Kong is to have a bright future.
Edwin Chung Yiu-king, Yau Tong
Desperate need for more organ donors
Many Hong Kong citizens are still reluctant to register as organ donors, so that their organs can be harvested after their death.
It is a part of traditional Chinese culture that the whole body should remain intact and many individuals hold to this tradition.
Even if someone has expressed the wish to donate their organs, after they have died the family may refuse to follow their wishes because of this long-held belief.
Yet, a single organ donor can save a number of lives and offer very ill patients a second chance.
If more people appreciated how these patients' relatives suffer as they wait for an available donor, they might realise how important it is to register.
Other people donate their bodies to hospitals or university medical schools, for training or medical research. This is also very important. It can help scientists looking for cures for diseases. It allows medical students to practise their skills.
The relatives and friends of Hongkongers who became organ donors should be comforted by the fact that, in a sense, a part of their loved ones live on in the recipients of the donated organs.
Eleanor Lui Lok-ching, Yau Yat Chuen
Pointless surgery now more popular
More young people are opting to have procedures they do not need because they want perfect skin or to improve their body shape.
Teenagers are influenced by this trend. They think about their looks and forget about the importance of inner beauty, and how they can develop and grow as individuals.
They are bombarded with adverts (especially on the internet) for liposuction and breast augmentation, and often misunderstand the core values of self-image. Teenagers are easy targets for these adverts.
They face fierce competition in society, in their studies and in their careers and they may incorrectly shift the emphasis to trying to improve their appearance. They think this will give them an edge when they are trying to get a position with a company and so some of them opt for plastic surgery.
However, they should be thinking more about their personalities rather than how they look. Having sound knowledge of the job, a good attitude and sufficient work experience are the essential elements to achieve success in a career.
Tighter controls should be imposed on adverts for such procedures as cosmetic surgery, especially on TV and social networking sites.
Schools also need to teach children self-respect and play to their inner strengths. If they have self-confidence, they can overcome obstacles they will face in life without having to submit to cosmetic surgery.
Joanne Cheng Sze-yu, Lam Tin
UN must help to curb global cyberattacks
Cyberattacks pose a threat to companies all over the world.
Firms keep having to buy the latest software to protect their commercial data and this can be costly. Leaks of their commercial secrets can be very damaging.
The US has blamed China for cyberattacks in the past, but they have now agreed to work together in this area ("Cybercrime cooperation a strategic shift for the US and China", September 27).
I think this new deal will be ineffective. What is the point of making an agreement which is not legally binding? And what is to be gained by two countries reaching an accord when other countries act with impunity and continue with cyberattacks?
Legally-binding regulations have to be agreed on at the UN, forcing all countries to stop carrying out cyberattacks. Those that fail to do so should face economic sanctions.
All governments should be working together to maintain internet security.
The internet should serve as a useful platform for communication and sharing.
Jack Wu Shiu-ting, Sha Tin
People enjoyed much greener festival
Mooncakes are an integral part the Mid-Autumn Festival.
However, I am glad that more consumers are now being environmentally friendly. In the past, they always bought mooncakes in tins which then ended up in landfills.
However, many people now buy them in paper or cardboard boxes which can be recycled, or other material that is biodegradable.
Mooncake firms have also cooperated, with one company this year offering a chocolate mooncake to customers who bought the eco-friendly containers.
This will lead to a reduction in the quantities of tin containers that are discarded.
Mooncakes are delicious. However, I also noted that people are becoming more health conscious and are eating fewer of them during the festival because they do contain a lot of fat.
Wing Kwok, Tseung Kwan O