Letters to the Editor, October 01, 2015
Stadium the perfect venue for big match
I was astounded and disappointed when I read the report "HK Stadium unlikely for World Cup clash" (September 24).
Football is by far the most popular sport in Hong Kong, and our footballers have recently been doing us proud.
How do officials have the nerve to even consider switching the highly anticipated World Cup clash between Hong Kong and China to a minor venue at inconvenient Siu Sai Wan?
The turf cannot be the issue, and the local pitch will favour our players. Everyone should be rooting for our team in the match against China.
Our officials give the impression that they are worried about the response of 50,000 Hongkongers (such as whistling at China's players) and that a fully supported Hong Kong team might win.
President Xi Jinping is known to be a football fan, and will obviously wish that China gets to host a future World Cup.
If China cannot even make the finals in Russia in 2018, then a Chinese bid will be less than compelling.
Your report also prompts the question of what has happened to the sports stadium plans for the Kai Tak site.
The chief of the hugely popular English Premier League commented that Hong Kong is falling behind because of a lack of facilities, especially when compared to our rival Singapore ("HK losing edge to Lion City: EPL boss", September 24).
While our plans have been marooned on the drawing board, Singapore has fully implemented its idea and its similar design is now fully operational.
Since the handover, there seems to been inertia on the part of the government to move forward successfully with large infrastructure projects.
Take, for example, West Kowloon Cultural District, the express rail link, the Hong Kong boundary crossing facilities reclamation, and the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge.
I would be interested to hear the view of the Legislative Council member representing the sports, performing arts, culture and publication functional constituency, the taciturn Timothy Fok Tsun-ting, concerning the venues, both present and future.
K. Y. Leung, Shouson Hill
Poor living conditions in geopark
I refer to the report "Geopark tourism drive 'neglects needs of villages'" (September 21).
I have not been to any of the Hong Kong Geopark sites. However, I have seen documentaries about them on TV. The geopark is famous because of its world-class rock formations. In 2011 it became part of the Global Geoparks Network. It was renamed Hong Kong Global Geopark of China and attracts a lot of tourists.
However, this popularity with visitors has not been of much help to indigenous villagers living on the island of Tung Ping Chau. The government has neglected their needs and villagers lack a sustainable electricity or fresh water supply. They have to rely on using generators.
The government must address the concerns of these villagers as soon as possible.
It must ensure they get a reliable supply of electricity and water.
If it wants to promote the geopark as world class, it must ensure that those living within its boundaries enjoy decent living conditions.
Kitty Leung, Hung Hom
Traditional festivals are still important
We have seen the development of a strange phenomenon in the city.
There is a tendency now for many Hong Kong people to celebrate Western festivals more than traditional Chinese festivals.
Halloween is at the end of this month and our two big theme parks are already promoting their events for it, through television, online and in newspapers. Why did they not do something similar for the Mid-Autumn Festival last month? How many of us know about our traditional festivals and what they really mean?
It is not only Halloween that is marked here. Other Western-oriented festivals, such as Easter and Christmas, have grown in popularity.
We are Chinese and we should be enjoying our traditional festivals more.
I think one of the reasons we don't do this is because of the effects of globalisation.
The influence of Western countries and their cultures spread around the world with the development of globalisation after the end of the second world war.
Also, commercialisation has had an effect. Companies try to exploit these festivals to get consumers to spend.
I feel that the intrinsic value of festivals is diminishing as they become more materialistic.
Hongkongers should pay more attention to their traditional festivals, so that they live on and are celebrated by future generations. I think they have more meaning than Western festivals. They can teach us important lessons.
Polly Lo Ching-in, Yau Yat Chuen
Money not the only issue for elderly citizens
I agree with your correspondents who have said that it is not enough just to give elderly citizens more money.
When we are discussing the elderly in society, we tend to focus on their financial needs and whether they are getting enough to live on and pay for their medical bills.
They also need love and care and this is an area which seems to be neglected in Hong Kong. I seldom see studies which look at their mental health and happiness.
Many pensioners feel isolated, because they have no children and live alone. Citizens need to be aware of this and visit an elderly neighbour who lives alone. Children need to make sure they regularly see their pensioner parents.
We must remember the important contribution these citizens made to the prosperity of Hong Kong during their working lives.
Caroline Wong Tin-ching, Tsing Yi
HK officials should listen to top judge
In a speech during the opening ceremony of the new Court of Final Appeal, Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li highlighted the importance of the rule of law and judicial independence.
I urge officials from the Hong Kong and central governments to respect the Basic Law and take heed of his words.
It reminded me of the 79-day Umbrella Revolution, when officials accused protesters of damaging Hong Kong's core values, including the rule of law.
I believe the officials and police distorted the meaning of the rule of law and the Basic Law. It is a huge problem when senior officials try to mislead the public.
I understand that the Chinese government seeks to maintain Chinese-style socialism. But I would be concerned about any efforts to brainwash Hong Kong people.
Dong Ng, Sha Tin
Pushy parents can be good for children
There has been a lot of debate about those parents in Hong Kong who are pushing their children to succeed academically, by doing a lot of homework and going to after-school classes.
In discussions online, many netizens say this kind of parenting kills children's interest in their studies, because they are not allowed to grow free of extreme pressure.
Although they are often seen in a negative light, the attitude of pushy parents can be good for children especially in an environment like Hong Kong.
I do not think children are born with a love of learning. They benefit from being put under some pressure in their studies. This is especially the case when there is so much competition for a Hong Kong university place and a good job.
Young people with these parents develop good learning habits at an early age. As they mature, they find they are capable of self-study. They become independent learners.
I do not see after-school classes as adding to the pressure. They give students an insight into the subject they may not get in school. They can also help them realise their own potential and find out what interests them and what career path they might follow.
Even without such parents, students face an enormous workload. What pushy parents can do is guide them in how to cope with their homework.
As long as such parents look at the comprehensive development of their children, they can help them to grow up able to deal with the city's highly competitive environment.
Wong Siu-yuk, Sham Shui Po
Teens need smartphone timetable
With advances in new technology, smartphones have become increasingly important to the daily lives of many citizens.
You see teenagers using their smartphone virtually all the time wherever they may be. A lot of teens spend an entire journey on the MTR looking at these smartphones. I think with such overuse, they are developing bad habits.
There is a risk that some of them will become addicted to their smartphones. They stare at the screens and do not care about what is happening around them.
These young people need to think about the health implications. Spending too long looking at the screens is bad for their eyes.
They need to learn to manage the time they spend on these phones, with a timetable that they stick to.
While they should be allowed to bring the phone to school, because they may need to get in touch with their parents, if they play with it in class, the teacher should confiscate it.
Oscar Lo, Tseung Kwan O