Letters to the Editor, October 04, 2015
Plea for help on student suicides
I am writing about the student and teenager suicide problem in Hong Kong.
Every year, World Suicide Prevention Day is held on September 10. On this day, numerous events and local activities are held to raise public awareness of suicide.
The annual suicide death rate in Hong Kong is lower than the rates in Japan and South Korea, but it is still a serious problem in our society, especially among teenagers and students.
Having a school life here is like riding a roller coaster, which make us feel sick and stressed. During lessons we need to have 100 per cent concentration so we don't miss anything the teacher tells us and during recesses we are still busy tidying up our notes and preparing books for the next lesson. We rarely get a rest during recesses. Tests and exams make us feel stressed.
There're no excuses for society ignoring problems faced by teenagers, and people should pay more attention to what's happening among students, and give support to them, such as reflecting on the education system here. Psychological counselling should be given, not just hitting a "like" button on a social network site and leaving a comment on a teenager's suicide.
Lee Chun-tung, Yau Yat Chuen
3D printing should not be freely available
Nowadays, the potential of 3D printing has been unleashed. We are able to use plastic, metal or even living cells as raw materials to easily make, for example, cups and cars.
I could hardly believe that printing technology could be developed to be so advanced and convenient. This dramatically improves the quality of life in different areas.
In the industrial field, 3D printing allows errors and waste to be minimised by previewing products before mass production and 3D versions of the shape of designs can be easily created, allowing for greater innovation.
In bio-medical engineering, scientists can use living cells to print tailor-made organs. This will have wide-ranging implications in the future.
3D printing in advance manufacturing is effective but every coin has two sides. It reduces demand for manufacturing jobs and poses a threat to copyright. Its availability for use should not be for everyone, to protect copyright and prevent production of dangerous items, such as guns and knives.
Winnie Hui, Tuen Mun
The devil is in the internet details
I am concerned about protection of personal information on the internet. Our names, mobile phone numbers, e-mail and home addresses, credit card and ID numbers, and many other personal details should not be blindly provided. If we ignore the seriousness of providing such personal information, we could suffer irreversible consequences.
Invasion of privacy is rampant these years. In the past two years, for example, Some social network sites have been criticised for using users' information in advertising.
However, the majority in Hongkongers still neglect privacy protection, seeing it as inconvenient.
It is a matter of urgency for the government to highlight the shortcomings in posting personal information on the internet to enhance awareness of this issue. Questions such as "What is the purpose of requirements of my personal information?", and "Is the privacy control of this website strict enough?", should be the concern of all.
The government should not underestimate the seriousness of the problem. It needs to be proactive and call on more regulators to intervene and monitor privacy controls.
Harsher penalties, including jail terms, should be imposed for breaches of privacy.
Tse Yan-ue, Yau Yat Chuen
Football fans' booing may backfire
With reports that SAR fans booed again during the playing of the national anthem before recent World Cup qualifying matches at Mong Kok Stadium, any punishment by world football governing body Fifa is likely to hurt Hong Kong's team.
I urge the fans not to boo the national anthem anymore.
A national anthem represents a nation, equal to a national flag. If people boo the national anthem, it means they are treading on the national flag. Not only is such behaviour illegal, it is also disrespectful.
Most Hong Kong people have had a good education and they should show their respect to any nation, no matter which it is.
As a fan of Hong Kong's football team, which represents this SAR, booing during the playing of the national anthem breaks Fifa rules and may result in Hong Kong's football team being penalised.
If the team is punished, Hong Kong may be fined or ordered to play behind closed doors. Our players would suffer by missing out on the encouragement from supporters at the stadium.
To solve this problem, the community should educate teens on the proper way to express discontent and how to support our team.
The incidents on the pitch mirror the current state of the Hong Kong-mainland relationship. The football issues may be settled in the short term but more effort and time are needed to resolve political frictions between reformists in the SAR and Beijing. In the meantime, the government should boost our football development.
Tony Tsang, Ma On Shan
Consume less to ease waste pressure
The land waste issue is getting serious and the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations highlight the problem. Too many seasonal products are pitched into rubbish bins at the end of the night, then off to bulging landfills they go.
The best way to reduce waste is to cut consumption. Unfortunately, recycling is not an effective option in Hong Kong, because the government does not inject much capital into it. And Hongkongers don't like to reuse the same product.
Companies can encourage people to consume less.
More restaurants, for example, should offer environmentally-friendly packaging for mooncakes with a lower price. If more companies start trying new ways to reduce waste, and with locals' cooperation, we can reduce volumes of waste generated in Hong Kong.
Lois Ng Kam-yuet, Kowloon Tong
Insurance body needs a rethink
I refer to the report ("Establishment of insurance body to start this year", September 21).
Eddie Cheung Kwok-choi, the deputy secretary for financial services and the treasury says, "The primary purpose of setting up the Insurance Authority is to enhance protection for policyholders".
On the assumption that by far the greatest amount of damage done to policyholders is the mis-selling by agents and brokers it is puzzling to see that the regulation of these people is left to the third and final stage and comes three years after the amendments are enacted.
Has the government got its priorities right in the execution of this legislation?
Malcolm Glenn Turner, Wan Chai