Letters to the Editor, November 15, 2015
All work and no play is not the way to go
I agree with those who arge that legislating standard working hours would lighten workloads.
The vast majority of Hong Kong people work very hard due to the absence of legislation on standard working hours. Their superiors set them many tasks to be completed over a short period of time and workers fear being branded lazy or inefficient, leading to dismissal, if they don't meet the tough schedule.
It's sad to think I might just be one of many working machines in Hong Kong if nothing is done to strike a good work-life balance now.
With standardised hours, Hongkongers will not be exhausted and will be able to enjoy more free time, which is essential for exercise and relaxation. Some say productivity will suffer with shorter working hours but with standard hours, workers will not be tempted to drag out their tasks because now they know that when they finish more will just be piled up. Instead, they will complete their work as quickly as possible to enjoy their leisure time. Thus, working efficiency can definitely be maintained and in fact enhanced, and the work-life balance will get better.
As a Secondary Six student, who is heading into the workplace soon, I hope our freedom and right a decent quality of life will be safeguarded.
I hope the government will put more emphasis on this issue and protect the working class.
Vanessa Wan, Tai Wai
Owning flat in Shanghai a distant hope
I refer to the report ("Shanghai to rein in property price boom", October 26).
Officials want to control a real estate boom and curb property prices in the city so that residents can afford to own a house. However, the policies that the city officials have implemented have had little effect. I think the goal of people in Shanghai to buy a house is commendable but it is a delusion. The city has become a global financial and shipping centre in recent years and it attracts many people to move there to work and live.
Most of the newcomers have to rent a house, which contributes to the development of real estate as investors, and current house owners, build more flats to rent.
Demand is high and many cannot afford the higher house prices around the central business district and the subway.
Although more land is being developed, it is not close to the city centre. The inconvenience of a long commute to the city and prices that are still not cheap mean buying a house there is not an option either. Thus residents still can't have their own house in Shanghai.
Buying a house has to be considered carefully and living standard and a better life is of paramount concern.
The local government's policies must reflect the real reasons behind booming property prices and promote ways residents can become homeowners.
Ruan Wen, Sha Tin
Children in commercials unfair on them
I would like to express my opinions about the social phenomenon of employing children in commercials. Nowadays, in the commercial industry, people use different market strategies to gain the highest profits with the smallest cost.
Employing children - usually those with adorable looks - in commercials is becoming common. I don't think children should be allowed to get involved in the business of marketing products and services.
It could adversely affect their personal growth, such as their value judgments.
If children are involved in advertising for a long time, they may think it's an easy and the best way to make money and gain popularity.
Plus, there is the worry of paparazzi and the pressure of doing school work in between commercials. They already face the challenge of studying and trying to have fun while they're young. Exposure to the adult world of commerce at such a young age in unfair. They are just kids, they should be allowed to enjoy their childhood.
The public may think that children are well-protected under contracts but there are risks which are unpredictable in the market when everyone wants to get the highest profits. Parents should provide a joyful childhood with a sense of safety at this moment.
Children are immature and they make decisions without fully being aware of them. This is because they are inexperienced in the world. I think parents should give them the opportunity to learn about it when they have become more mature.
In conclusion, employing children in commercials is becoming too common. Is it really justified to employ them in commercials?
Children shouldn't be used as a tool to promote products. The potential risks are too high.
I hope the public realises it's unfair and fewer children get involved in commercials in the future.
Gigi Tse Hiu-shan, Kowloon Tong
Renewable energy does have a role
I am writing to express my view on the use of energy in Hong Kong.
Electricity has become an indispensable necessity in our daily lives. Yet, I think that we often fail to think about the alternatives, that is, adopting renewable energy, instead of using coal-fired plants and nuclear power?
There is no doubt in my mind that coal and nuclear energy are the options that we should try to move away from. Opponents argue use of fossil fuels like coal to generate electricity will emit pollutants and lead to air pollution, intensifying global warming.
They point out the dangers of nuclear power, with potentially catastrophic results if something goes badly wrong at a nuclear power plant.
Renewable energy seems to be a good choice because it won't harm the environment. However, due to limited land in Hong Kong, it is difficult to adopt this kind of renewable power generation here. Where would we put the windmills if we wanted to develop wind power?
A problem with renewable energy , is that it depends on the weather. Without favourable conditions, it will be less effective.
Hong Kong should strike a balance, using coal and use renewable energy where it is feasible. More importantly, we should all limit our use of electricity, saving precious resources for the next generations.
Natalie Wong Ka-kei, Sha Tin
Trees deserve our care and attention
I refer to the report ("'Poor tree care puts green heritage at risk'", October 23). I agree with those who argue that there must be better management of trees in Hong Kong.
To begin with, according to the news report, So Kwok-yin, who is the chief executive of the Conservancy Association, said the focus was on risk management rather than tree care. If government departments take poor care of trees, there is a greater risk decay.
I agree with those who say that we should protect the city's green heritage. Many urban trees are old and valuable and historically important. The government should allocate more manpower for tree assessments to identify those that are unsafe. We must try to prevent the situation from getting worse.
Cammy Yang Ka-ying, Kowloon Tong