Letters to the editor, March 1, 2016

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 March, 2016, 5:02pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 March, 2016, 5:02pm

Praise for firm which makes a real difference

I refer to the report (“Hearts in the right space”, February 19) about the two businessmen who formed the firm Architecture Commons.

Nowadays, many young people have plans for business start-ups. However, operating costs, especially rents, are extremely high in Hong Kong. They may have to save up for many years before they can achieve their ambitions. Some might find that because costs keep rising and without help from parents, they are never able to realise their dreams.

In order to try and solve the problems faced by these young entrepreneurs, more co-working spaces are being established in Hong Kong. A shared working environment is created, which reduces costs such as rent. This is the perfect environment for start-ups, whose ­founders have limited funds.

I think these co-working spaces are good for society ­because they give young entrepreneurs a chance to launch their companies. Architecture Commons is responsible for one such office, the Federation of Youth Groups/Hong Kong Jockey Club Social Innovation Centre in Wong Chuk Hang.

I really admire Architecture Commons and its founders Rick Lam Yin-cheuk and Eric Ho Lick-fai. This is an example of an ethical company. Unlike other firms, they take on some projects on a pro bono basis. Firms like this are helping the lower stratum in society and ­giving them a chance to be ­upwardly mobile.

I hope we will see more of these social enterprises in Hong Kong that help young people and the underprivileged.

Sukie Chiu, Kowloon Tong

Put bus bell buttons within easy reach

I refer to the report “Bus passenger crashes into glass door” (February 17). I was surprised to read about this so soon after a similar incident on a bus. Fortunately, in this case, the passenger only sustained minor injuries. In the earlier incident, a man “suffered serious head injuries” after he fell through the glass door of a moving single-decker bus.

I have two suggestions for KMB to prevent a repeat of these incidents. First, a bell should be installed next to every seat on the bus. In the second accident, the woman allegedly lost her balance when she pressed the bell button.

Sometimes, these buttons can be some distance from where you are seated on a bus. So passengers have to stand up while the bus is still moving. This can cause problems, especially if the bus is turning a tight corner.

Secondly, there should be announcements on buses reminding passengers to stay ­seated while the bus is moving. Many people on the upper deck start going down the stairs while the bus is moving and this increases the risk of injury.

If passengers are more aware of the risks, accidents can be avoided on our public buses. I hope KMB will make public the results of its probe into these ­accidents as soon as possible.

Kelly Lam Chiu-wai, Yau Yat Chuen

Budget did not do enough for elderly citizens

I think the initiatives announced in last week’s budget to help the elderly did not go far enough.

The elderly have specific financial and health-care needs and the financial secretary failed to address them.

Relief measures were announced for pensioners and the underprivileged, but they were inadequate. In real terms, what was given to recipients of ­welfare benefits was less than last year. The sums given will be barely enough to help people cope with the rising cost of living in Hong Kong.

It seems to me that the government is underfunding the welfare system.

Rather than helping the poor in society, the budget gave more in the form of reduced salaries tax. It has adequate resources to help elderly citizens and should be doing more for them.

Mui Kwan-yi, Kowloon Tong

TVB made a mistake with news subtitles

Given that relations between Hong Kong and the central government can be sensitive, I think the decision by TVB to use simplified characters during Putonghua newscasts on its J5 channel was a case of bad ­timing.

Beijing wants greater integration between Hong Kong and the mainland, it wants to exert more control over our lives, ­including the use of simplified Chinese characters.

TVB said its aim was to bring convenience to mainland visitors and migrants. So will it do the same for other members of the migrant community in Hong Kong and offer subtitles, for example, in Tagalog, Hindi, Urdu and Bahasa Indonesia?

Hongkongers are concerned about the process of greater integration with the mainland.

Christy Ma, Tiu Keng Leng

Needs of local hawkers have been neglected

I refer to the report “Food vans selling like hot cakes” (February 26).

It is good that more sites have been added for food truck ­services.

The expansion of this pilot scheme will be welcomed by local citizens who will enjoy this new type of service. ­However, our local hawkers also need more assistance from the government.

Because of a lack of support, their numbers are declining. Unlike the food trucks, they are an integral part of the culture of Hong Kong and should be ­preserved.

Some people complain about hygiene problems with hawker stalls, but these are issues which can be dealt with.

Jacky Chow Tsz-kiu, Tseung Kwan O

United effort can help to cut food waste

Hongkongers need to have a greater awareness of the need to protect the environment, especially with regard to food waste.

We can all help cut this kind of waste, by simply only ordering what we know we will be able to eat in a restaurant.

Light pollution is another serious problem, and it is particularly bad in built-up urban areas like Mong Kok.

With technological advances, the government could do more to improve the quality of the environment in Hong Kong. And its job will be made easier with a greater level of public awareness.

Ingrid Woo, Ho Man Tin

Workload can spoil holiday for students

Students in Hong Kong are under a lot of pressure because of the heavy workload they face.

This is not just something they have to deal with during the school term, but even during the short and long holidays.

During the Lunar New Year break, I went back to the mainland. I had to take all my homework with me and do it while I was on holiday, and this made the trip less enjoyable.

Youngsters are being given too much homework. Teachers argue that they should continue the process of learning outside school.

However, it should be ­possible for them to have a proper break and relax during their holidays.

Schools must recognise the need to reduce the workload of their students, at least during holiday periods.

Wong Kan-hei, Kowloon Tong