Letters to the editor, March 15, 2016
High-pressure system must be reviewed
I refer to the report, “Fears for Hong Kong students after fifth suicide at Chinese University since start of academic year” (March 6).
As a student, I am concerned about what is now happening in Hong Kong and it is not just affecting universities. School students have also committed suicide and I think we are facing a serious problem and it is connected with the education system and the studying culture.
There are limited undergraduate places at local universities and so students have to study hard. For many of them, this means they do not have enough time to relax. They are put under a lot of pressure. The stress starts at an early age. One survey showed that more than 75 per cent of primary schoolchildren in the city get less than eight hours of sleep a night.
Many parents want the best for their children, but they go too far with various tutorial classes and extracurricular activities. The main purpose of going to school should be to acquire knowledge, but instead, because of the education system in Hong Kong, it is more like a competition.
This is not a good learning environment for youngsters and there has to be a change of attitude in society, schools and in the family.
The Education Bureau must look closely at the education system and see what policies should be changed to reduce the stress felt by teenagers.
Parents need to consult their children before choosing extracurricular activities, so they are enrolled for something they would like to do and that might actually relieve the pressure they feel because of their studies.
Also, teachers should look for the signs that a teenager is troubled and be able to help.
Clio Tsui, Lam Tin
Students need to realise help is available
The rising trend of students committing suicide has become alarming.
The figure revealed last week of 22 suicides since September last year has shocked many Hong Kong people. Some people are critical of Hong Kong’s youngsters and say they need to find the strength to overcome the difficulties they face. They point to previous generations who faced and overcame many obstacles in their lives.
This view is unfair to young Hongkongers. More pressure is being placed on them by society and the situation and difficulties they face are very different from the experiences of previous generations.
The government urges teachers to do better, but it should be looking at the whole education system, identifying what is wrong and doing something about it. Because of the present system, I think that students are victims and I feel so sorry for them.
Many of them feel alone and some lose hope and take their own lives.
I urge students who are troubled to seek help. It is available from different people, including friends, family members and social workers.
They need to understand there are always ways out, that solutions can be found to the problems they face.
Winky Lai, Yau Yat Chuen
LGBT groups’ tactics harm their cause
I refer to the report about the disruption of a meeting at St Jude’s Catholic Church in North Point (“LGBT activists storm into church talk”, March 14).
Activists from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community have been taking more radical and unacceptable measures in their campaign for their self-declared equal rights.
The Catholic Church proved to be correct for not having invited LGBT groups to its forum on “homosexuality and an anti-sexual orientation discrimination law”. How could people rationally discuss serious matters when facing such a rude and disruptive audience?
I see this as similar to, for example, the rowdy behaviour of some pan-democratic legislators in the Legco chamber. LGBT groups are just following suit to bring about the changes they want in society.
The SAR government and Hong Kong citizens should continue to oppose the LGBT community’s call for minority privileges over the majority.
This opposition has a long and worldwide history and people take this stand on moral, social, cultural, and religious grounds. As a society, we should not compromise social order and our morality to accommodate people from sexual minorities. Their latest unruly actions will lead to greater opposition to their campaign.
It was wrong of one of the groups to choose the name Rainbow Action, because it has deep religious significance. The rainbow was the sign of the covenant between God and Noah after the Flood, described in the Old Testament.
Lee Yiu-chu, Central
Even busier skies with third runway
The Hong Kong Airport Authority’s in-your-face advertising blitz for a third runway is all over the MTR, particularly the 70-metre stretch between Hong Kong and Central stations.
Yet, Cathay Pacific recently complained that air congestion in the skies was costing them over HK$1 billion each year.
Perhaps the authority should tell us how building a third runway, which will put more aircraft in the skies per unit time, will reduce the number of planes in the skies over the Pearl River estuary. I would be interested to know.
Richard Fielding, Tung Chung
Offices should provide nursing rooms
I refer to the report, “Office changes lead to happier working mums” (March 8).
Prince Jewellery and Watch has converted an interview room into a nursing room for working mothers and the conversion only cost HK$2,000.
This initiative has benefited working mothers and led to a much happier working environment.
It is good that these women do not have to stop breastfeeding after they return to work. So often they work in an office where this is not possible and they can only use a toilet cubicle to pump milk.
I would like to see these facilities become more widespread and see them provided in other sectors in Hong Kong.
It is common sense for a company to do this.
If these mothers do not have to worry about finding a nursing room, then they will be able to concentrate fully on their jobs and will be more efficient.
Many of these women have difficult jobs with heavy workloads, and companies should ensure they do not have to deal with unnecessary stress.
Pianka Lam, Yau Yat Chuen
Youngsters too immature for politics
I refer to the letter by Emily Yeung Ching-yi (‘Teens should get involved in politics”, March 7).
Youngsters lack experience of society and how it works and could make some unwise decisions if they got involved in politics at too young an age.
They can acquire knowledge in school, including learning about politics, but actually getting involved in political movements involves a certain level of maturity. Because they lack maturity, they are very impressionable and I would be concerned if some of them took part in radical social movements that could have consequences for their lives.
I also think that many citizens are concerned when they see youngsters joining political groups. They need to gain more experience in life before becoming activists.
Alex Law, Tseung Kwan O