Letters to the Editor, March 30, 2016
Modern life has denigrated motherhood
I find much to agree with in Yoyo Tsang Hong-yiu’s letter (“Feminists are calling for a level playing field”, March 10).
Gender equality and respect are serious issues, and the game of life certainly requires a level playing field.
It also necessitates two teams. It is the universal principle (tao) of interaction between the female (yin) and male (yang) that gives intrinsic order and creativity to the cosmos. However, it is not a stereotype that men are aggressive and competitive, but a fact of nature that yang energy is more powerful than the yin counterpart.
However, that masculine power is impotent unless activated by the motion of the female. In essence the yin is in control and mother is the most important role in life and deserves to be revered.
Modern life has denigrated motherhood, and placed economic potential as the priority goal for both men and women. This overbearing pressure of the capitalist social system to create workers and consumers attempts to neutralise the innate gender differences.
This money (wealth?) creation imperative has a narrow, limiting and dehumanising perspective.
It is unfortunate and illogical that many feminists appear to be dismissive of the role of the mother, and see it as an obstruction to self-fulfilment.
Christian Rogers, Wan Chai
Incinerator will ease pressure on landfills
Given the problem that we face of Hong Kong’s landfills nearing capacity, I agree with the government’s decision to build an incinerator to burn the large volumes of waste generated by citizens.
More than 13,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste ends up in our landfills every day.
It does not help that this is a densely populated city and many people are wasteful and lazy about disposing of waste.
They fail to recognise the importance of the Three Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle. Many residents are still unwilling to separate waste and take recyclable material to recycling bins.
We may want to see a reduction in the volumes of waste produced, but are reluctant to take the necessary steps as individuals to help make this happen.
One of the aims of the Environment Bureau’s Blueprint for Sustainable Use of Resources was to get people to generate less waste at source, as one way of solving the city’s waste-management problem.
The incinerator the government will build will use what is known as “3T” technology to control emissions – temperature, turbulence and time.
Using high temperatures (over 850 degrees Celsius) and high turbulence to mix waste with oxygen thoroughly ensures complete combustion.
Waste and flue gases will be superheated to reduce air pollutants. This means that we may not have to worry about possible air pollution.
The government is doing its part by building the incinerator. Citizens can play their part by embracing the Three Rs principle so that less household waste ends up in our landfills.
We should all try harder to be more environmentally friendly.
Sze Ching-yiu, Kowloon Tong
Competitive culture hurts some students
There may be many reasons why so many students have committed suicide since the beginning of the school year. However, I think the main reason is stress induced by their studies.
Students in Hong Kong have to function in a very tough academic environment. So competition is fierce to get an undergraduate place at a university and enjoy good career opportunities. I believe this indicates that there is something wrong with the education system in Hong Kong and perhaps we also have to look at the wider issue of society.
The education system attaches a great deal of importance to good test and exam results. People might not be good in some traditional academic areas, but be very good at sport or music, for example. However, often a school will not consider those pursuits as important.
Also, the syllabus needs to be trimmed as youngsters have too much material to learn in too short a period of time. Teachers often have to arrange extra lessons. The education secretary has urged parents and teachers to show more care for students, but surely the government also has a responsibility to help students. It must not shirk its responsibilities.
Youngsters must come to realise that having a good university degree is not the only route to a rewarding career. They should be encouraged to develop their gifts, even if this does not lead to university.
I do hope we will see changes in the education system.
Cindy Chan, Sham Shui Po
MTR is failing to target parallel traders
I refer to the letter by Lucy Lui Lo-hei (“MTR’s rule targets the wrong people”, March 22).
I totally agree with your correspondent that the MTR Corporation’s registration scheme for musicians who have oversized musical instruments is unfair to Hong Kong citizens, and should be scrapped.
I am not against a registration scheme but it is aimed at the wrong group of people. It should be targeting parallel traders from the mainland, who have created so many problems.
These traders are crossing to the mainland using the MTR network, with bulky containers full of products.
They fill up train carriages and this is very inconvenient for other passengers. It leads to arguments between locals and traders. Yet, despite the many complaints, the MTR Corp has done nothing to deal with the controversy.
If it insists on sticking with its registration scheme for musicians it must apply it fairly, across the board. Staff must be deployed at stations to monitor the situation and forbid any passengers from entering if they have oversized luggage.
Exemptions should be granted if they have valid reasons, for example, if it is a local resident and it is connected with their line of work. Someone could ask for an exemption if they were on welfare (or students) and could not afford to take a taxi.
The MTR Corp must appreciate that a lot of people are angry about this policy.
Sheryl Wong, Tai Wai
Teens ignorant over risk posed by e-cigarettes
I think few teenagers have any real understanding of e-cigarettes and the potential health risk. Surveys have shown that they contain harmful chemicals.
I believe the government should recognise the damage these products do to youngsters and enact laws which tightly regulate their sale in Hong Kong.
Anyone under the age of 18 should not be allowed to purchase e-cigarettes from retail outlets or online sites.
However, this does not go far enough. The government must arrange talks in primary and secondary schools so that students can appreciate that e-cigarettes are not harmless, and notices should be sent to parents.
Louis Fung Lam-lap, Kwun Tong
Open more factories for disabled
I refer to the report (“Much more than ambition”, March 15) about the Hong Kong Factory for the Blind which is in Kowloon City.
This factory provides employment and job training for more than 200 blind and mentally disabled full-time workers, and is the only one in the city.
It is good that these workers are able to have a stable job and income and acquire new skills.
This enables them to be more independent and to feel a part of society, as sometimes people with disabilities can feel alienated from society and marginalised if they are not given the chance to work.
Given that this is the only factory of its kind in Hong Kong it is clear that the government must do more.
It should be building more of these factories to help people who have various disabilities learn new skills and have a chance to earn a decent living.
It should also provide additional subsidies to the Factory for the Blind so that it can expand its operations and employ more people.
If more people with disabilities can get this kind of assistance then they have a better chance of becoming financially indepependent and not having to rely on the government for welfare.
Yuen Ka-ki, Yau Yat Chuen