Letters to the editor, April 18, 2016
Make taxi sector more competitive
I refer to the report, “Two-thirds of Hong Kong taxi drivers say they will not join premium service, survey finds”, (April 10).
I am not surprised that taxi drivers are reluctant to participate in the system modification which is proposed by the government.
The government has proposed this change because of the high number of complaints made against taxi drivers and the poor quality of the service they provide. The hope is that if a premium service is offered, the quality of the taxi service will improve. However, the cabbies feel the proposed system may do more harm than good.
Taxi drivers are already getting a raw deal from many taxi operators, and the drivers already have to pay high rents. The operators are trying to take as much as they can of taxi drivers’ income. I think these taxi operators need to be regulated by the government for the sake of local taxi drivers.
The best way to improve taxi services is to allow car-hailing apps like Uber to operate in Hong Kong.
The taxi sector should not be given overprotective legislation by the government. Competition should be encouraged. This will enable the sector to grow in a healthy way.
Raymond Lok, Tseung Kwan O
Skewed views on careers are not helpful
I refer to the report, “The steam teams” (April 11).
Many Hong Kong people still do not regard the job of a chef with sufficient respect.
They do not think of it as they do with regard to respected professions, such as lawyers and doctors. For that reason, many young people shun being, for example, a dim sum chef. The other reason few of them take it up is because, as you point out, it takes years of training to become a dim sum chef and many young people will not persevere with it.
The government needs to do more in the way of educating young people and correcting the mistaken concept about some kinds of jobs. Young people need to try and look at all jobs on an equal footing. They should realise that different jobs are suitable for different people.
The problem in the Hong Kong job market is that because of misperceptions, there is too much mismatching, with young people pursuing careers that they do not really enjoy.
Also, when choosing a career, young people must be willing to be persistent and not give up easily. In that way, they can find success.
I hope that 30 years from now, we will still be able to taste dim sum in Hong Kong.
Kelda Ng, Tseung Kwan O
Young people need to stay positive
The problem of teenagers committing suicide is getting worse.
It ranks up there in society with poverty and the ageing population. Some people argue that teenagers who are emotionally immature are especially vulnerable.
Others argue that the fault lies with the education system in Hong Kong, which puts too much pressure on students.
I agree with this second point, where so much emphasis is placed on getting good exam results. Young people are brought up to believe that if they do well academically, it will open doors for them and they will get a good career and earn a high salary. If they are not doing well at school, some teenagers can end up having a feeling of hoplessness.
There are more universities offering more degree programmes than ever before. However, the pressure is still there for youngsters in Hong Kong. They need to realise that there are jobs out there that do not require good exam results and that can offer a rewarding career and youngsters can still have a bright future.
Of course, if youngsters want to enter a profession, such as law or medicine, they will be required to have a degree.
However, there are many non-professional jobs where the pay is lower, but which can offer opportunities for youngsters. Young people who want to start their own business face an uphill struggle in Hong Kong as the costs of launching start-ups are huge. The government has to recognise that there is a problem with some students in Hong Kong and it has to try and come up with solutions.
There is so much competition for degree places at universities in Hong Kong. Therefore the government must look into the possibility of offering more undergraduate programmes. However, increasing the number of degrees may not be enough. The government must find long-term solutions.
The Diploma of Secondary Education exams are under way. I urge Form Six students to try and maintain a positive attitude.
Stephanie Ho, Lai King
Hongkong Post must get the basics right
I recently went to the philatelic bureau at the General Post Office to purchase some commemorative HK$2.90 stamps, the main stamp for mail within Asia.
They had none and sent me upstairs. There I was surprised to find that the counter staff also said the post office did not have a single stamp of that value for sale, even the standard definitive stamps, as they had no stock.
The postmaster general has been spending time on issues like replacing Hong Kong’s historic postboxes, but it seems that more time is needed on getting the basics right.
Christopher Ruane, Sheung Wan
Lift dog ban on public estates in Hong Kong
There has been a boom in dog ownership in Hong Kong, with more dog licences being issued over the last decade.
The government should lift the ban on dog ownership in public housing estates. Also, dogs should be allowed to be unleashed in more public places. There are some pet parks, but because of a land shortage, there is not enough room to have a pet park in all the districts in Hong Kong.
Also, responsible dog ownership must be encouraged. People should ensure that their dogs are under control at all times and do not pose a threat to pedestrians. They should also make sure in the home that their dogs do not bark and so cause problems for other neighbours.
Having responsible dog owners will be particularly important once the no-dog rule is lifted at public housing estates.
Dog owners must obey the regulations that relate to owning a canine. A dog that is unruly and not on a leash can cause a lot of disruption.
Dog and non-dog owners can live harmoniously if they cooperate with each other.
Chan King-yi, Lai Chi Kok
Rainstorm warning was wrong one
When the rain was as heavy as it was last Wednesday morning, students should not go to school.
The heavy rain disrupted traffic. And yet only the amber rainstorm warning was hoisted and the Observatory was criticised for that. The red rainstorm warning should have been hoisted.
When raising warnings, the Observatory has to recognise it can be heavier in some places. This is what happened on Wednesday when it was heavier in the New Territories than in urban areas. Its argument for only raising the amber warning was that the rain was not heavy generally in Hong Kong, but in the New Territories it was very heavy.
It should have issued a red warning for the New Territories and the amber warning for other areas.
Philip Leung, Tseung Kwan O