Letters to the Editor, May 21, 2016
Ease pressure on our youth or pay high price
I refer to the report (“More young Hongkongers seek treatment for mental health problems, figures show”, May 16).
According to research, a rising number of young Hong Kong teens are in need of psychological help and the age is going down.
The increasing suicide tendency among adolescents is a terrifying trend. The younger generation is supposed to represent hope and aspiration, but the rising pressures put on teenagers leads to the contrary.
As a teenager, I find the pressure mainly comes from academic expectations. Nowadays, with the higher level of requirements that universities have for applicants, teenagers are expected to be outstanding in the academic field and their extracurricular activities. If teenagers have inadequate time management skills, they may suffer from physical illness and mental stress, which may be induced by intensifying competition among their peers.
Stress can also be caused by trying to meet parents’ expectations. Hong Kong parents often place academic ability above all. Teenagers have a higher possibility of undergoing frustration and depression if the results don’t come out very well, especially given the numerous exams and assessments for Hong Kong students.
It also doesn’t help that most teenagers are immersed in social media which cuts them off from physical contact in the real world. It is harder for them to express their feelings to others and therefore get help. Parents need to be more aware and more time should be given at school to discuss these issues.
Anna Wu, Mid-Levels
Park trees are invaluable and must be saved
I am sure many Hongkongers would join Kelly Wong (“Kennedy Town park should be kept intact”, May 15), to persuade the government not to allow 200 mature trees park in Cadogan Street Temporary Garden to be felled to make way for seaview, high-rise residential buildings. If the plan goes ahead, it would set a horrible example for property developers to disregard environmental protection issues in their future project development programmes.
The worst part is the inhabitants of the 600 private flats will produce tonnes of waste every day, along with the air pollution resulting from vehicles and air conditioners.
Edmond Pang, Fanling
We need to make fitness a priority
I refer to the article by Jeanette Wang (“How three Hongkongers were transformed by 12-week intensive fitness programme”, May 16).
Hong Kong has always been known as an unhealthy city because its citizens often start working early in the morning and don’t finish until quite late at night due to their heavy workloads, meaning that they don’t have time for sport and exercise. Most of them do not exercise at all. This is a problem that has to be solved.
As was shown in the article, the three challengers were all out-of-shape beforehand. And yet, after they were challenged to a 12-week personalised fitness and diet regimen, they successfully lost a lot weight and were transformed into three healthy, young-looking workers.
However, it is very clear that we cannot bring every single Hongkonger into this challenge. Therefore, the government has to come help.
Although there are already activities carried out by the government to encourage exercise, we need more effort: more sports facilities and lower fees would help and officials should organise and widely publicise more fitness events.
Oscar Tong, Mid-Levels
Change tack on housing shortage
The fact that Hong Kong citizens now have to wait almost four years for public housing can only be described as a grim situation .
Although the government is trying to build more flats, there are still many families and individuals waiting for public housing – and the wait is getting longer.
According to the Housing Authority, the average waiting time for family applicants had increased from 3.7 years last year to 3.9 this year. The number of general applicants, families and single, elderly people, is around 284,800, down slightly from some 285,300 applications last year. The number of applicants has dropped but the wait times are longer than before.
A former Democratic Party chief and lawmaker said the current supply of public flats would not be able to catch up to the increasing demand.
If the government keeps building houses, it may need to reclaim more land which can often lead to different problems. For example, the land reclamation will affect marine life, and not just fish, because it will cause water pollution and it can take a long time before that land can be utilised.
This effort to supply more houses is likely to mean the applicants have to wait even longer than now
Therefore, I think that the government should use another method to solve this serious problem. For instance, it can tightly control the number of people applying for public housing every year so that it can speed up the process and let more people move in to their new houses.
I hope that the government can solve this problem as soon as possible so that Hong Kong citizens can have a better quality of live.
Christy Chung Chi-ching, Yau Yat Chuen
Step up action to combat cyber attacks
I refer to the report (“Hackers have their sights on Hong Kong, cyber security experts warn”, May 14).
It is widely recognised that hackers nowadays not only focus on invading personal computers, but also national servers. There are experts warning that Hong Kong may be the next goal of the hackers. In light of this, I would like to put forward some suggestions.
The Hong Kong government should ensure that hackers cannot get what they want and different departments should team up to protect the city from attacks. The city’s reputation is at stake, especially in the financial services sector.
The government should also allocate more money to the IT sector and students should be encouraged to pursue it as a career, not just a “plan B”.
However, the government is not the only stakeholder. All citizens using the internet are.
We can do a little bit to achieve a great improvement in terms of personal cyber safety. For example, keeping track of personal passwords can be really useful.
I urge everyone to take care of their personal cyber safety.
Rachel Ma, Yau Yat Chuen
Turning off engines and lights helps
I would like to express my feelings on what we can do to reduce the greenhouse effect .
As a geography student, I know how severe climate change is. The average temperature of the whole world has risen about 0.8℃ degrees Celsius. This results in rising sea levels, change in climate such as more extreme weather and rain patterns, and change in ecosystems, such as bleaching of coral.
In Hong Kong, the car exhaust is a major cause of pollution. Roadside levels of respirable suspended particulates and nitrogen dioxide have been exceeding the Air Quality Objectives for years.
Vehicles, are the main sources of these pollutants at street level in Hong Kong. We must be more aware: switching off idling vehicle engines and lights, and using air conditioners sparingly is a good start.
Yoyo Sin Lok-yiu, Cheung Sha Wan