Letters to the Editor, May 23, 2016
Schools must deal with drug problem
I am concerned about the problem of adolescents abusing illegal drugs in Hong Kong.
One reason for this may be to do with families. Many parents work long hours to earn good salaries. A growing number of teenagers often return home from school to an empty flat.
Some find that the only people they can communicate with are their peers. They may be influenced by them and sometimes the influence can be negative and the teenagers can be rebellious.
They go to parties and start taking drugs for recreational use, thinking the drugs can’t do them any harm, which they later discover is not the case.
Drug addiction is a disease and some young people will pretend to be friends and encourage other youngsters to start taking drugs.
Schools need to recognise that there is a problem and that they have to play their part to address it.
Our education system has to start laying greater emphasis on character development, rather than just focusing on students acquiring a lot of knowledge so that they can do well in exams.
Having a strong character can ensure a young person has a better chance of succeeding in the world in their chosen careers rather than the knowledge they acquired at school.
Wong Ho-ming, Tseung Kwan O
Nothing gained by being so disrespectful
I refer to the report, “‘Souvenir for Zhang Dejiang’: big yellow pro-democracy banner atop Beacon Hill despite police monitoring” (May 17).
As a Hong Kong citizen, I was shocked when I saw this had happened.
People might want to use the opportunity of the visit of the chairperson of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, Zhang Dejiang (張德江), to express their opinions on issues such as elections in Hong Kong. But draping a giant yellow banner on Beacon Hill was certainly not a wise way of doing this.
Police were forced to stay on the hill overnight and it was a waste of manpower.
Whether or not we like Zhang and what he stands for, given his senior position in the central government, he should always be shown the respect he deserves.
He was, after all, a guest of the Hong Kong government. I think the leaders of the League of Social Democrats should apologise for what they did.
Many Hongkongers will sympathise with the political message conveyed, but not with the tactics used.
I think groups in the city should avoid being too radical as it does not improve relations between pan-democrats and Beijing.
I agree that universal suffrage is a big issue that needs to be addressed in Hong Kong, but there are right and wrong ways of doing it.
Benjamin Lok, Mid-Levels
Interesting comments on independence
During his visit to Hong Kong last week, state leader Zhang Dejiang (張德江) talked about the “One Belt, One Road” initiative.
He also talked about the problems connected with calls for Hong Kong becoming independent. He said any suggestion that Hong Kong could have self-determination and be independent is not acceptable.
He said it would not be in the city’s interests and that most Hongkongers would not support it. He pointed out that everyone would suffer if Hong Kong was in a state of turmoil.
I think in his speech on this issue, Zhang made some good points and expressed views that we should reflect on. We have to bear in mind what happened on June 4, 1989 in Tiananmen Square.
I hope all Hong Kong citizens will think twice before calling for independence.
Fung Siu-chung, Tseung Kwan O
Hopefully Zhang learned more about HK
During his visit to Hong Kong last week, Zhang Dejiang (張德江) said he would meet Hong Kong people and listen to their views.
I think it is good to let top officials on the mainland learn more about Hong Kong. This is important, given that some differences between Hongkongers and the mainland have become quite fierce. When officials do visit, if they really listen, then they can have a clearer idea of what Hong Kong people are thinking and what the real situation is in the city.
This is better than reading reports. For example, Zhang went to a construction site and will have got a clearer idea of how small many flats are here compared to the mainland and how serious the housing problem is. He also had talks with officials and lawmakers and listened to their views on various issues. However, there were some problems.
For example, the area for reporters to interview Zhang was so far away that they had difficulty asking him questions.
Also, the area designated for protesters was also far away from where he was attending meetings and his hotel. It was not good the Hong Kong government was making it difficult for some citizens to meet him and get their views across. For these reasons, I do not think his trip was as effective as it could have been. But, I hope the visit yields positive results and that Zhang can share his experiences with other mainland officials.
Relations between Beijing and Hong Kong have been strained and I hope this changes.
Kwok Wing-yee, Kowloon Tong
Traditional hawkers also need support
In his budget speech last year, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah talked about introducing food trucks in Hong Kong.
Subsequently, a pilot scheme was launched. It is hoped that these trucks will become popular tourist attractions and provide diverse and high-quality food.
However, we should not
forget a traditional form of food culture in Hong Kong – itinerant hawkers.
They are similar, but the government only seems to want to encourage the food trucks. It has stopped issuing hawker licences and will not allow the hawkers to pass their licences on when they retire. Therefore, we are seeing a decline in the numbers of these hawkers. This is a shame as they represent our local food culture and are part of Hongkongers’ collective memories.
They represent the self-reliance and can-do attitude of many Hongkongers working hard to provide for their families.
They are a unique part of our culture and the government should find ways for them to survive, along with the food trucks.
Jenny Kwok, Tseung Kwan O
Too many problems with third runway
I do not support the decision by the government to allow the Airport Authority to build a third runway.
I am concerned about the environmental damage, especially the marine habitat of the Chinese white dolphin. That area should be protected from any construction projects.
I am also concerned bout noise and air pollution that will affect some residents, for example, on Park Island. Residents there already have to deal with problems created by the existing two runways.
Finally, I am not convinced that a third runway will benefit Hong Kong’s economy in the way that has been claimed.
Having to operate an additional runway will bring added expense to Hong Kong International Airport.
I also believe that those costs will increase.
Although the construction project has got under way, I think there are still many citizens who have misgivings about continuing with it.
I to not think it is too late to shelve the project and avoid doing even more harm to the habitat of the Chinese white dolphin.
Helen Yu, Sham Shui Po