Letters to the Editor, July 12, 2016
Throw beggars in prison and then out of HK
I for one am fed up with the numerous beggars and scam artists who litter the pavements and walkways of Central.
For as long as I can remember, we have advertised ourselves as “Asia’s world city”, but such a claim is at odds with this particular phenomenon.
The government needs to fix the problem. It it is not going to go away of its own accord, and if left unchecked will very likely escalate.
I suggest the authorities initiate a crackdown and begin rounding up the offenders.
Those without Hong Kong identity cards should be given two weeks in prison and then deported, at their own expense, to their home country.
Furthermore, they should be banned from entering the territory for at least 10 years.
Those people who have a right to live in the city should be taken in by the social services – their problems/lives need fixing and we as a community have an obligation to help them out.
Jason Ali, Lantau
Politicians and US citizens are bickering
A political divide along party lines in the United States for the past several years has been distinct as it has been troubling.
As politicians of both major parties bicker, so do the citizens.
In his letter (“GOP eroding trust in US government”, July 3), Herb Stark has put the blame squarely on the Republican Party for the ongoing stalemate in Washington.
As proof he points to the latest decision by the Supreme Court on immigration, which is seen as a setback for President Obama and the Democratic Party.
Mr Obama in fact did express his dissatisfaction with the outcome and like Mr Stark blamed the Republican lawmakers for not approving his choice for justice to replace Justice Scalia, who recently died, hence the deadlock decision of four to four. However with Mr Obama in the White House and the Democratic Party-controlled House and Senate for the first two years of his presidency immigration legislation could have been easily passed and become law.
The reason why it was delayed until after the midterm elections in 2010, when the Democrats perhaps unexpectedly lost the majority in both House and Senate, only Democratic Party leaders and the president can answer.
Marian Schneps, Wan Chai
Staff shortage is serious in hospitals
Hong Kong’s public hospitals have a problem with patients going to accident and emergency units when their illness is clearly a non-emergency case.
Too many citizens are relying on public hospitals in this way, because they are so cheap and it puts enormous pressure on the facilities.
There is clearly an imbalance, with the vast majority of citizens using public hospitals over the private sector.
This overloading problem must be recognised and dealt with.
The government needs to allocate more resources to public hospitals, in the form of funding and also recruiting additional personnel.
While a lack of beds at certain times of the year, such as during the peak flu season, is a problem, I think the shortage of sufficient human resources is a more pressing problem that must be dealt with.
The administration must allocate more resources to train additional medical personnel.
Michelle Leong, Yau Yat Chuen
Offer medics part-time appointments
During periods such as the peak flu season, people face long waiting periods in public hospitals. There is clearly a pressing need to deal with this problem, especially for those patients who face delays and because of this their condition deteriorates.
There are two main reasons for this. One is the lack of doctors and nurses in our public hospitals. They face long shifts with not enough rest and it is sometimes difficult for them to provide the best service to all patients.
I think the second reason is that the government is failing to allocate sufficient resources to the public hospital sector. There are not enough beds or sufficient up-to-date medical equipment.
This exacerbates the long queues as patients wait for their turn to get the test they need on a particular piece of equipment.
The government has to recognise that these problems exist and when they were highlighted earlier this year, it should have acted promptly.
It is essential that it hires more doctors and nurses. Some may have retired and may only be willing to come back on a part-time basis, but that should be done if it helps in part to deal with the shortage.
Every year more patients go to public hospitals and so recruiting additional manpower is necessary.
Also, there has been an exodus of health-care professionals from public hospitals, who have had enough of the enormous workload they face and have gone to work in the private sector.
To prevent so many leaving, they must be offered higher salaries.
Also, the government has to invest in more modern medical equipment and then I think we would see shorter waiting times for patients.
These are issues that have to be addressed, sooner rather than later, by the administration.
Tiffany Ng, Kowloon Tong
Easier exam, but system is still flawed
While it may be the case that the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exam was easier this year than it has been in the past, I do not think the pressure the students faced was any less.
This is because the methods of teaching in local secondary schools have not changed with students still having to memorise a lot of material.
Many of them might have successfully committed passages to memory, but often they did not really understand what they were reading.
Also, those who struggle academically would still have to attend tutorial classes, leaving them little time to relax and get enough rest and putting more pressure on them.
Some teenagers continue to find that family (and their own) expectations are too high and they are worried because they do not want to let their parents down by getting a poor result. So even if the exam was a bit easier, the pressures remain.
There is still a need for the education system to be reformed so that students can have a happier childhood.
Chan Sum-kiu, Tseung Kwan O
Non-degree courses good for workforce
It has been suggested that universities in Hong Kong should offer some non-degree courses and I think this would be a good idea.
This would enable more people to have a chance to learn more skills and get a better-paid job.
There may also be areas in the workforce where there are shortages and non-degree courses could help people to get the necessary training to fill these shortages.
By non-degree courses I mean diploma and certificate programmes which will greatly increase the chance of someone getting a job offer.
These jobs could, for example, be technical and society would benefit with more skilled people joining the workforce. It could be a life-changing experience for many young people.
Tiffany Wong, Sham Shui Po