Letters to the Editor, August 23, 2016

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 August, 2016, 5:24pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 August, 2016, 5:24pm

Why Pokemon Go should be banned in HK

I refer to the letter by Fan Ka Wing (“The enduring appeal of Pokemons”, August 19).

I think the government should ban Pokemon Go as it causes a lot of problems. Many players are unable to exercise self-control.

I used to be like them and suffered from what is known as nomophobia [irrational fear of being out of mobile phone ­contact]. I kept taking out my smartphone to try and catch ­pokemons.

Even when there were none to catch I would still keep ­checking my phone. This caused me a lot of problems, such as frequently bumping into pedestrians.

Eventually I uninstalled ­Pokemon Go and I then realised how annoying these ­players are. I saw one person ­trying to catch pokemons on a road when the light at the pedestrian crossing was still red. I was shocked and managed to stop her before there was an accident, but she was lucky.

It is also being exploited by cybercriminals who send spam SMS messages trying to get ­Pokemon Go players to unwittingly visit malicious websites.

A security company said it has exposed scams, such as a campaign that purports to offer victims 14,500 pokecoins – the game’s currency – when they collect 100 points.

I also see privacy as a ­problem as game players have to create an account or sign in with Google. I fear there is a risk that the privacy of players is not being protected and I think the government should prohibit the game.

Sara Wong Kit-yu, Tseung Kwan O

Get off the computer and try mahjong

Hongkongers face lots of pressure nowadays. Many adults have to work long hours.

Children also have to put in a lot of hours studying and attending extracurricular activities. And despite their efforts many fresh graduates have problems finding work because of limited job vacancies and also with there being more graduates.

People find different ways to try and relieve the pressure they feel and relax, and citizens of all ages often play computer games on consoles such as Play Station 4.

Games such as Star Wars and Super Smash are very popular and Pokemon Go has proved to be a big hit since it was launched in Hong Kong last month. Trainers enjoy the satisfaction of passing through the different levels of the game. It is good for ­students to relax by watching English-language films as it can help improve their vocabulary.

Students here do face more difficulties than their counterparts overseas, with long hours, a lot of subjects being covered in the curriculum and many exams and tests. And parents here force them to join a variety of extracurricular activities.

While I realise that when they study too much and get bored computer games can be a welcome distraction, I would encourage youngsters to also think about sometimes playing a more traditional game, ­mahjong.

It helps to train brain functions and is a good way for them to relieve pressure.

Vanessa Lau, Wan Chai

India can do much better in future Games

Congratulations to the two ­athletes who won medals for ­India at the Olympics.

Over the past 70 years India has failed to appreciate the importance of sports, which ­explains its poor results in Rio. Hopefully the government will wake up and invest more in sport so the country can see ­better results.

Today India is financially better off and has already ­excelled, for example, in the fields of technology and ­computer science. It is high time India realised the need to ­priority to sports as it has a vast pool of talented athletes.

More modern indoor and outdoor facilities are needed where young, talented athletes can practise their chosen sport.

Also, children who show ability must be groomed from an early age – eight to nine. When they are young they have open minds and can be taught a lot. Coaches can instil the need for strict ­discipline and a determination to win.

There must be a change of mindset by officials in the ­country so that sportsmen and women have access to the best quality and most nutritious food.

In mapping out a future for sport, there is no room for ­complacency. If sport is to be considered a national priority , it will have to be discussed in parliament. As India is a democracy, there will be endless discussions. However the governing Bharatiya Janata Party must find ways to overcome any time-wasting tactics.

The government must ­provide funds to state governments to look after and help ­nurture their athletes.

There must also be accountability to prevent corruption and hopefully from the 2024 Olympics and at Games after that we will see better ­results from ­India’s athletes.

Ranjit Bhawnani, Tsim Tsa Tsui

Canada has a duty to offer protection

After reading the headline and first sentence of Peter Lok’s ­letter (“No grounds for consular protection”, August 19) I knew who had written it without ­looking any further.

In his spectacularly predictable and boringly sycophantic style he tells us that China does not recognise dual ­nationality. We all know that, but other countries do recognise it.

Those that do, in this case Canada, realise that they have not only a right but a duty to ­protect their citizens travelling abroad.

This is particularly important in countries where travel is dangerous or where, as in China, ­human rights are, in general, not respected.

Does Mr Lok dispute this? Probably.

Peter Robertson, Sai Kung

Many citizens not getting enough sleep

Insomnia is a problem for Hong Kong citizens these days.

A survey in 2012 found that the average amount of sleep for residents was 6.46 hours which is a lot lower than many countries. Also, the survey showed that four in 10 adults suffered from insomnia so it is clearly a serious problem here.

A major cause of insomnia is stress and it has to be recognised that lack of sleep can result in health problems.

Some people resort to taking sleeping pills to help them sleep, but I do not think this is a good idea as they can become dependent on the medication and so this does not really solve the problem.

People need to try and think of ways to help them get a decent night’s sleep.

It is important that they feel relaxed when they go to bed and so they should try different things, such as drinking warm milk or listening to some soft music.

It is important that they ­finish their work in the office rather than having to take any work home with them.

Unfortunately, some Hongkongers will probably think that insomnia is just a small problem and will not last long. But if it does persist they should go and see a doctor.

They need to recognise the health problems and should not ignore them. I hope the widespread problem of sleeplessness can be dealt with in Hong Kong and that more citizens can enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Eva Chow, Tseung Kwan O

Think twice before setting animals free

I understand why Buddhists continue with the practice of ­releasing animals into the wild.

However, before they do this they have to think about the ­welfare of the animals they have chosen to set free and whether they would actually be able to survive in the new environment.

For example, animals purchased from a pet shop may not have the instincts needed to ­survive in the wild. They only know a life of captivity where they have been fed and cannot fend for themselves. They are not fit for release into the wild.

Also, if the animal is not a ­native species, Buddhists have to think carefully about releasing them into an environment where they might pose a threat to indigenous species, especially if they breed at a high rate.

A better option for people wanting to protect animals is simply to become vegetarian. This can save more animals than releasing them into the wild.

Kathy Lee, Tseung Kwan O