Letters to the Editor, August 30, 2016

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 30 August, 2016, 5:37pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 30 August, 2016, 5:37pm

Selfish citizens responsible for litter problem

I am sure many readers have had the same experience as me of stepping on something ­that sticks to your shoe in the street, like a discarded piece of chewing gum. It made wonder about why there is so much refuse on our streets.

I think the main reason is Hongkongers’ lack of awareness when it comes to public hygiene.

When I am on public transport, such as a bus or ­minibus, I often see sweet wrappers, chewing gum and empty plastic bottles stuck in the space ­between seats or the seat and the window. I see discarded tissues and cigarette ends on the streets.

There are rubbish bins on street corners all over the city, and the government imposes penalties for littering. But ­despite the convenience of so many bins and fines, many ­people continue to act in this ­selfish and disgusting manner and drop litter wherever they are.

Maybe they think that their small act of laziness – leaving a small piece of rubbish between seats on a bus – is no big deal, but it all adds up and the large volume of discarded rubbish creates a health hazard and damages the image of our city.

When I am in Japan, and in Taipei in Taiwan, it is difficult to find a rubbish bin and yet the streets are very clean. This is ­because citizens act responsibly when it comes to disposing of rubbish.

More must be done to raise levels of public awareness, so that we can enjoy a more ­hygienic city. And minibuses and buses should have bins for small items of rubbish.

Krystal Wong, Yau Tong

Champions are outstanding role models

Hong Kong citizens were able to meet the country’s gold medal athletes from the Rio Olympics (“Mainland stars go the extra mile for HK fans”, August 29).

Few citizens had the money to fly to Brazil and watch the Games so it was great to be able to welcome these athletes to the city, admire their skills in the demonstrations they gave and listen to accounts of the competitions.

These athletes are good role models for teenagers. They can help to inspire young local ­athletes, and encourage them to try harder in their respective sports and achieve their goals.

The gold medallists had to overcome a lot of obstacles ­before becoming Olympic champions and they had to show a lot of determination.

Also, I hope the visit of these sports stars has helped to alleviate some of the tension that has built up between Hong Kong and the mainland. They are not here to discuss politics, but just to meet and chat to local citizens.

I hope they inspired Hong Kong youngsters and that we will see more sports stars ­emerging from the city in the ­future.

Jason Kwok, Lam Tin

HK has poor Nobel Prize track record

Jan Hokerberg points out that Hong Kong should be ashamed of its historical Olympic medal haul, due to society’s overemphasis on pressuring young people into sedentary academic pursuits (“Parents, government must share the blame for ­heartbreak in Rio”, August 27).

Strangely, another shameful aspect of Hong Kong’s achievement record is its lack of Nobel Prizes (a grand total of one, ­compared to, for example, 125 in Britain, where there is none of the insane and cruel academic stress that we find here).

Looking at these figures, does the Hong Kong government not feel that it is getting something seriously wrong?

Warren Russell, Tseung Kwan O

Children’s sporting talent not nurtured

I refer to the letter by Jan Hokerberg (“Parents, government must share the blame for heartbreak in Rio”, ­August 27).

So many Hong Kong people had high expectations of cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze in the ­Olympics in Rio and hoped she would do well, but she was not able to achieve her goals.

Although she did not get a medal, she still had the support of Hong Kong citizens who expressed sympathy on ­different social media platforms, such as Facebook and ­Instagram, and wished her well in future competitions. Young Hongkongers who want to ­follow in Lee’s footsteps face an uphill struggle. If the government allocated sufficient ­resources in sports development, more youngsters with ­talent in athletics could get the training they need to improve their performances in competition.

A larger and more successful Hong Kong team at competitions like the Olympic Games would help to foster a sense of ­belonging to the city and would ­also exemplify the Hong Kong spirit.

If their children love sport, they should be encouraged by parents. But unfortunately the priority here is to get into a good kindergarten, primary and ­secondary school and finally university. This is teaching youngsters the wrong set of ­values.

These parents so often force their children to join different tutorial and ­language classes and various extracurricular ­activities and seldom pay attention to any potential talent they might have that is not ­related to academic success.

Parents should let their children develop any talent they may have, for example, in sports and music.

This can ensure greater ­diversity in our society.

With ­different stakeholders we can make the SAR a better place and the Hong Kong spirit can shine through.

Candy Tai, Yau Tong

Why working hours law will help workers

There has been conflict between different stakeholders, including the government, ­employees and workers’ unions, over whether or not to introduce a standard working hours legislation in Hong Kong.

There are people who work long hours and hardly ever have the time to talk with their family members and simply do things together like guide their children with their homework, or just going for a meal with relatives.

In order to rectify this I think there should be standard ­working hours legislation. Employees are entitled to be able to spend more time with their family.

They also need more time to relax and do things like sport, which can make them healthier. It can also help to reduce stress and the likelihood of becoming depressed. This also makes them more productive.

This is an important quality-of-life issue. Without legislation, many people will continue to be forced to do a lot of unpaid overtime and the opportunities to do things, like advanced studies at college, will be lost, because they have to spend so much time in the office.

I hope the government will finally get round to passing the necessary law.

Lau Hei-yu, Tseung Kwan O

When diets can have tragic consequences

In society, being skinny equates with being pretty.

Many teenage girls are so heavily influenced by this idea that they try different methods to lose weight.

While it is good to exercise, have a balanced diet and drink a lot of water, some of these teens want quick results and so take short cuts which can prove dangerous, such as taking slimming pills or skipping meals.

Some of them develop anorexia and become so thin they look skeletal. And tragically, sometimes, anorexia can prove fatal.

I wish these young women could appreciate that being ­obsessed with losing weight can be so destructive.

The message needs to be got across to teenage girls that slimming is fine, but it must be done in a healthy way with a ­balanced diet.

Tutti Sung, Tseung Kwan O