Letters to the Editor, September 5, 2016
There is now more political awareness
I think the turnout of around 58 per cent at Sunday’s Legislative Council election (5 percentage points higher than the last election), showed that Hong Kong citizens are now more aware of political developments in the city.
Since the Umbrella Movement in 2014, more citizens, including teenagers, have shown a greater willingness to participate in politics.
However, concerns were raised on Facebook about voting and about how some voters were indentified at polling stations.
A Facebook posting said a citizen was told he had already voted when he turned up, even though he said he had not yet done so. If there are further instances of this, then we have to ascertain if these are cases of human error.
Another Facebook posting said that a woman was allowed to vote with only a photocopy of her identity card. If this is the case, does it constitute a loophole in the voting system that has to be addressed?
If the claims I read on Facebook are true, then greater care must be taken by officials at future elections. Any loopholes must be plugged and guidelines for voters must be clear with regard to identification of voters.
Cheung Yin-ni, Lei Yue Mun
Teens entitled to talk about independence
I refer to the report, “Student localists flout warning to promote independence outside schools on first day of new term” (September 1).
People have expressed concern about the ideology of independence being spread in secondary schools. I am a student and can understand why people believe they should be allowed to express their political opinions freely, as long as they do so in a respectful and lawful manner.
Like many citizens, I have been shocked by the decision to disqualify some candidates who had planned to stand in the Legco election on Sunday, solely because of their political position. It has to be accepted that there is a growing pro-independence movement in Hong Kong, especially among teenagers, and this should serve as a warning.
Experts say independence would not be economically feasible and would cause a lot of instability. However, there is nothing wrong with having a debate as long as mutual respect is shown.
The government should stop taking such a hard line. Its leaders have to be more open-minded when dealing with different opinions. Teenagers should be encouraged to think for themselves and form their own opinions.
Anfield Tam, Quarry Bay
Escaping the poverty trap still difficult
I refer to the article by Nicholas Brooke (“Housing is just one facet of Hong Kong’s liveable city agenda”, August 30).
With such high prices for a flat in Hong Kong, it has become increasingly difficult for many citizens to maintain their basic standard of living. Consequently ,the problem of poverty has got worse.
Government policies have failed to alleviate these levels of poverty and help people on really low incomes improve their lives.
There is also a serious housing shortage and the government must find more ways to increase housing supply, such as renovating more older buildings.
Phoebe Ko, Tseung Kwan O
Choose to buy mooncakes with less sugar
I refer to the report, “8 sugar cubes’ worth of sweetener in moon cake” (September 2).
The Centre for Food Safety has found that most of the 50 unnamed brands of mooncake tested contained sugar over the recommended daily requirement for an adult.
Consuming excessive quantities of sugar can lead to people becoming overweight and can cause health problems such as diabetes.
In the first instance, people should check the prices of mooncakes.
The cheaper ones may be low-quality and have more unhealthy ingredients. Consumers should certainly avoid purchasing them from someone who has just set up a stall in the street, because they cannot be sure about the quality of what they are buying. It is better to buy them from stores.
Most importantly, shoppers should check the nutritional labels so they have a clear idea about the contents and can know much fat and sugar levels are in each mooncake. They should aim to make healthy choices.
Hopefully, if more people think about the sugar content of mooncakes in the run-up to the Mid-Autumn Festival, it will raise levels of awareness about nutrition in food and the need to take greater care when shopping. Quality and nutrition are both important factors.
People need to be more careful when purchasing food, and think about the nutritional value.
Jacky Hui, Tseung Kwan O
People should try to be more eco-friendly
I am glad that China has decided to ratify the Paris climate change agreement.
It is good that the central government has made this move. However, there is no doubt that initiatives should not only be taken at an international level, but also by individuals.
While it is important for such agreements by governments, individuals also have to make changes to their lifestyles.
We all need to make adjustments, as responsible global citizens, such as bringing reusable bags when we go shopping and choosing products without chlorofluorocarbons.
I look forward to seeing China reduce its carbon footprint.
Edwin Chung Yiu-king, Yau Tong
Depression is a growing problem in HK
Experts in the US have raised concerns about depression among teens being inadequately diagnosed.
It became clear this was also a problem in Hong Kong, with the spate of student suicides during the last school year. There can be difficulties with those who have not been identified as having a problem and others who have been diagnosed but who refuse treatment.
I think people suffer from different kinds of mental illness because of pressure from family, peers, school and society.
The sooner the symptoms of depression are recognised, the easier it is to treat someone.
We all need to be more aware and recognise mood changes in relatives and friends that might indicate depression.
We should not be afraid to advise them to get help if we feel it is necessary.
Angela Chan, Tiu Keng Leng
City’s unique past is still so important
I refer to the article, “Meet one of Hong Kong’s last working stencil workers” (September 1).
These traditional skilled workers are disappearing and, with them, the collective memories of what they did.
So many youngsters care more about the latest fashion trends and forget about valuable aspects of Hong Kong’s past. Traditional crafts, like stencil making, may seem irrelevant, as they have been replaced by machines. However, they remind us of a time when the world was not so advanced.
Skilled workers like stencil maker Wu Ding-keung really cared about what they did and took real pride in their work. They were not just motivated by money.
It reminded me of an elderly newspaper vendor who saw her stall as an extension of her home.
Teenagers can learn from these people and the attitude that they had to the jobs that they did.
Kiera Wong, Tseung Kwan O