Letters to the Editor, September 08, 2016

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 September, 2016, 4:03pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 September, 2016, 4:03pm

We all need to be eco-friendly to save planet

I agree with Edwin Chung Yiu-king that we must all make the effort to ­become responsible global ­citizens (“People should try to be more eco-friendly”, September 6).

We must try and adopt green living habits, such as reducing our use of electrical appliances, because the power plants which generate energy emit a lot of greenhouse gases.

However, there are people who will not take the initiative and make the effort to change their lifestyles. That is why the role of the government in ­encouraging people to go green is important. And it must target the younger generation in schools.

It should produce more ­adverts explaining the need to be environmentally friendly and raise citizens’ levels of awareness. Then, more of them will hopefully start changing their habits, such as by recycling ­material that, in the past, they would have thrown away.

Schools can educate ­students to think about what they can do to help protect the planet. It would be good if they could adopt eco-friendly habits from an early age and pass the message on to their parents.

It is not just up to one ­country. A global effort is needed to save the earth for our next generation.

Vicky Chung, Sheung Shui

Sceptical about East Lantau Metropolis

Development Minister Paul Chan is to be congratulated on his master plan for development (“Man with a master plan”, ­August 30).

It includes the East Lantau Metropolis, comprising an ­enlarged island centred on Kau Yi Chau, which is planned to be a smart low-carbon new development with a new core business district.

The report says that this east Lantau economic centre would have a fast connection to ­Kennedy Town (and Yuen Long) by a cross-harbour railway ­network. Clearly, such a connection is necessary for the viability of such an economic centre.

A government study about 25 years ago concluded that such a connection to Kennedy Town was not feasible.

Could Paul Chan reassure us by explaining what has changed to now make such a fast rail connection both feasible and commercially viable?

Ronald Taylor, Pok Fu Lam

Homework makes stress levels worse

While learning is essential for every child, students attending local schools in Hong Kong say there is too much stress. And they are concerned that adults lack awareness of this problem.

Last school year, a number of students either committed ­suicide or attempted to do so and, in many cases, this was ­attributed to the stress they felt.

I read about one survey where a school student from Finland and one from Shanghai tried to do the homework normally assigned to their counterparts in Hong Kong. The Finnish youngster was frustrated by the large number of repetitive questions. The Shanghai student felt many of the questions were meaningless.

In an ideal school environment, learning should be an enjoyable process.

The reality in Hong Kong is that many students feel trapped and cannot see the reason for some of the work assigned to them. Often they join ­interest groups to achieve goals their parents have outlined for them. With so many extracurricular activities, they then have to work late to finish their homework.

If they fail to complete it, they are punished at school then scolded by their parents and the stress gradually builds up. Adults want the best for their children, but often do not listen to them.

Michelle Mai, Sau Mau Ping

Students get to university and think that’s it

More Hong Kong school ­students are suffering from stress, because they have such a heavy workload. The high ­suicide rate highlights how serious the problem has become.

They face long hours of study every day, in class, at tutorial ­colleges and then in the evening with homework.

They are often forced to attend tutorial classes by ­parents and may be as young as three. Although the parents have good intentions, having to deal with such a heavy workload causes a lot of stress.

This often results in youngsters having lost their love of learning by the time they reach university. As one local academic, Sun Kwok, pointed out in the article “Long hours kill ­students’ hunger for learning”, (April 6), he often sees a feeling of relief among freshmen that they have got a place at university.

However, they have lost the passion for learning. They have “made it” by getting to university and feel like this is the end of the road as far as study is ­concerned. They should be ­seeing university as a further path for studying.

Parents have a crucial role to play. They should be teaching their children to get the right ­balance so they study hard, but also make time to relax and ­release the pressure.

Kitty Chung Hoi-ching, Yau Yat Chuen

Citizens can take Zika virus precautions

Researchers have still not found a vaccine for the Zika virus, which is spreading in the region and poses a threat to pregnant mothers and their babies.

Citizens need to be reminded of the measures they can take in their homes to lower the risks of being bitten. Water in vases and that collects in saucers for plants must be emptied regularly, as should drip trays for air conditioners.

People can use insect repellent when they are outdoors, especially when hiking, and wear clothing that covers the arms and legs. Preventive measures can be effective.

Tsang Kai-yuet, Tseung Kwan O

Olympic team embodied our can-do spirit

I was impressed by the achievements of many of China’s athletes at the Olympics, especially some of the newcomers.

Ren Qian, who is only 15, won a gold medal in the 10 metre platform event. Also, the country’s table tennis stars had a clean sweep of golds at Rio.

Although the Hong Kong team did not win any medals at the Games, the athletes showed the resilient spirit so typical of this city. Cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze was an example to us all and, even though she was hurt in a fall at the velodrome, she would not give up.

The Hong Kong government should build more sports facilities, and this can encourage more citizens to get involved in sport.

Mandy Yeung, Yau Yat Chuen

Local start-ups face so many obstacles

There are many opportunities in Hong Kong for people with the right ideas to set up businesses.

A survey has shown there is still a strong desire among young people to launch start-ups. But they face major obstacles with a very competitive environment and high rents.

The South Korean government is promoting youth entrepreneurship. It aims to overcome the regulatory, structural, educational and cultural obstacles that constrain Korea’s ability to fully utilise its innovative capacities.

The Hong Kong government can learn from this policy, and provide direct support to young entrepreneurs in different forms, including financial assistance, and entrepreneurship and leadership training. It needs to create the right environment for start-ups and for talented young adults.

Hui Wing-lam, Tseung Kwan O