Letters to the Editor, September 13, 2016
Protection of ancient trails is so important
I am concerned that some ancient trails in the New Territories have been damaged. These trails were vital links between villages and townships 300 to 400 years ago.
They are an important part of Hong Kong’s heritage and the government should declare them as historical monuments and protect them under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.
I also think leaflets should be printed by the relevant government department about these trails for walkers and they should be clearly marked on all our countryside maps.
I am sure that tourists and history buffs would be keen to visit them. Citizens want to learn about this important part of Hong Kong’s past.
While the development of the economy and new technology is important if the city is to move forward, we also need to be aware of our history and of the factors in the past which made this such a unique place.
The ancient trails are part of that past and public awareness must be raised so that they are preserved and not damaged.
Chris Chu Lok-yan, Tuen Mun
More public sports facilities are needed
After the Rio Games, there was a great deal of talk about the need for an improved support mechanism so that Hong Kong athletes would stand a better chance of winning medals at future Olympics.
The objective of any sports policy should be to ensure that a lot of people can participate, that they can have fun and at the same time become fitter and healthier.
This will ease the burden on the medical sector.
However, it is difficult to book public sports facilities in Hong Kong.
Therefore the government’s priority should be building additional public facilities so that more people can enjoy sport. That is more important to the Hong Kong public than having a lot of elite athletes.
Dennis Li, Mid-Levels
Hongkongers united behind Olympic team
I refer to Mandy Yeung’s letter (“Olympic team embodied our can-do spirit”, September 10).
It was great that Hongkongers were able to unite together to support their athletes at the Rio Olympics, especially cyclist Sarah Lee Wai-sze.
I was also impressed by swimmer Siobhan Haughey who qualified for the 200m freestyle and became the first local swimmer to take part in an Olympic semi-final in modern times.
I agree with your correspondent that the Hong Kong government should build more sports facilities so that all citizens can have access to venues where they can exercise.
Vicky Wong, Sheung Shui
Helpers not getting enough protection
I refer to the letters of September 11 from Dickens Mok (“Helpers at risk from high-rise cleaning”) and Clovis Wong (“Tougher laws to curb rogue employers”).
I agree with your correspondents that domestic helpers need better protection from the risk of accidents when they are working.
However, their physical safety is not the only issue when it comes to dealing with rogue employers.
Employers are required by the law to allow workers holidays, but not all bosses obey this legislation.
Some employees, including domestic helpers, do not speak up because they are afraid of losing their jobs.
They need to be able to have holidays to which they are legally entitled, for the sake of their mental well-being.
The laws on leave for these helpers should be tightened and employers who infringe them should face tougher penalties.
A reporting system should also be established so that workers who are being mistreated can approach the relevant authorities.
Domestic helpers often feel isolated and suffer from discrimination.
They are making an important contribution to society and deserve our respect.
There are so many foreign helpers now in Hong Kong. They should be made to feel welcome and their rights must be protected in what is after all an international city.
Anina Law, Tai Po
By cooking less food we can cut back on waste
I refer to the report (“Appointment of another bureaucrat to top Hong Kong environmental post defies calls for more scientific expertise”, September 7).
Green groups are right when they say that the volume of municipal solid waste generated in the city has gone up rather than down.
They point to the poor track record of top officials, but I think that we need to look at our own efforts. We can all reduce the amount of waste we generate by making minor changes in our daily lives.
When trying to cut down on household rubbish, we should focus on food waste.
When preparing meals we should only make what will be eaten so there are no leftovers. And this is a habit we can also get into when we go to restaurants, only ordering dishes that you know you will finish. This helps reduce volumes of food waste and will save you money. If you order less food your bill will be cheaper.
Many Hongkongers do not care about the volumes of rubbish they create. This sets a bad example to children. However, this attitude can change with education and it is important that children should be targeted so they curb wasteful habits at an early age.
Joyce Lee, Yau Yat Chuen
Think carefully before buying mooncakes
Hongkongers tend to buy too many mooncakes during the Mid-Autumn Festival and so often they are discarded.
People should think carefully about how many mooncakes they will actually need before making a purchase. Even though they are delicious we must all act responsibly and recognise the importance of environmental protection.
Parents should also think carefully before deciding whether to buy glow sticks and lanterns for their children which they will then throw away.
We should not forget the historical significance of this festival and its links with the Ming insurrection.
The festival is also associated with reunions and families and we should remember these things and not just think about eating mooncakes and playing with lanterns.
Joey Chan Yuen-yi, Tseung Kwan O
Shift focus away from exam results
I agree with Kitty Chung Hoi-ching (“Students get to university and think that’s it”, September 9) that students in Hong Kong are under a lot of stress, because of long hours of study and tutorial classes.
There needs to be a change of mindset away from the belief that exam results are of paramount importance.
The government should implement reforms, in particular, the policy which imposes the Territory-wide System Assessment on Primary Three pupils.
The focus should be on the value of studying for students and for the community.
Parents also have to change their attitude.
They often have such high expectations and impose goals on their children rather than giving them the freedom to decide what they want for the future.
Leo Sin Kong-chun, Sheung Shui