Letters to the Editor, September 19, 2016

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 September, 2016, 5:15pm
UPDATED : Monday, 19 September, 2016, 5:15pm

No need to have all-day kindergartens

I refer to the report (“Costly ­lessons for parents as kindergartens raise fees”, September 8).

At least 11 kindergartens are now charging more than HK$10,000 annually for meals during whole-day sessions.

I think that is too much and many parents will struggle to pay this much. Kindergartens really do not need to impose such high charges for meals.

Some of the more expensive ones may justify steep overall fees by saying they are ­employing some native English-speaking teachers who have to be brought in from overseas, but is that really ­necessary for such young ­children?

I know some parents talk about giving their children (even this young) the best chance from the “starting line”.

However, it is more ­important for them to first ­master their mother tongue.

I also think it is ­better for children at the half-day kindergartens to have breakfast at home and this would cut meal fees.

I am also against kindergartens in Hong Kong having any all-day sessions.

This seems to deprive young children of the freedom to play. It is very difficult for such young children to have to concentrate for a whole day. They need to have time to play and to take naps.

I would like to see all kindergartens being run by the government which would make them affordable for parents.

Christy Lam, Tseung Kwan O

Let villagers enjoy genuine democracy

I agree with Eddie Chu Hoi-dick (“Hong Kong lawmaker-elect Eddie Chu calls for radical ­rethink of way Heung Yee Kuk is chosen”, September 19).

He is right when he says that the kuk should be a “democratic representative for ­villagers”.

There is a need for democratic election of what he described as the ­middle layer of leadership. Then the leaders of villagers will be representing the views and aspirations of all residents.

Of course, there will be have to be extensive discussions ­before any changes are implemented.

I keep an open mind about his call for Hong Kong to ­conserve its remaining farmland and countryside with the aim of ultimately becoming self-sufficient in food supply.

It certainly needs to protect its countryside and green belt. It is intolerable to see fields used for storage, waste or as car parks.

Optimum use of arable land will have to be discussed in the future and it makes sense to have a strategy to develop local farming.

I admire Eddie Chu for ­having the courage to speak his mind.

Kelly Wong, Sham Shui Po

Allow students to talk about independence

I refer to the report (“Hong Kong students threaten protest if schools keep up ‘suppression’ of their pro-independence advocacy’’, September 7).

Hong Kong students are ­future pillars of society. They should learn about and discuss what is happening in society and Hong Kong’s future after 2047. And they should be free to form their own political opinions without any fear of being brainwashed.

I do not think there is ­anything wrong with leaflets supporting independence being handed out in school campuses. Talking about this issue is not illegal.

It would be wrong for ­teachers to suppress such ­discussions. Instead they should be ­helping their students analyse the arguments for and against independence.

If the government bans such discussions in schools there will be serious consequences and further confrontations between the government and citizens.

Yuki Tsoi Ka-yee, Tseung Kwan O

Candidates simply ignored youngsters

I agree with those who say that the views of young people are not respected (“Hong Kong youth feel powerless in politics”, ­September 1).

I do not feel that much ­respect is shown towards young people’s views on politics. ­Although I was too young to vote, I and many of my friends urged relatives to vote at the Legislative Council election on September 4. However, I do not think the government cares about our views and this was the attitude of some candidates.

Students are part of society, but when I saw candidates’ supporters handing out leaflets near my school or home, they did not offer them to ­students.

We may be too young to vote, but our views still matter. And we want to learn about current affairs.

Adults say we are ­future ­pillars of society, but do not ­respect us. The government seems to want us to grow up like sheep meekly following its ­policies.

Roslin Law, Po Lam

Essential to get right work-life balance

Hong Kong is an international ­finance centre and the price many citizens must pay to ­ensure the city stays prosperous is to work long hours.

In May a survey found that Hong Kong had the longest working week of any global city, with people spending on ­average 50 hours per week in the workplace.

This meant that Hong Kong employees work for 38 per cent longer than the global average.

It is a simple fact that the longer time you dedicate to your work, the less time you will have for rest and relaxation. Of course, some people put in these hours for the financial ­rewards they will enjoy.

­However, most of us have ­forgotten the importance of finding the right work-life ­balance.

I think it is possible to strike that balance and still put in a lot of hours in the office.

One of the most effective ways to achieve this is to get the most out of the time you have off and not work at all on that day.

The purpose of a holiday is to genuinely relax, so you should not be taking your work with you when you go on a break.

You should be spending all that free time with your friends and ­family.

This is the best way to relieve the stress felt in the workplace and ensure you enjoy good mental health.

It is also important to draw up a daily schedule and stick to it. You should not be taking extra work home with you.

Unfinished tasks can be completed during the next working day. Having the rest you had planned at home is of paramount importance.

People should not think of the financial rewards that come from working long hours as being the priority.

Instead, citizens should ­recognise that having the right balance between your job and your time off is an indispensable part of your working life.

Lum Chi-lok, Hang Hau

Put staff on MTR trains to enforce rules

Earlier this year, the MTR Corporation announced a review of its by-laws.

Critics had said some of them were outdated and often flouted by passengers.

I think it is the case that ­people may be breaking regulations without realising it or ­because they think they will not face any consequences for their actions.

One of the rules that appears to be is ignored by some passengers is, “No eating and drinking on the train”.

The problem is that there are no staff on the trains and so there is no one on board to enforce this ban. If the MTR Corp feels that this regulation is still ­relevant it must put staff on trains to ensure it is obeyed. And for those who break the by-laws it decides to stick with, there should be tougher punishments.

Rico Leung, Sai Kung