Letters to the Editor, October 01, 2016
Tenants of illegal flats face life on street
I would like to share my views on the government’s act of cracking down on landlords operating illegal flats in industrial buildings and forcing the tenants to move out instantly.
The government is driving out tenants living in cubicle flats in industrial buildings, without providing comprehensive resettlement plans and help in finding new accommodation.
Without a doubt living in industrial buildings is illegal. However, the way the government enforces the law is definitely cruel and irrational. People living in illegal flats are mostly from the grass roots. It is hard for them to find new accommodation immediately. The crackdown will only lead to a rise in the number of homeless people.
In fact, the orientation of the law is to improve the quality of life of citizens but government officials have squarely defied the original intention.
Officials should try to resettle evicted tenants in places with a better living environment, instead of leaving the underprivileged alone and neglected.
Pit Hok-yau, Tiu Keng Wan
iPhone 7 will leave music fans in lurch
I refer to the article (“Should you upgrade to the iPhone 7? Here are the pros and cons”, September 14).
The iPhone 7 has received a lot of criticism after it was launched, and for good reason. One of the most special features for this iteration of iPhone is its lack of headphone jacks.
Apple claims that removing the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 was a “courageous” move in order to make the device smaller and thinner. But this will not work as well as they anticipated.
Apple said that in order to use headphone jacks, users would have to buy an adapter (which costs around HK$70) to connect the headphone jack to the lightning port. However, this occupies the only lightning port in the entire phone, and the user would not be able to use anything other than the headphones at one time.
The user would not be able to charge the phone and use headphones at the same time without additional hardware.
If one wishes to listen to music and charge the battery at the same time on the iPhone 7, they will have to use Apple’s wireless headphones, or buy an additional HK$300 dongle with two lightning ports. And that is not including the adapter you have to use in order to connect the headphone into the dongle.
Considering both the dongle and the adapter’s large size, this is extremely inconvenient for the user, and contradicts Apple’s goal of “making things simpler and more streamlined for the user”. Basically, the user has to attach his headphones to an adapter to a dongle to the iPhone – just to listen to some music.
James Wong, Tseung Kwan O
Fight against pollution could start at home
I refer to the article (“Hottest September day in half a century as influence of Typhoon Megi brings ‘serious’ air pollution to Hong Kong”, September 27).
The Air Quality Health Index in Tuen Mun and Tung Chung hit the highest level and the temperature was 36 degrees Celsius in Happy Valley as the storm slammed into Taiwan.
The index reached 10 in Central 10, and nine in Yuen Long and Causeway Bay. This indicated a “very high” health risk.
The official advice to the elderly and people suffering from heart or respiratory illnesses was to stay indoors if at all possible.
Pollution in Hong Kong is reaching increasingly serious levels. In fact, it has led to a lot of problems, including economic effects.
Air pollution costs the world economy US$5 trillion per year as a result of productivity losses, caused by deaths due to diseases triggered by air pollution.
One out of 10 deaths in 2013 was caused by diseases associated with air pollution, and the problem is getting worse.
It would be useful and meaningful for us to do something worthy in order to solve the problem of air pollution.
We can replace power generation from burning fossil fuels with electricity from nuclear and renewables. Motor vehicles driven by fossil fuels, a key factor in urban air pollution, can be replaced by electric vehicles.
As citizens, we could join tree-planting activities to be environmently-friendly. Choose fuel efficient travel options and try to pick more direct routes to save on fuel. If your office is close to home, try riding a bicycle there instead of driving.
Alice Chan, Kwai Chung
More must be done to curb plastic waste
I refer to the editorial (“Hong Kong must deal with waste in haste”, September 27).
In my opinion,Hong Kong should also follow France and Sweden in taking steps to solve the problem of landfills filling up fast and limited space in the city.
Hong Kong has been slow to limit the use of plastic, with the plastic bag levy being the major step. This is definitely insufficient in the long term as there are still plastic bags being used at places like supermarkets.
But the road to waste reduction will not be smooth if it involves money and profits. Plastic industries and fast food companies will be major sources of resistance for a ban on plastic cutlery, as the plastics sector needs to make a living and fast food shops prefer to use disposable plastic cutlery over hiring dishwashing staff.
Charlie Lu Chun-yin, Sheung Shui
Breastfeeding facilities lacking in HK
A recent study by New Zealand’s University of Otago showed that breastfeeding can provide more vitamin D to babies.
Vitamin D is important for the growth and repair of bones. Some studies also show that breastfed babies grow up cleverer than those who are not.
Recognising these health benefits, more and more mothers are willing to breastfeed their babies.
However, in Hong Kong, there is no legislation which support mothers wishing to breastfeed in public areas.
I think the government should either introduce laws to protect the rights of mothers and breastfeeding babies or it should build more breastfeeding facilities throghout the city.
In Hong Kong, the lack of such facilities is a serious problem.
Mothers already take on a great deal of responsibility when they have children. And the government has a responsibility (in the interests of a harmonious society) to ensure that they can easily find facilities to breastfeed these children.
Shirley Lee, Tseung Kwan O
Treating stress as a friend may be a good thing
I refer to the letter from Angela Siu (“Students can learn to deal with stress”, September 7).
I am sure most of us have experienced some form of stress. I attend a secondary school and I agree that students face a lot of pressure as they aim to do their best in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education exams.
I was upset also to learn of suicides by youngsters unable to cope with stress. I hope such tragedies do not happen again.
I used to think stress made people sick. It increased the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease, and caused sleeping difficulties. Basically, I had turned stress into the enemy.
But to treat stress as your friend may be a good thing. If you think stress is helping you rise to the challenge, your body believes you, and your stress response becomes healthier.
Sandy Chiu, Kwai Chung