Letters to the Editor, October 11, 2016
We can all do our bit to cut back on waste
In developed countries, there is a serious problem with waste.
These societies waste precious resources such as water, electricity and fuel.
By contrast, in many developing nations, they suffer from a shortage of these resources.
Many cities generate huge volumes of food waste every day. In Hong Kong, most of it ends up in our landfills. A quarter of food waste produced by European countries could provide a full meal to one billion people in the world.
Governments in developed countries have introduced some policies to reduce food waste, but not all have been successful. Some of them meet resistance from residents. But what has happened in Taiwan has proved that waste reduction policies can be successful.
It is launching a low-carbon plant which will transform food waste into energy.
There has been a substantial reduction in volumes of domestic food waste in Taiwan. Other countries can learn from the example it has set.
Also, while it is important to develop different forms of sustainable energy, we will still need fossil fuels, but must try and cut back on our use of them. And we should spare a thought for people in developing countries struggling to have enough food to eat and clean water. We should be trying to conserve water.
We should not just be talking about treasuring our natural resources, but act to preserve them. Individuals should try not to waste food, but only buy what they need. And at home, we should switch off lights we do not need to save energy.
Yuen Chung-yan, Yau Yat Chuen
Electric car charge stations in short supply
The Formula E race on Sunday put the spotlight on electric cars.
The government is keen for citizens to learn more about these cars and for an increasing number of people to purchase them, to help reduce levels of roadside air pollution. One reason some people may be holding back from buying them is that there are not many charging stations in Hong Kong.
The government must do more to rectify this problem, or we are unlikely to see more of these cars being purchased in the city.
Matthew Yeung, Tsuen Wan
Education can remove myths about donors
I agree with the letter by Justin Lu (“It is important to raise organ donor rate”, October 4).
Education is an effective way to raise levels of awareness about the importance of registering as an organ donor.
Many citizens have this misunderstanding that if they are known to be on the register, doctors will do less in terms of administering emergency treatment. Because of these beliefs, which are wrong, our donor percentage rate is much lower than that of most other developed societies.
Through education, people can learn the truth about organ donation and realise that by registering, they can save the lives of patients waiting for a transplant.
We may not make great strides in this regard, but hopefully we can make the first tentative steps towards increasing the number of transplant operations in Hong Kong.
Ivy Fok, Sheung Shui
Healthy habits will clean up environment
I refer to the report, “Get into the habit of walking, city urged” (October 4).
With public transport networks being so convenient, it is so much easier to catch a bus or take the MTR, even if our destination is within relatively easy walking distance.
We have become too reliant on public transport.
Virtually everywhere you go has an MTR station or at least a bus stop and we are always trying to save time so we are reluctant to walk any extended distances.
I wish people would walk more and cycle where it is feasible to do so. They will feel a lot better if they are taking more regular exercise and it will lead to a healthier lifestyle.
It is also more environmentally friendly, as minibuses, buses and taxis use fossil fuel and contribute to global warming. In the city, the use of such fuels also worsen roadside air pollution. It is especially bad with us having so many private vehicles on our roads.
If citizens can get into the habit of walking and cycling more frequently, this will lead to a cleaner environment in Hong Kong.
Yoyo Li Fung-lan, Yau Yat Chuen
Consult teens and let them feel involved
I refer to the article, “Many Hong Kong students pessimistic about future, even though they are willing to make city better” (October 10).
I think there are multiple factors to explain why Hong Kong students feel this way about the future.
Firstly, the education system in Hong Kong has long been criticised for being exam-oriented. It focuses on memorising knowledge, but not learning about the skills you will need in your adult life.
Many parents place too much emphasis on academic performances and their children getting a place at a university. Students often accept this way of thinking and focus on doing well in the Diploma of Secondary Education exam, to the exclusion of everything else. However, they often find that what they have learned in school is of little use to them when they start working.
It has also been suggested that some young Hongkongers do not have the social skills to be persistent in pursuing their careers.
They might expect too much in their jobs, and find they are paid less than they think they should be earning. This can lead to them feeling pessimistic about their prospects.
Also, the government undertakes a lot of public consultation exercises about its proposed policies, but seldom adopts the suggestions put forward by individuals. This has led many citizens of all ages, including teenagers, to lose confidence in the government, because they do not feel officials are listening to them.
We are also seeing more social instability and people do not see these problems getting any better.
I wish the administration would take heed of citizens’ opinions, especially those of teenagers who want to have a say in their future. If they feel they are actually being listened to, I am sure they will feel more upbeat about Hong Kong.
Chloe Choy, Sha Tin
Having equal opportunities makes sense
I agree that students with intellectual disabilities should have equal education opportunities (“Teaching by native English speakers can benefit intellectually disabled students, say educators and parents”, October 4).
Schools or governments should give students with intellectual disabilities the chance to be taught by native English-speaking teachers (NETs). They must be given the opportunity before it can be determined if they can cope with the classes.
If they do not have the same chances, they might not be able to realise their full potential.
NETs have a more relaxed method than local English teachers and these students can benefit from that. They are likely to find the learning experience more enjoyable.
More companies are now employing people with disabilities, so they need good educational opportunities.
Music Ngan Miu-sik, Ho Man Tin