Letters to the Editor, January 13, 2017

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 January, 2017, 4:53pm
UPDATED : Friday, 13 January, 2017, 4:53pm

Cantonese museum is a better idea

If one ignores its political ­mishandling, the proposed ­Palace Museum project in Hong Kong appears to be an attractive idea at first sight.

However, it can surely never be more than a pale shadow of the original in Beijing, or of the National Palace Museum in ­Taipei.

Instead of trying to replicate those great collections on a smaller scale, why does Hong Kong not establish something entirely original instead – a world-class “Museum of ­Cantonese Culture”?

Such a museum could ­feature displays on the ­language, cuisine, customs and traditions, visual arts, literature and music of the region – from Cantonese opera to Cantopop; the Cantonese diaspora overseas, and the many contributions of the Guangdong region and Cantonese people to ­Chinese history and to the nation as a whole.

This would not only give Hong Kong something unique to the SAR – and indeed the world – and be of great interest to local people, but would attract tourists and scholars from ­elsewhere in China and far ­beyond.

The Hong Kong government often proclaims the virtues of ­innovation. Let it live up to its own words by scrapping this copycat plan and creating something original.

Rod Parkes, Tai Po

We should be celebrating collaboration

China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative should be viewed as a means, through economics of collaboration among stakeholders, to build a true “international commonwealth” – a real-life utopia transcending national, cultural and political divides.

Collaboration has also been displayed by the process of bringing about the Hong Kong Palace Museum in West ­Kowloon Cultural District.

Ng Chi-kong, North Point

There is a positive side to homework

Some correspondents have urged schools to limit the amount of homework they give out to students, but there is no simple solution.

If such a policy was introduced, it would ease the workload. Certainly, youngsters can be given so many assignments that they have to get started as soon as they arrive home and so they are not allowed enough time to relax. As some ­homework can be repetitive, you have to ask if that really benefits the student.

If tasks are repetitive, they ­become boring and do not ­stimulate youngsters.

Of course, if limits are put on the amount of homework given out every day, then students will have more spare time and can do positive things like relaxing and exercising.

They would also be able to get a good night’s sleep, because at the moment many work until late at night.

However, I think the gains, if such a policy was adopted, could be short-term.

With certain subjects, ­practice is needed for students to master some areas and this makes homework essential. They also need to spend ­evenings revising for exams.

When schools are thinking about a revised policy regarding homework, they have to look at all these aspects before deciding if major changes are needed.

Jessica So Yau-nga, Yau Yat Chuen

Now officers can deal with unruly streets

Now that the Hong Kong Police Force is to get a large increase in manpower, perhaps the ­commissioner could review his policy on the non-enforcement of street nuisances.

It was back in the late 1980s I think that one of his predecessors, unable to get funding for additional staff, decided that the force would no longer carry out enforcement action on offences for which other ­departments had prime ­enforcement responsibility. This is why our pavements are now cluttered with beggars, fake monks, touts, hawkers and buskers and why dripping air conditioners, spitting, littering and general obstruction are ­ignored by police.

A later predecessor also managed to get his force ­excluded from tobacco smoking and idling engine law ­enforcement for the same ­reasons.

All these nuisance offences could be tackled by means of fixed penalty tickets but, in the meantime, traditional ­summons action should be ­resumed.

Patrolling police officers are being brought into disrepute when they are obliged to ignore all this illegality as they walk on our streets.

It is time for an end to this ­unacceptable state of affairs.

Guy Shirra, Sai Kung

Eco-friendly tourists set good example

In November, a group of tourists from Japan came to Hong Kong and spent four days cleaning up beaches around Lantau and Lamma. They are part of a group called the Beach Clean-up World Tour.

Reading about what they had done and the comments they made about protecting the ­environment made me feel ashamed.

Citizens from another ­country came here to try and help deal with our environmental problems, while so many Hongkongers just ignore them.

These people were all volunteers, they paid for their own trip and they did this for the sake of Hong Kong’s ecosystems.

They have set a fine example that we should all follow.

Kaecee Wong, Tseung Kwan O

Teens should be aware of phone risks

Hong Kong citizens, especially teenagers, spend a lot of time on their smartphones.

People often communicate with each other using these ­devices and play computer games on them. Some adults have ­expressed concern about the time youngsters spend on these phones, saying that it can ­destroy their childhood.

For students they can be an important learning tool, helping them search quickly for information that they need. And wherever they are, they can take a photo or a video.

However, ­despite the convenience of this technology, I can understand why some adults express ­concern about the negative ­effects.

They fear that some teenagers spend an inordinate amount of time on smartphones and often not for studying ­purposes. This can have a ­negative effect if they are playing lots of computer games and using social media platforms for hours on end, such as Facebook and Instagram. Spending too long looking at the small screen can cause health problems such as eye strain.

Youngsters have to be taught to strike a balance and learn the importance of self-discipline. They need to use the phones sensibly for entertainment, but also for their studies.

Oscar Au Yeung, Po Lam

Archives law pleas are falling on deaf ears

Your excellent reports on January 8 highlighted the lack of properly documented and preserved archival material on a crucial historical period in Hong Kong, that is, the riots of 1967.

These articles and Gary Cheung’s comments (“British files reveal HK needs an archives law, now more than ever”, ­January 10) shout out to the seemingly deaf ears of the ­government and legislators the need for a law to protect Hong Kong’s documentary heritage and its ­history.

Obviously, the “mandatory guidelines” which govern our public records office have failed to ensure that this important material was documented and properly archived. “Access to ­information” is useless if ­information is not preserved.

It is a glaring and shameful situation for a modern metropolis that calls itself a world city to not value its heritage sufficiently so as to respect and preserve, through law, crucial material for future generations – in order that they may understand and ­appreciate their history.

I hope that the incoming chief executive and government officials and legislators will have the vision and courage to push forward with archival ­legislation.

N. Fung, Repulse Bay