Letters to the Editor, January 24, 2017

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 January, 2017, 4:38pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 January, 2017, 4:38pm

Important for youngsters to get full history

I read with interest Annie Wu Suk-ching’s proposal and ­cannot agree more that history must cover a wider scope in Hong Kong schools (“ ‘Teach the young ­Chinese history’ ”, ­January 15).

Many countries and cultures tend to be biased and leave out “unsavoury”­episodes in their past, thus rendering the subject incomplete. It’s a bit like omitting the number six in mathematics, leaving all ­subsequent equations without a solution.

I am not surprised that many Hong Kong kids avoid the subject.

Had present-day Hong Kong students studied the causes and consequences of June 4, 1989, in Tiananmen Square, many would have had second thoughts about Occupy Central or even calls for independence.

Whether or not we agree about past events is not the issue, but learning and understanding from the past is the only way to move forward.

As an avid reader of history, I am always trying to fill in the gaps and I hope future Hong Kong students are given a more complete and balanced view of history, so that they enjoy the subject more and become more responsible citizens as a result.

Jan Bochenski, Tai Tam

Think carefully before deciding to get a tattoo

Many teenagers are influenced by the growing popularity of body art and are getting tattoos. However, they should think carefully before taking this step.

They may feel that having this body art is a way to show their maturity. They may even be influenced by peer pressure, thinking they will be isolated if they do not follow their friends.

Parents often act as role models, so if they have tattoos this may encourage their children to do likewise.

Teenagers must consider the health issues. Some of them might have an allergic reaction. They also have to check the shop they are going to and ensure it observes all good hygiene rules, so that the needles are clean. They have to be aware that their skin might swell up and could become infected.

Also, they have to realise that a tattoo is permanent, and so they should not act ­impulsively.

They need to ask themselves if they really want this tattoo, which will be with them for the rest of their lives.

Some of ­today’s teenagers have a ­tendency to be impulsive and they need to think carefully about the decisions they make.

Some body art is tasteful, but that is not always the case. ­Parents need to try and maintain a close relationship with their children so that they feel they can consult them if they are thinking of getting a tattoo.

Parents need to try and be positive role models, so that their sons and daughters grow up acquiring the correct system of values.

If teenagers are ­making bad decisions, schools also have a responsibility to offer them guidance.

Chan Sik-mei, Kowloon Tong

Thatcher didn’t fix Britain, she destroyed it

I refer to Mark Peaker’s letter about Margaret Thatcher

(“Thatcher took a broken UK and fixed it”, January 20). In fact, she destroyed Britain.

Thatcher promoted the politics of greed that sees a modern world in debt to the grotesquely rich bankers, brokers and money worshippers. She promoted the welfare state by forcing so many people to become dependent on it.

She destroyed a rail transport system that has left Britain with a 24-hour countrywide carbon-choking traffic jam. She ­destroyed a power industry that now sees Britain about to pay the highest electricity tariff in Europe, for a nuclear power ­station that will be a financial curse upon our children.

She proved herself incompetent in the international arena in her dealings with Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) over Hong Kong.

If ­Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor can avoid her mistakes, she will be at least half-way to ­becoming a humane leader.

John Dainton, Pok Fu Lam

Second child option was a welcome move

I think the one-child policy, which China scrapped in 2015, had its advantages and ­disadvantages.

It helped the country control the increase of its already huge population. When it was introduced, the central government feared population growth would get out of control and the country would not be able to cope.

However, on the downside, it led to many abortions when women discovered they were pregnant and already had one child. Eventually, the government recognised that, with an ageing ­population, the policy had to change.

I am glad it had a change of heart and opted to allow citizens to have a second child.

Couples welcome the freedom of being able to choose to have a second child if that is what they want, and being ­allowed that greater freedom is a positive development.

Yammi Yu Hoi-yan, Yau Yat Chuen

Glad ousted lawmakers will not give up

Disqualified lawmakers ­Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang and Yau Wai-ching had their bid to have their Legislative Council seats reinstated ­rejected by an appeals court.

Of course, their behaviour at the oath-taking ceremony in the Legco chamber in October, which led to their disqualification, was condemned by pro-Beijing lawmakers and some citizens. And it led to an interpretation of the Basic Law by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. Some people argued that they should be allowed to retake their oaths.

Following the court’s decision, they are now considering pursuing their case at the Court of Final Appeal. I would go along with their intention to continue their legal challenge and seek ­reinstatement.

They are helping Hongkongers to see the real intentions of the Hong Kong government. It would rather compromise the important principle of the separation of powers, in order to disqualify lawmakers who together collected nearly 60,000 votes in September’s Legco election.

People may disagree with their behaviour during the oath-taking ceremony, and dislike them for their actions, but no one should have the right to ­disqualify them. The will of the voters rather than the government should be respected.

I feel there could have been other ways to punish them as ­sitting lawmakers, rather than outright disqualification.

Even though they face steep legal bills, I admire them for saying they have no regrets and are fighting a battle for Hongkongers that they believe they must win.

Austin Wong, Sheung Shui

Overcrowding at A& E units is likely to remain

I am not convinced that raising fees at accident and ­emergency (A&E) departments in public hospitals, as the Hospital Authority wants to do, will have the desired effect and alleviate the serious ­overcrowding.

First, the proposed increase (from HK$100 to HK$220) is not big enough.

Most of the patients who go to A&E units in public hospitals are on low incomes.

Even if the fee is increased, it would still not be as much as at a private clinic, so they will ­continue to visit public ­hospitals.

Recipients of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance are waived the fee, so the rise will not affect them.

Overcrowding in these units is definitely a problem.

However, the ­government will have to come up with other policies to tackle this issue.

Kenny Tong, Tseung Kwan O