Letters to the Editor, February 2, 2017

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 February, 2017, 5:37pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 February, 2017, 5:37pm

Children must be made to feel special at home

Whenever I read an article about depression in our children, the ­suicide rate in Hong Kong, and then people placing all the blame on schools, I find it ­heartbreaking.

Often, parents ignore the fact that it’s the home which is the first school for a child and if the child gets a happy, loving and healthy atmosphere at home, then he or she can face any challenges. Parents need to start taking the blame for their children’s problems and then it will be easier to find solutions.

Nowadays, parents think they can buy happiness with money, so they put their children under the care of helpers, ­ignoring the fact that many times the helpers can’t understand the needs of a child.

Children need love and care from their parents and want someone to listen to their problems, someone who can hug them when they feel lonely.

Money and electric toys and gadgets can’t give them true happiness. We need to give our children special time when they need it and sacrifice our own ­desires so we can spend as much time as possible with them.

Parents must listen to their children’s problems, but also play with them. From a young age, they should be nurtured with a healthy diet and positive thoughts, instead of only being lectured to.

And parents should not expect too much of their sons and daughters from a young age.

We have to learn to accept them the way they are by not comparing them with others. They must be made to feel they are special no matter how they perform in school.

Meenakshi Jain, Tai Po

Cyberbullying can destroy young lives

With the growth of new technology and increasing use of cellphones, computers and tablets, cyberbullying is a ­growing problem which can cause acute embarrassment to its victims.

Rumours can be spread on social media platforms and also through text messages.

Teenagers are particularly vulnerable, because many are ignorant about the risks ­of going online and their so-called schoolmates are often the ones doing the bullying.

Many young people can be victims, including those from minority groups, such as youngsters who are disabled or from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community, who ­receive threatening emails.

Cyberbullying can happen wherever people log on and at any time of the day or night.

Offensive images can be posted anonymously and they can go viral very quickly.

Also, it can be difficult to trace the source and catch the culprits.

Once texts and pictures have been posted online, it can be very difficult to delete them.

Bullying can have a serious impact on the mental health of victims and, in the worst cases, can lead to suicide.

The government must do more to educate teenagers about the threats posed by bullying and make them fully understand how destructive it can be to the lives of so many youngsters.

Parents should also talk to their children about cyberbullying and help raise their levels of awareness.

They need to keep the lines of communication open and explain the importance of ­treating other children with kindness and respect.

Cyberbullying is a global problem that all governments should be addressing.

Hazel Wong, Tseung Kwan O

Nothing but praise for Uber service

In the last six months, I have travelled in taxis and Uber in about an equal amount of trips.

I can only say that my experience with Uber has been nothing but positive.

The cars are clean, the drivers are pleasant and, most importantly, they tend to drive in an appropriate manner (both considerate to the passenger and other road users).

The same cannot be said for taxis. In that six-month period, I have had two accidents while riding in taxis, and both times it was the fault of the taxi driver.

The cars are dirty, and cabbies drive with little regard to the ­passenger and other road users.

When will officials wake up and realise firms like Uber are what the public wants?

I would be interested to know the number of car accidents per year and the percentage involving a taxi.

Eric Lee, Central

Traditions are adapting to modern times

This year, during the Lunar New Year, instead of using traditional lai see packets, many people gave these gifts of money through digital platforms.

Gifting money through ­digital services, such as HSBC’s eLaisee and WeChat’s Wallet function, is efficient and time-saving, as you do not have to queue up to take money out of an ATM machine, or purchase any lai see packets.

Also, ­because you are not using the paper packets, which are mostly thrown away, you are being environmentally friendly and ­helping to save trees.

Critics might argue that these internet options further erode Lunar New Year traditions. However, as society advances, it is only natural to adapt to what is available and is convenient.

There are many traditions from thousands of years ago that are no longer observed in modern society. We have to be practical. Sometimes, friends and family live abroad and cannot meet for the festival, but want to pass on their lai see gifts.

I see these digital lai see ­services as providing people with more options. For example, with the online versions, they can design their own cover and attach voice messages, giving blessings or expressing gratitude. This can prove enjoyable and different, and the tradition of giving lai see is preserved.

Trisha Tobar, Tseung Kwan O

Chinese role in Africa will boost growth

I agree with your editorial (“China is playing a crucial role in Africa’s future that will benefit all countries involved”, January 30) that Africa’s first cross-border electric railway benefits China (which built it) as well as the continent.

The railway will promote trade and boost the economies of the ­nations on its route.

In the long term, this could raise living standards.

We are seeing greater investment by Chinese firms in Africa, improving the ­infrastructure of many ­countries.

This increased investment will have political implications, with more African nations accepting the one-China principle. This will lead to Taiwan ­becoming more isolated.

We should not regard investment by China as a new form of colonialism.

Instead, it should be seen as an opportunity for all of Africa to advance and grow stronger.

Zoe Liu Sze-yui, Kwai Chung

City does not need divisive Thatcher clone

Mark Peaker wants to see Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor or John Tsang Chun-wah govern Hong Kong with the passion of Margaret Thatcher, and describes her as the UK’s greatest post-war leader (“Thatcher took a broken UK and fixed it”, January 20).

Such an outlandish statement cannot go unanswered. Thatcher is regularly voted as either the worst or the most-hated prime minister of the last 100 years and she divided the nation as never before nor since.

Her economic policies cost two million jobs and resulted in mass unemployment. Her housing policies, including selling off council houses, precipitated a social housing crisis from which the UK has never recovered. Her introduction of the poll tax resulted in some of the worst rioting ever seen in ­England. It was withdrawn by the next Conservative prime minister after Thatcher was forced out by her own party.

The idea that Hong Kong should have a leader in the style of Thatcher fills me with horror. More than anything, Hong Kong needs a leader who will unite the people, not divide them in the way that Thatcher did in the UK.

Keith McNab, Sai Kung