Letters to the Editor, March 5, 2017

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 March, 2017, 12:17am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 March, 2017, 12:17am

Confrontation has become the new HK spirit

It has been obvious since the ­Occupy movement that Hong Kong is split. People love to take opposing stands, express ­extreme views and refuse to compromise.

This new-found Hong Kong spirit permeates society. From simple dialogue between strangers on public transport, to Facebook messages between lifelong friends and exchanges among family members, the content is highly charged once sensitive issues are triggered. People are self-centred, prioritising their own interests. Insisting on their own views is the only way they know and, to them, the only way to solve problems. However, this attitude actually aggravates the problems.

Taking after some legislators, we have learned to blame the government for every mishap in our lives.The process of politicisation conveniently relieves us of the responsibilities we should be sharing. The high number of student suicides and ever-growing cases of depression, the deteriorating relationship between the police and public, and the problem of drug abuse and gambling – don’t we have a role to play? Shouldn’t we be thinking of what we can do to help? Just blindly insisting that the government doesn’t have good policies to protect us is not the only way out.

There has been a public outcry following the controversies of how the chief executive is elected, the jailing of seven ­police officers and the conviction of former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen. This points to the reality that the confrontational culture has become deep-rooted and is here to stay. Aided by social media websites like Facebook and Twitter, people express themselves freely, many irresponsibly, not wishing to listen to others, or show ­respect for their views.

This ego boosting, if allowed to continue, will eventually ­destroy whatever goodwill is left in society. Long gone are the days when Hong Kong was a city of harmony. You hear people born in the 1960s and before saying how they deplore the plight of our city today. Has it gone down a one-way track from which it cannot return?

Jacqueline Kwan, Mid-Levels

There was a middle ground during Occupy

In the article (“Milestone for masses”, February 24), Peter Guy says, “Either you enforce the rule of law and governance in Hong Kong, or you don’t. There’s no middle ground.”

Well, for 79 days during the Occupy movement, there was a middle ground. The paralysis of Central district had already ­lasted for two weeks when the now convicted police officers vented their frustration on activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu . The ­police were even forced to guard the barricades, a sorry spectacle. Occupy supporters, including law professors, went out of their way to declare the righteousness of the blockade.

The higher moral order of the cause overrules the law, they ­argued. Interesting precedent. The blockades are peaceful and therefore harmless, was another claim. How is obstructing ­people’s access to public spaces not an offence?

Josephine Bersee, Mid-Levels

Police should crack down on taxi drivers

I understand bus drivers’ resentment over their colleagues being issued penalty tickets because they let passengers off before a designated stop in Central.

They did so because they had no choice, taxis were parked ­illegally at the bus stop and so blocked it.

Instead of targeting bus drivers, police should be cracking down on illegal parking by taxi drivers. Officers have to confront this problem instead of subjecting the bus drivers to ­unfair treatment.

It can be difficult for cabbies to find spaces in congested areas, but that is no ­excuse for breaking the law.

Carson Cheung, Yuen Long

Surprised by flooding at new MTR station

South Horizons station on the new South Island Line was closed for a few hours on February 14, because of flooding caused by a burst water pipe.

South Horizons has brought a lot of advantages to residents who now have shorter travelling times. But how could this ­happen in a new station? Also, one passenger boarded the train at Wong Chuk Hang bound for South Horizons.

He was not told about the problems until he got on the train and then got an alternative shuttle bus at Lei Tung station (“Regular operations resume at South Horizons MTR station after burst pipe caused ankle-deep flood”, February 14). When such things happen, the MTR must keep passengers fully ­informed at all relevant stations.

Kathy Fung, Kwai Chung

Encourage students to exercise more

When you look at global surveys of exam results in academic ­subjects in schools, Hong Kong often comes near the top of the rankings. But, it does a lot worse when a study focuses on ­physical education (“City scores poorly when it comes to physical activity”, February 21).

This Chinese University report shows that less than half of those aged from two to 17 do the recommended one hour of physical activity per day. And less than a quarter of them will do sports with their families. These are not satisfactory statistics. One of the reasons is that students in Hong Kong face a lot of pressure, because of the need to try and do well in exams.

Children as young as three have to attend tutorial classes. Primary children also have to work hard to get into a top secondary school.

And the stress continues into secondary school.

They have little time left for any form of exercise. This is a pity, because regular exercise helps you relax and deal with stress. It can be something as simple as stretching or jogging.

Schools should have inter-class sports competitions.

Parents work long hours, but they should try to find some time to exercise with their children.

The government should ­encourage families to get ­involved in sports and organise a city-wide “Sport for all” day, opening its sports facilities to the public free of charge.

Laura Tam, Tsuen Wan

Resources not enough for many schools

The Education Bureau should be providing schools with the support they need to nurture the talent of all their students.

The goal of a good education system should be to give young people the tools they will need to overcome the obstacles they will face in life. They will be better able to do this if they can achieve their full potential.

However, helping students do this is not easy and some schools are not being given the resources they need to help ­students. Many have hidden ­talents that sadly stay hidden.

Jack Wong Tsz-lung, Wong Tai Sin