Letters to the Editor, March 18, 2017

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 March, 2017, 9:03am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 March, 2017, 9:03am

Commuters can try to show basic courtesy

The MTR Corporation recently produced a video clip urging passengers to put down their backpacks, which has gone viral and provoked heated debate.

I understand that it is quite impossible for passengers to put their bags down during the rush hour. But we will find that the clip is aimed towards asking that we be more considerate towards our co-passengers.

I feel really upset that the MTR needed to produce such a clip to remind commuters about basic manners and empathy. Given the increasing popularity of smartphones and advances in technology, it is easy to find people watching videos or sending and listening to WhatsApp voice messages on public transport. But do they ever think about turning down the volume a bit or plug in their earphones so that others are spared the noise?

I take the MTR every day. I usually opt for the quiet car because I want some quiet time to prepare myself for the long day ahead. But, it is not as I wish. People tend to turn up the volume on news broadcasts so that they won’t need headphones.

Not just video clips, the sound effects of mobile games are another common source of annoyance. It is definitely your right to play games on your phone while on the bus. But it would be so much better if I were not forced to listen to the sounds from your game of Candy Crush.

We frequently complain about teenagers not being considerate. But we adults should also reflect on our own ­behaviour. Please think about others.

Fiona Chan, Ma On Shan

Foreign stories help broaden minds of kids

Beijing is cracking down on foreign picture books (“What does China have against Peppa Pig?”, March 9).

I don’t think such restrictions are good, as it is beneficial for children to learn from books from different countries and cultures.

Most classic stories and fairy tales are from foreign countries, and they carry important messages about love, justice, being honest, and so on. Children should learn about values from famous stories, and broaden their horizons.Besides, I am against ideological control, as it limits critical thinking and prevents the country from being truly prosperous.

If we really want children to be protected from dangerous concepts, parents can play an important role in choosing what they read. But books should not be a way to impart ideology to children by the government

Lam Sze-tung , Kwai Chung

Light pollution causes harm in diverse ways

Light pollution in our city poses harm from several perspectives: health, economic and ­environmental.

Excessive exposure to light will bring negative health effects. People who live near commercial zones, such as Causeway Bay and Mong Kok, could develop insomnia as bright lights shine in all night. Some may even develop anxiety disorders. Light pollution can also cause depression, cardiovascular ­disease and cancer.

Excessive use of lights means people’s economic capacity will be hurt – as power bills will rise and they will also pay more in medical expenses.

Thirdly, the environment will be affected. Burning of fossil fuels will increase to meet the rising demand for power, and air pollution will worsen because of the greenhouse gases emitted, adding to global warming.

Targeted legislation and education could be a solution. People should be taught about the effects of excessive use of lighting, in order to raise their awareness.

As for legislation, the government may bring in a law requiring all buildings in commercial zones to switch off their lights during specific hours.

May Daculan, Tuen Mun

Food trucks showcase unique treats

I am writing to express my opinion on the food truck scheme in Hong Kong, which has been the talk of the town lately.

I believe the pilot scheme will encourage more people to start their own business and will boost tourism. Unlike unlicensed street stalls with their questionable hygiene, this scheme gives food hawkers a chance to start their own business. Food safety is also safeguarded, given the higher hygiene standards.

Second, food trucks can help boost tourism and the economy. Hong Kong’s cuisine is an exotic fusion of Eastern and Western flavours, such as yin-yang, a mix of milk tea and coffee. A wide range of fusion food can be introduced. Tourists will want to taste something unique, and placing food trucks in tourist spots can enhance their appeal.

Food trucks with high mobility and visibility are sure to be a hit. When they change locations, they bring convenience and fresh food to the public and tourists alike, and they can try something new instead of food from one fixed truck.

Regarding the criticism that the fare sold by the food trucks is too costly and unaffordable for most citizens, I would like to point out that it is just a pilot scheme, which can be adjusted after public feedback.

This could include lowering prices, or even creating an app to upload the latest information on food trucks. This can make sure people know where the trucks are, and lead to higher sales for the truck licensees.

Hui Wing-ka, Kowloon Tong

Street hawkers are a part of city’s heritage

I don’t think the food truck pilot scheme will benefit Hong Kong.

First off, the location of the trucks discourages visitors. The rationale was to boost tourism, but I don’t think the government has taken enough initiative to promote the scheme. The trucks are located far from tourists: just take the one in Tsim Sha Tsui. It is in Art Square, and you can’t even find it on Google Maps.

Second, unlike food trucks abroad, the Hong Kong versions are usually stationary and swap locations after two weeks. This makes it tough for tourists to have the latest information.

On the other hand, food trucks threaten the survival of street hawkers or traditional food sellers. Hawkers of street food, despite hygiene concerns, are a part of our heritage. Dai pai dong and hawker stalls are our local culture. With trucks threatening local eateries and stalls, how can they afford the rents?

Lastly, sellers may be put off by the numerous restrictions, such as location, rent and time frame, as well as the complicated application procedures. The government should improve the hygiene of street food and keep Hong Kong’s own identity.

Lam Yan-wing, Yau Yat Chuen

Cyberbullies causing pain around world

I refer to the article on online bullies (“Kids suffer in silence as cyberbullying contributes to youth suicide spike”, March 4).

Cyberbullying is an issue of concern not only in Hong Kong but worldwide. I was shocked to learn that six Hong Kong children had taken their own lives since the beginning of February . Youth suicide is rarely caused by any one factor, and ­cyberbullying is one of those ­factors.

Some call for police to monitor social media and online forums to prevent cyberbullying. But this will promote ­censorship and abuse of power.

Others suggest educating children that the online world is separate from real life. But, as most of our lives revolve around the internet, it would not be fair to say the web is irrelevant. There is no easy solution.

James Wong, Tseung Kwan O