Letters to the Editor, March 25, 2017

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 March, 2017, 9:03am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 March, 2017, 9:03am

Imported idea of food trucks failing to adapt

The food truck pilot scheme was launched over a month ago, but feedback from both sellers and buyers has been negative overall, with some truck operators even talking about giving up, as they have suffered big losses .

There are two reasons for this setback. First, as the trucks are confined to specific locations, many customers may not bother to visit if travelling to these spots is inconvenient. The main difference between a food truck and a restaurant is that the truck has mobility, it can go where the customers are. If each truck can only operate in a designated location, then of what use are its wheels?

Secondly, the government has tried to import the food truck concept from the West, but has been unable to adapt it to local needs. In the West, food trucks can operate outside parks and offer seating options. Moreover, setting up costs are relatively low, which means their menu is affordable for all.

In Hong Kong, operators face stiff registration and licensing requirements, and costs of at least HK$600,000. The high start-up costs mean prices that most find unacceptable.

There are already street food sellers in Hong Kong. Why doesn’t the government restart the licence scheme for street hawkers, who sell traditional food at affordable prices from their carts?

Billy Sit, Tseung Kwan O

Office workers think scheme works a treat

There has been a lot of criticism of the food truck scheme. I work in the Tsim Sha Tsui area and, for me, the food trucks are a great addition to the usual old choices.

As a typical Hong Kong office worker, lunch for me often means long queues and cramped seats at restaurants. Having food trucks in accessible spots such as Central or Tsim Sha Tsui gives office workers a great alternative to eating at chain restaurants. Not only that, it gives me a reason to enjoy a walk to these scenic areas, not to speak of the opportunity to enjoy a variety of tasty treats.

I tried the fare from the food trucks at Tsim Sha Tsui and was pleasantly surprised. Some say the food is overpriced but, honestly, I found the price and quality quite reasonable, compared to what local tea houses and fast-food chains offer these days.

It’s still early days yet, and there will always be complaints about queues, location or prices. Any new scheme has its teething problems. I’d say let’s stay positive and give the food truck scheme a chance to prove itself.

Debbie Chung, Quarry Bay

Exercise can teach children key life skills

I refer to Angela Chow Hoi-chiu’s letter (“Parents should push benefit of more exercise”, March 2). There is no doubt that children nowadays lack exercise, given the exam-oriented atmosphere in Hong Kong.

Most teenagers are preoccupied with schoolwork and tend to neglect the importance of at least moderate physical activity. And parents tend to believe that sport distracts children from their studies. Moreover, schools often have limited budgets and resources, and tend to prioritise grades over sports.

It is a shame that parents and teachers in Hong Kong seem to be blind to the benefits of physical exercise, when in fact sports should be a key part of ­education and community life.

Experts around the world agree that regular exercise not only helps children become more fit, it imparts essential life skills, boosts their confidence and sense of well-being, and also fosters and cements their relationship with peers and parents. Sport also imparts important lessons in teamwork, discipline and sportsmanship.

Getting children to engage in physical activity is integral to ­ensuring they grow up ­physically and mentally healthy.

Sammi Lo Wing-sum, Sai Kung

Parents are the best monitors of well-being

The number of student suicides in Hong Kong since the start of the current school year hit 22 by early March. This has shocked many in society.

A survey shows parents think the causes for students choosing to end their lives are mainly negative thoughts, stress from studies and low ability to cope with the stress, exam pressure, ­and mental health problems.

Whether you attend a top-rated school or an average one, stress can build up. For some, the reason could be academic rivalry. Competition can be a double-edged sword – it can motivate but can also enervate, especially if one lags behind in spite of trying very hard.

The unrealistic expectations of parents can also cause youngsters to develop emotional ­problems, and even self-harm.

Parents should not just rely on teachers to monitor their child’s mental well-being. Teachers have many students to tend to, and they may miss the signs of a problem. Parents have to make time for their children, communicate and be more alert regarding their emotional state, so that they can address any problems as soon as possible.

Cases of student suicide can be reduced if we focus more on their mental health rather than school or work performance.

Randy Lee, Ma On Shan

Proud to be a Hongkonger because of Tso

I am writing to express my feelings over our golden boy of boxing, Rex Tso Sing-yu, extending his winning streak to 21.

Rex has the fire within to go after what he really wants; he has a dream. His feat made me wonder: “Can I devote my entire life to achieving my dream? Can I let my dream become my career?”

Soon after his latest ­win, Tso said: “Thank you for calling out my name during the fight. I felt like collapsing during the fight.”

I believe his skills in thriving under pressure are commendable. He knows he carries the hopes of thousands of people, and can still come out and give his best. His attitude towards spectators and fans is so heart-warming. Even after a gruelling bout, the first thing he did was express gratitude to supporters.

I am proud to be a Hongkonger because of Rex Tso. I am so proud of the fact that Hongkongers like him are trying their best to realise their dreams.

Phoebe Chung, Yau Yat Chuen

Gay moment a breakthrough in Disney film

I write in response to the controversy over the gay moment in the new Disney film, Beauty and the Beast (“Hong Kong school tells parents to stop their children watching new Disney film over gay scenes”, March 17).

I feel the inclusion of a gay character in a Disney film is a breakthrough, and the scene concerned should not be banned or deleted.

First, deleting a scene shows disrespect towards the filmmakers, and tampers with their vision. Secondly, deleting any so-called gay scene would lead to the misconception that homosexuality is inappropriate.

We all advocate tolerance and respect for the rights of others. So how can the authorities delete the scene, while advising the public to act with tolerance and care in our diverse society? Everyone has the right to pursue their love and follow their own sexual orientation.

In fact, the film can be a good chance to educate children about respecting different kinds of people in society.

Priscilla Ko Ka-ying, Tseung Kwan O