Letters to the Editor, April 26, 2017

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2017, 5:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 April, 2017, 5:00pm

Inhuman act by PM May’s government

Chris Patten, former governor of Hong Kong and chancellor of Oxford University, writing last month on the World Economic Forum website on the UK ­government’s acrimonious ­divorce from the EU, said: “Every twist and turn in the talks will be accompanied by xenophobic outrage on the right wing of [Prime Minister Theresa] May’s Conservative Party and in the tabloid press to which she is now so ­beholden.”

He says May’s ministers think “it doesn’t matter if we have no deal at all. We will ­simply walk away. No deal would not necessarily be a bad outcome, they insist, because the world is eager to do more ­business with us.”

Strangely for a prime minister whose actions are supposedly guided by Christian values, her government has a funny way of encouraging the world to do business with Britain. A recent action of May’s government was to deport, in an inhuman way, Singapore national Irene Clennell from Britain, as well as separating her from her husband, British-born children and a British grandchild (“Grandmother deported from UK ­despite being married to Briton for 27 years”, February 27).

Clennell, who was deported to Singapore with only the clothes she stood up in, supposedly lost her UK residency rights due to periods of time spent in her native Singapore caring for her dying parents. This signifies to me that Clennell possesses Christian, or human values. She also is reported to have been the carer for her sick husband.

What kind of government has Britain found itself with which behaves in such a ­barbaric manner, not only ­towards Clennell, but also ­towards her British husband, children and family? Does May’s government not have the ­slightest concept of right and wrong, of humanity and ­inhumanity?

Not only, however, does the British government expel the likes of Clennell, but appears also to be trying to expel, or make unwelcome, European citizens in ­Britain, including those married to Britons.

It is also helping to create a climate where Europeans or other ­foreigners are subject to verbal or physical abuse by ­racists and ­xenophobes.

Perhaps Singapore and other parts of the world might politely advise the British government that they will engage in trade agreements with the British ­government if and when it ­permits Irene Clennell to return home to her family, and starts to behave in a civilised manner ­towards others.

Ken Borthwick, Pok Fu Lam

We all need to start reading nutrition labels

We often assume that yogurt is a healthy choice, providing ­calcium and protein, but a ­Consumer Council survey has shown that is not always the case ­(“Sugar levels in yogurt far from sweet for Hong Kong ­watchdog”, April 18).

One problem shoppers face is the large choice of brands of yogurt on supermarket shelves. Also, some manufacturers, in order to attract customers, put quite a lot of sugar into their product which is not good for health. Those with conditions such as diabetes are particularly vulnerable.

Firms which put a lot of ­sugar into their products should act more responsibly. They should refrain from using so-called free sugars (syrups, cane sugar, fruit juice) and focus on naturally ­occurring sugars.

I must admit that I normally neglect to study the nutrition ­labels on products and the only thing I generally check is how many calories they contain.

I suspect many customers are like me, but we should start looking at these labels, because some products may be bad for us, ­including helping us to put on weight.

The government should try harder to raise awareness about this subject. It should encourage us all to think about our health when we are shopping and study these labels carefully ­before deciding whether to ­purchase a product.

Gigi Wan Yan-tung, Yau Yat Chuen

Sport for All should become monthly event

Youngsters in Hong Kong don’t get enough exercise because they have to deal with so much pressure from studies.

Parents work long hours, and so cannot act as role models and exercise with their children. There should be more physical activity lessons in schools.

The government must extend its annual Sport for All day so it becomes a monthly event. Free lessons in different sports should be offered to citizens. I would like to see more modern sports complexes.

Candy Kong Lok-son, Hang Hau

Exercise helps teens to deal with stress

A survey showing Hong Kong youngsters are not getting enough exercise should not be taken lightly. Public awareness must be raised before this ­problem gets worse.

Those young people who get no exercise and do not have a balanced diet could face health problems now and as adults.

Such a lifestyle can also have an adverse effect on their mental health, because getting involved in sport can help to relieve stress.

It is even better if teens can get involved in team sports as this can help them to meet more people and make friends. The support of your peers is important when you are stressed or even depressed, and do not want to share your concerns with parents or teachers.

A lot of youngsters are put off sport even if they are keen, ­because of the undue emphasis on academic studies in schools. This is one of the reasons Hong Kong does not do well in international sports competitions.

Parents should get their children to exercise more, but often make things worse by buying a smartphone and letting them spend a lot of time on it.

Schools should have more physical education lessons and encourage ­pupils who show ­athletic talent.

Jack Wu, Sha Tin

Worshipping online is not disrespectful

I refer to the letter from Joyce Li Hei-ying (“Personal touch of ­traditional tomb sweeping in Hong Kong lacking in online memorials”, April 15).

I can see the advantages of online memorials, especially when the weather is hot and visiting graves can be uncomfortable. Also, traditional tomb sweeping requires a lot of ­incense sticks and joss paper. It generates smoke which causes air pollution. Therefore, online memorials are more environmentally friendly.

It is difficult for busy family members to coordinate so they can all visit ancestors’ graves at the same time, so the online ­option is more convenient as well. I do not think shows disrespect towards our ancestors.

Kitty Kock, Kwai Chung