Letters to the Editor, June 10, 2017

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 June, 2017, 9:01am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 June, 2017, 9:01am

Wider strategy needed to beat bias, and Aids

It seems Hong Kong’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community is slowly being accepted but too many citizens are still worried that HIV and Aids will spread if the lifestyles of sexual minorities are ­acknowledged.

Much more action is needed to educate people in the wider community.

Sexual discrimination should not be tolerated. Doubtless, most homosexuals have experienced prejudice and been shunned, which makes them angry and bitter towards ­society. Leading Aids concern groups should address this issue to prevent potential conflict, and in some cases, suicide.

Education is the key and all schools should have to teach pupils about HIV and the health risk of contracting Aids through unprotected sexual intercourse.

I also think the legal age limit for having sex should be raised to 18.

Younger teenagers are not yet mature enough and will not always be responsible or self-disciplined in any sexual ­encounter.

It is always important to ­remember that prevention is better than cure and strategies should be modified accordingly.

William Law, Sau Mau Ping

Graffiti is valid art form, not vandalism

I am writing to express my views about the regrettable reactions to graffiti in Hong Kong by some people.

Graffiti is a combination of history, local culture and the personality of artists. Unfortunately, it is definitely more ­popular in most Western ­countries than in Hong Kong. Our city’s geographical and historical background, through the integration of Chinese and Western culture and art, creates a unique, diverse and brilliant Hong Kong style. We are a multicultural city but graffiti is not widely accepted by the public or the government and it is ­dismissed only as a kind of vandalism. The government is quick to erase graffiti when it appears on public walls and at street venues.

Although this street art might have a short lifespan in Hong Kong’s public spaces, there are still artists creating work on the walls of restaurants, cafes and businesses.

These street artists aim to eliminate the citizens’ misunderstanding of graffiti: graffiti is not vandalism but plays an important role in expressing social needs and aspirations, as well as inner feelings.

Hopefully the authorities can be more tolerant so that citizens have a chance to appreciate this creative form of art. Hong Kong should not just be a ­financial centre but also an arts hub.

Katrina Chan, Tseung Kwan O

School outings should be left to students

Schools in Hong Kong, and elsewhere, should resist organising outdoor excursions for students and allow them to plan their own. This would be a valuable lesson in making the right choices and give them some of the freedom they crave.

Teachers need to keep challenging students, especially in primary school, to become more self-sufficient and excursion planning would offer them a chance to learn different skills such as planning an itinerary, reading complicated maps, linking transport routes and would improve communication skills.

Too many Hong Kong parents plan everything for their children, who then may struggle later in life.

Organising a school excursion would not only boost confidence and self-esteem but then if they can plan their own trip outside school as well, the health benefits of a more ­physical lifestyle will be a bonus.

The healthier the body, the quicker the mind and students’ academic results will improve.

Anson Lam, Tseung Kwan O

Shopaholics must learn restraint

I strongly agree with a recent Greenpeace survey which found that the shopping habits of Hongkongers are among the ­unhealthiest in the world.

This obsession with consumption is probably much more widespread than people think and it is important to stop what is an unnecessary drain on resources.

Nowadays, you see that many Hong Kong people are addicted to shopping. They lose control when items are on sale and buy things they don’t really need just because they are discounted. But it’s not just in the sales that people weigh themselves down with loaded ­shopping bags.

Many in the survey admitted they were bored when they went shopping and unfortunately this addiction is nothing new in a densely populated city where an alternative of taking time out in spacious greenery is not easy.

To solve this problem of overconsumption, I have some suggestions for shopaholics. First, they need to examine why they shop and not ignore or sweep the issue under the mat. Secondly, shoppers should think twice before buying things, no matter whether they are cheap or expensive.

If people pause to ask themselves if they really do need to go out and spend, they might opt for a more productive pastime.

Kam Yung-kwan, Yau Yat Chuen

Retraining key tool to help unskilled

Some correspondents have questioned the effectiveness of the new minimum wage rate which came into force last month. They say it won’t help the poor and the government should lower subsidy thresholds and provide more job opportunities for low-skilled workers.

I don’t think the minimum wage rate is useless but the government should do more than implement a HK$2 increase.

There are always people who will struggle to get work and the minimum wage cannot help them and so I agree with Joyce Chang (“New minimum wage rate is not helping people”, May 7) that providing more job opportunities for low-skilled workers would do more to raise living standards of the poor.

The government can provide retraining for low-skilled workers, then offer entry-level jobs for extra experience. More generous welfare payments for the poor would help, as would some training to promote the idea of self-help through finding a job.

Jenny Sit, Tiu Keng Leng