Letters to the Editor, July 5, 2017
So much waste created by new smartphones
Whenever a prominent technology giant like Apple brings out a new version of its smartphone, many well-off Hongkongers will flock to stores to buy it.
Some will queue overnight, so they can get the phone as soon as possible and show it off to friends. But each time a new model is introduced, such fans of novelty need to think of the wider implications and ask themselves if they really need it.
I understand if the smartphone they already have has stopped working and must be replaced, but generally this is not the case. If the old model is recycled and reused, then that is fine, but if it is not, then it generates so much waste.
We need to get back to the attitude people had when I was young. You did not replace an electronic device until it was necessary because it was faulty or not working at all.
The mindset of so many, that they must buy something just because it is new, is misguided. They blindly follow a trend but this is pointless, especially if the new device is not much of an improvement on the old one and costs a lot more as well.
We all need to be less wasteful when it comes to electronic devices. We should be using technology to improve our lives, not become slaves to it.
Anson Lam, Tseung Kwan O
Countries hit with travel ban should retaliate
I believe the six mainly Muslim nations which were included in the travel ban imposed last week by US President Donald Trump should retaliate.
These countries, Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, should pass their own executive orders, similar to the one signed by Trump.
These orders should bar all US citizens from entering all six countries.
These orders should stay in force until the US president has a change of heart, decides to act in a fair and decent manner, and lifts this travel ban.
K. M. Nasir, Mid-Levels
Public housing supply has to be increased
I agree with correspondents who have called on the government to substantially increase its provision of flats in public housing estates.
It is essential that a lot more of these flats are built, because the long waiting lists for public housing clearly show that there are not nearly enough of these flats available.
We still have many citizens who cannot afford to own an apartment and cannot even dream of paying the high rents charged for private flats.
The rise in the number of street sleepers highlights how serious the housing problem is in Hong Kong, with some people being forced out of unaffordable homes or subdivided units and ending up sleeping rough.
If we want to make Hong Kong a better city, much more must be done to help these homeless people, or at least ensure that they are housed in proper shelters.
Louis Fung Lam-lap, Sau Mau Ping
Students must get news from diverse outlets
It is common to find students obtaining information from a specific media outlet, such as a single newspaper or television news programme.
They may find this convenient, but it is not ideal. It can limit their perceptions and slow down the development of their critical thinking skills.
If they just access a single news source, it is difficult for them to be objective, as some sources will distort the news and this is counterproductive for youngsters.
That manipulation may be quite subtle and imperceptible, which is very bad for young people, as they may not be able to recognise this.
The whole point of liberal studies is to help young people develop critical and independent thinking skills. Therefore, I think that students should read widely, including international and local media.
This enables them to read about many different opinions and acquire all-round information. This can help them think in a wide-ranging way about a social issue that they are studying in school.
Wing Li, Tseung Kwan O
Waste charge could see trash left on streets
I think the original intention of the government proposal to impose a waste disposal charge on households is good.
It is in effect a “pay as you throw” levy.
The “polluter pays” principle can encourage people to change their bad habits and reduce the volumes of waste they generate.
It can also be an incentive for manufacturers to follow suit and be more environmentally friendly when it comes to marketing their products.
However, I am concerned about the feasibility of the scheme, and think it will be difficult to implement. Some people who do not want to pay the levy might simply dump their rubbish in the street.
Also, the charges will hit the catering sector hard, as it generates a lot of food waste and this could substantially increase their operating costs. Some firms could go out of business if overheads were too high.
Yau Hoi-yan, Yau Yat Chuen