Letters to the Editor, July 6, 2017
All millennials with helpers are not lazy
As a 20-year-old who was taken care of for more than 15 years by a domestic helper, I share some sympathy with Peter Kammerer’s argument that certain young people, me included, have been spoilt and overindulged at times (“Having a helper leaves Hong Kong youth lazy and spoilt”, July 4).
However, I totally disagree with the sweeping characterisation that all millennials are lazy, entitled, and spoilt.
On the contrary, I think Hong Kong’s youth face a very tough road ahead. With an extremely competitive education system and a daunting job market, many students are focused on working hard for their entire lives just to afford a flat.
To say that all young people are lazy does a disservice to the many of us who are committed to our studies, hoping to have a better life for ourselves, our parents, and the next generation. Yes, we might have had a leg-up in terms of resources that the last generation did not enjoy, but consider this: what was the percentage of the population that went to university three decades ago? Were they able to secure a job with relative ease a decade ago?
I wish Kammerer would spend more time condemning unpaid internships.
Instead of generalising and joining the “blame millennials” bandwagon, a more productive conversation that we should have is how we prepare millennials for the future, given rising home prices and a constantly evolving job market.
As to Kammerer’s point that those who have maids do not put weights back onto the rack, let me say that correlation does not imply causation. Just because ice-cream sales at 7-Eleven and Hong Kong’s spending in education are both going up, this doesn’t mean ice-cream consumption is the cause of higher education spending.
William Pang, Sai Wan
Identity classes could leave some confused
New Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has said that she wants to instil in Hong Kong children, from kindergarten onwards, a “sense of being Chinese”. Can she confirm what this means for my children, who are Eurasian, and my Pakistani and Vietnamese neighbours’ kids who also attend local schools?
Will they be exempt from these classes and what would replace them?
Incidentally, could she explain why Hong Kong’s lawmakers are so keen to implement such measures, when most of them send their own children to international schools or overseas to study?
Cecilia Li, Fanling
Light pollution has reached serious levels
There has been a downside to the rapid development of Hong Kong, including higher levels of light pollution.
We are seeing ever more and larger shopping malls. They have brightly lit advertising hoardings on their external walls to draw passing pedestrians. If the lights are too bright, some nearby residents will have trouble getting to sleep.
When I returned to Hong Kong after studying for a few years in Canada, I was taken aback by the bright lights from these walls and they actually hurt my eyes. This brought home to me how serious the light pollution problem is here.
I hope that measures can be taken to deal with this problem. The government must introduce legislation to limit the time that malls and shops can keep their bright exterior lights on.
For example, the strongest lighting should be switched off between 10pm and 6am. Malls and shops should also introduce voluntary measures to cut pollution levels.
What is needed above all is cooperation between citizens and the government.
Kevin Lee, Hang Hau
A good night’s rest is part of healthy living
Smartphones are often blamed for disrupting our ability to get a good night’s sleep. However, there are now apps available which can improve our quality of sleep.
The development of such apps highlights the importance of getting enough rest at night, which is difficult for many adults and students in Hong Kong who put in long hours. Some youngsters can only get around seven hours of sleep, which often leaves them feeling tired and bad-tempered the next day.
We have to try and ensure we get enough sleep at night.
Cheung Wai-sum, Yau Yat Chuen
Pull the plug on deafening drilling in flats
Surely it is time that the Environmental Protection Department or other departments imposed more controls on the amount of noise made during the renovation of flats, given the disturbance caused to other rent-paying tenants in the building.
It is unacceptable that three pneumatic drills are allowed to completely gut a flat that has people living above and below. The workers are required to wear ear protectors, but what about the damage to the other residents of the building?
Ordinary renovation is bad enough, but coping with pneumatic drills while looking after three young children when you cannot hear each other speak, let alone put a child down for a nap, is totally unacceptable.
I would like to know what level of noise inside a building during this type of demolition is acceptable. It is another example of the greed of landlords and property owners in Hong Kong.
Judith Ritchie, Lantau