Letters to the Editor, July 24, 2017
Governments must work to clean up air
I agree with Cecilia Tang’s letter (“We must work with China to cut pollution”, July 15) about the worsening quality of the air in Hong Kong.
She is right when she says that the Hong Kong and central governments must cooperate to tackle the pollution problem on both sides of the border. Due to the rapid development and economic growth on the mainland in recent decades, the pollution issues have been exacerbated, especially in the Pearl River Delta.
Winds can directly bring pollutants like PM2.5 [the small particles in smog deemed most harmful to health] to Hong Kong. Both governments should set up guidelines and laws to limit the pollutants produced.
The adverse impact of air pollution is no laughing matter. Poor air quality is harmful to the respiratory systems of people, especially children, the elderly and those who suffer from respiratory diseases, leading to severe consequences.
Many local researchers show that there is a strong association between serious pollution and both hospital admission and premature death due to respiratory diseases.
Although the air quality health index can drop and return to the range of low to moderate, it is still necessary to raise the environmental awareness of citizens.
The government should encourage people to try and adopt green lifestyles. For example it should increase and improve the number of bike lanes and also improve pavements, so more people opt to cycle and walk where possible, instead of using private cars. I believe that it is about time for the government to promote new technology, for example, electric vehicles, which can greatly reduce the volumes of pollutants like carbon monoxide.
More action is needed to deal with the acute and exacerbating air pollution problem. Everyone must take responsibility to cultivate a clean Hong Kong.
Chan Kwan-ming, Sha Tin
Underground malls can ease flat shortage
The housing shortage is severe in Hong Kong.
Even people who are relatively well off cannot afford to buy a home.
Many people who are underprivileged, such as some elderly people, live in cage homes or subdivided apartments. Poverty has made the housing problem in Hong Kong extreme. Hong Kong has a successful economy, but people from lower income groups are not enjoying the benefit.
I think more underground spaces should be developed. Shopping malls can easily be constructed underground and this will then free up space for more housing developments at ground level.
This is a policy which the government should be looking into. It should plan these underground projects for the near future.
Katrina Chan, Tseung Kwan O
People with flu should avoid A&E rooms
So it seems everyone in Hong Kong is heading to the hospital because they have flu symptoms like a runny nose, headache and perhaps an increase in temperature.
They are crowding the accident and emergency waiting rooms at public hospitals and restricting entry to those who have a serious condition and really need immediate attention.
For goodness’ sake, if people have flu symptoms, all they need to do is buy some pills from their local pharmacy and relax for a couple of days.
Let’s get serious about who needs treatment at local hospitals and who doesn’t.
This is what happens everywhere else in the world.
Why are some Hongkongers so pathetic?
J. May, Cheung Chau
More citizens need to register as donors
There is a shortage of organ donors in Hong Kong.
People are being encouraged to register as donors, but many are still declining to do so. They need to realise that organ donations can save lives.
Because of the shortage of available organs, some patients die while waiting for an organ transplant.
Some people are resistant to becoming donors because of religious and other traditional beliefs, such as the belief that a body should remain intact in death.
It is a pity that some people are still unaware that by donating organs, they can make a big difference.
I hope that more Hong Kong people will accept that this is an important issue and will now decide to join the organ donor register.
Shirley Deng Shu-yi, Yau Yat Chuen
Students must be wary of smartphones
Most people now own a smartphone and it is very useful as it gives us greater access to the internet and all the wealth of knowledge you can find online.
However, some people develop an addiction to the internet, which can be very damaging. I think youngsters are particularly vulnerable.
Spending too much time on a mobile phone can be very distracting, especially for students who have to do a lot of homework in the evening after school. Their studies could suffer if they are spending all their spare time on a smartphone instead of studying. If they fail to complete their assignments, they will do badly at school.
It can also damage their relationship with friends and family if they are no longer communicating verbally, because they are spending all their time online. If they practise some self-discipline, they can gain a lot from using smartphones.
Shum Wing-yee, Kowloon Tong