Letters to the Editor, October 13, 2017
Firms can help staff strike the right balance
I am very proud to live in this vibrant city with its fast-growing economy and to enjoy so many rights as a citizen. However, it does concern me that the hours so many people have to work are too long.
One survey estimated that, on average, Hongkongers work more than 50 hours a week. This causes high levels of stress and I believe that is why we have dropped in the rankings of the world happiness index.
There have been calls for the government to introduce a standard working hours law, but that could be difficult to get through Legco. What it could do is approach employers and employers’ groups and emphasis to them the importance of helping staff achieve the right work-life balance.
Company bosses need to take a flexible approach and let an employee take a day off when necessary.
If they show they care, their employees will recognise this, and will be more cooperative and productive in the office.
And, people are far more likely to be motivated when they are in a comfortable working environment.
Citizens who cannot find a good work-life balance will often find that they are too tired to do anything when they get home, even pursuing their hobbies. Then, life becomes dull and meaningless.
Mianne Wong, Tsing Yi
Encourage cycling with better tracks
Some people who took part in last Sunday’s cyclothon have called for better facilities for cyclists in Hong Kong. They complained about the state of the surface on the route they were travelling on. Although there are cycling tracks, inferior surfaces can present problems, such as when there is too much gravel. This can be very painful if you fall off your bike.
The government needs to help make cycling a safe activity. It should have a comprehensive review of all cycle tracks and upgrade them where necessary.
These tracks also have columns in place to try to minimise collisions, but I have noticed that they are not effective, so officials must again see what improvements can be made. They must ensure all tracks are regularly maintained.
The government’s priority should always be to make the cycling experience for citizens as safe as possible.
Venise Lee, Yau Yat Chuen
New leaders must confront vested interests
Take a drive around the special administrative region and it is not difficult to identify land that could be used to provide housing.
Over the past 20 years, the Hong Kong elite has failed miserably to provide housing on the pretext there is a land shortage. It is therefore understandable many of the younger generation have feelings of discontent. By comparison, leaders on the mainland have consistently met the basic needs of their people.
Hopefully the new leadership in Hong Kong will have the courage to confront vested interests, acquire land that is needed to provide housing for the less privileged and demonstrate true leadership qualities.
The new administration can then go down in history as being a government of the people, for the people.
John R. Swainston, Tai Wai
Teach children sensible use of smartphones
I share the concerns of people about the long hours some children spend on their smartphones and computers (“Hong Kong children face health risk from too much screen time, according to new research”, October 6). Smartphone addiction is now a problem with some adults and children.
Research has shown that if children spend an inordinate amount of time online, they are at greater risk of developing physical and psychological problems.
It is right for parents to allow their children to use these electronic devices, but they are too young to understand the risks that come from overuse.
It is up to parents and teachers to help them learn to exercise self-control by limiting the amount of time they spend on their computers.
Also, they should be encouraged to join extracurricular activities which involve pursuits like sport that are healthy and take them away from computers for a period of time.
In this way, they can develop a sensible and balanced approach to the use of their smartphones.
As we become increasingly reliant on new technology in all aspects of our lives, we have to consider how it will evolve and if all the predicted changes and innovations will help us in the future.
For example, will some of the advances in artificial intelligence pose a threat to people? Could humans actually one day be replaced by robots?
Mable Shing, Kwai Chung
More will die thanks to lax gun laws in US
While US President Donald Trump expressed sympathy for the victims in the mass shooting in Las Vegas which left 58 people dead and 500 wounded, he refused to back calls to tighten the country’s gun laws.
The shooter, Stephen Paddock, was reported to have over 20 guns in the hotel room where he carried out his attack, raising questions about how one individual can have so many deadly weapons. Trump simply reiterated his argument that it is the right of American citizens to own and carry firearms.
If there is no change in the law and rules are not tightened, we will see more of these mass shootings. They can happen at any time and anywhere in the US. I am glad that in Hong Kong, citizens cannot own guns.
In the US, how can owners of several weapons argue that they have bought them all to protect themselves? This is a very selfish attitude and it makes no sense.
Sisca Chan, Tseung Kwan O