Letters to the Editor, October 14, 2017
Dumping of books a waste of resources
I agree with correspondents who have complained about too many used textbooks being discarded.
Buying textbooks is one of the most important processes every year before school starts. In this exam-oriented society, I don’t doubt that these books help students with their daily learning, as well as providing information for them to revise for exams. Yet, I don’t think that it’s necessary to buy a stack of textbooks which you may just read a few words of, or even not open more than a few times.
This may not seem a big issue to some but the cost of books is high and creates a needless financial burden for parents. Some students prevent reuse of the books by doodling on them and once they are seen as useless or out-of-date, they are dumped in landfills adding to environmental pollution.
To help cut this senseless waste, used book fairs could be promoted more widely. Second-hand books might not be appealing to some students but saving money and reducing paper waste should not be overlooked. Some books could be replaced by hand-written notes or online notes.
During lessons, teachers also could give students time to copy notes from powerpoints or online textbooks and this would strengthen their memories at the same time.
Amanda Chan, Hung Hom
US dollar peg no longer appropriate
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority should consider de-pegging the Hong Kong dollar from the US dollar to avoid a damaging slump in the local property market. It is inevitable that rates will rise in the years ahead and this will upset property valuations. Many Hong Kong residents have wealth tied to real estate in Hong Kong.
If we don’t push our government to de-peg, and allow our interest rate policy to move independently, then we will all suffer when US interest rates continue to rise.
Furthermore, we need to be backed with the Chinese yuan and not the US dollar any longer. The “one country, two systems” act will only last till 2047, after which there will only be one currency in Hong Kong.
For years our government has supported rising property prices; it’s time to consider protecting prices to avoid an interest rate-related local depression.
Rishi Teckchandani, Mid-Levels
Ban annoying phone marketing
Most people i n Hong Kong have been on the receiving end of cold calling by direct marketers and this practice, which is harassment, should be stopped. Cold calling is not the best way to promote and sell products.
These brokers will ignore their potential customers when they say they are not interested in buying anything and it’s little wonder people just hang up the phone in frustration.
Surely a smarter way to lure customers would be promoting their goods through the internet. Word of a useful or desirable product would soon spread via social networks.
Buyers need time to ponder over a website, and not be pressured on the phone.
Michael Hui, Tiu Keng Leng
Housing first priority, not green belts
I am responding to the report about housing and green belt worries (“Green group urges rethink over Tseung Kwan O public housing plan”,
According to the report, the Conservancy Association said an environmental assessment of the area missed several rare species of vegetation and the green group urged the government to rethink the design of the housing plan.
I realise that it is important to have some green-belt sites to help protect the environment, but it is far more important to have more public housing to provide everyone with a comfortable, liveable home. Increase house supply first, then consider how to ensure enough green-belt sites.
Chan Chak-chung, Po Lam
Youth should get involved in policymaking
It shocks me that some youngsters do not want to be consulted about polices by the government (“Hong Kong’s young people don’t want to be involved in policymaking, consultation shows”, October 2). Apparently they think the government will not listen to them and they feel they do not have enough experience.
If teenagers do nothing and don’t share their views with officials, how can the government know what young people are thinking? It’s important to at least try to make a difference by getting involved in policymaking and making the most of a chance to communicate with the government. If you never get involved, you will never have enough experience to try to make changes.
I think young people would be happy to engage in policymaking if they thought the government would listen to them and give them a voice.
I hope the government will listen to what Hong Kong’s youth are saying.
Walter Chong, Tseung Kwan O
Lamma beach garbage despairing
As a resident of Lo So Shing Village on Lamma Island, I am heartbroken by the complete disregard for our oceans. Despite the heroic efforts of hordes of volunteers (some coming from as far away as Japan just to do beach clean-ups in Hong Kong) on a near weekly basis to try to keep our beaches respectable, the reality is a lot of refuse with every tide that comes in.
Bags of garbage from the last clean-up still await collection and removal.
This garbage is not just the result of the mass of tourists that visit our island each weekend, but part of a much larger issue involving education and conservation efforts.
The piles of plastic, cans and other garbage are clearly affecting fish populations as well, judging by the number of dead fish washed up.
Will it only be when people of Hong Kong and mainland China start getting sick from contaminated seafood that something drastic will be done to change this embarrassing phenomenon?
R. Holtet, Lamma
Mass killing highlights gun control need
Following the worst mass shooting in modern US history, in Las Vegas, surely it is time to get serious about gun controls in the United States.
Many citizens would have hoped President Donald Trump’s reaction to the dozens of deaths and hundreds of wounded would have been stronger than just offering his condolences to affected families.
Trump should have been vocal in his support for a crackdown at least on the sale of military-style automatic weapons.
Besides the importance of controls on owning guns, checking of travellers’ luggage need to be much tighter. The gunman in the Las Vegas killings, Stephen Paddock, managed to get a pile of weapons, many of them large rifles, into his hotel room without any questions being raised.
Judy Fung, Tseung Kwan O