Letters to the Editor, October 25, 2017
Raise old-age allowance for dignified living
In her first policy address, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor focused on “people- oriented” policies for the elderly and underprivileged, displaying the new administrative philosophy. As a former chairwoman of the Commission on Poverty, it is expected that Lam will continue to provide further relief to the needy elderly in Hong Kong.
In this connection, I would like to mention that the Social Welfare Department has recently offered a “waiver of medical charges” to Old Age Living Allowance recipients above 75 years of age. This benefit can be availed by eligible elderly residents for treatment in government hospitals and clinics under the Hospital Authority.
KEY POINTS IN CARRIE LAM’S POLICY ADDRESS
Also, in line with the government policy, I suggest that the monthly old age allowance for those above 75 be raised – from the present HK$2,650 to at least HK$5,000.
This is to better take care of the special needs of such persons in view of their advanced age. The existing amount is hardly sufficient even for a single person to lead a comfortable life in a costly city like Hong Kong.
Since the number of such elderly persons is likely to be very small, the rise would not pose a significant burden on the sizeable financial resources of the Hong Kong government.
Dr B K Avasthi, Discovery Bay
No reason to set rules on loving China
I refer to your report on Beijing’s call for local teachers to teach patriotism by example (“Hong Kong teachers must love China to do their job properly, education chief says”, October 23). The headline led me to think about what a teacher’s job is.
I believe teachers are responsible for imparting knowledge to students and inspiring them to think analytically. However, Education Minister Chen Baosheng suggested that the job of teachers is to love China. This is not reasonable.
Both the teachers and the students should have the freedom to choose to love China or not. Anything else is an unwise way to gain support from Hongkongers.
Hongkongers may think the government is curtailing their freedoms and may choose to go against it, and be tempted to join anti-government socio-political activities, which will affect social stability.
Also, what is the definition of “love”? Having no clear definition, it is hard to execute the rule.
What if a teacher obeys China but, in his heart, he does not like China? It is impossible to figure out his true intentions, unless the government disqualifies all teachers who are under suspicion.
In my opinion, the government should not set a rule that all teachers need to love China.
Laurent Li, Tseung Kwan O
‘World City’ must be kind and fair to all
I am writing in response to the letter from Polly Lam (“Ethnic minorities must struggle with inequality”, October 17).
We should be respectful towards everyone, whether locals or other races. People who live in Hong Kong are Hong Kong residents, no matter whether they are Chinese or of other nationalities. We should be kind and fair to all.
People from the ethnic minorities may speak a different language and wear a different style of clothing. Their food is also different. All that adds to the diversity of our “World City”.
I have some friends of Pakistani origin, we get along very well and play together. I believe getting along has to do with respecting other cultures. Don’t make jokes about other people’s clothing or their Cantonese skills, they must be putting in a huge effort to communicate with us in our language.
Hong Kong is an international city where everyone is welcome.
Alice Li Wai Yin, Kwai Chung
Bullies can be reformed with proper advice
School is a place to uphold academics and morals, with no room for the kind of violence that is perpetrated by bullies.
Often, students with poor academic results tend to show off other talents by attacking their weaker or more diligent classmates, without any apparent reason. Some victims do not want to worry their parents and may choose to remain silent, but this only emboldens the bullies.
A special force to handle complaints about bullies would be good news for both students and parents.
Proper counselling services could also help to reform students who tend to bully, and make them responsible members of the school community.
Edmond Pang, Fanling
Retain two-tin limit on baby milk powder
I refer to your report on government officials wanting milk powder export limits to stay (“Lawmakers, district councillors rally against review of Hong Kong’s milk powder export restrictions”, October 14).
Restrictions introduced in 2013 ban travellers from transporting more than two tins of milk powder per person out of the city. Although continuing with the ban may affect business and sales, I think the government should not rescind it.
Firstly, the daily lives of people living in the New Territories would be adversely affected if travellers are allowed to buy unlimited tins of milk powder in Hong Kong, as parallel traders are likely to again flood the supermarkets and pharmacies near the border.
Local parents may again face a shortage of baby milk formula because of the rising population and great demand for quality milk powder in mainland China and elsewhere.
Secondly, there are many ways to improve the economy in Hong Kong. The service sector contributes a lot to the local economy. Restaurants and retailers help Hong Kong to generate a significant amount of revenue. Therefore, lifting the limit on milk powder purchase is not the only way to improve the business situation in Hong Kong and boost the local economy.
Maggie Chan, Kwai Chung