Letters to the Editor, November 14, 2017

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 November, 2017, 5:04pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 November, 2017, 5:04pm

Schools should do more to spot troubled teens

Studies have shown that many Hong Kong youngsters tend to have a negative attitude towards their studies. From what I have ­witnessed, this would appear to be true.

The problems start at junior secondary level when you are faced with a heavy workload, ­including homework, extracurricular activities and tutorial classes, which often leave you ­exhausted. Some pupils may be able to cope with the pressure, but ­others cannot.

Schools need to try harder to spot those who are struggling with their workload, so that they can be given the help they need.

It is important to keep the lines of communication open. When youngsters bottle up their feelings of anxiety and do not feel comfortable sharing them with someone, things get worse and some take their own lives.

If they can share these ­feelings and be helped to develop positive attitudes, it can make a real difference and they will grow in self-confidence.

Youngsters need to learn to not become obsessed with their studies and understand that there is more to life than good exam results.

Ng Wing-shan, Yau Yat Chuen

Intolerance will not end with Games

Luisa Tam condemns the government’s lukewarm reaction to the city winning the Gay Games bid for 2022 (“Government shows true colours with its response to Gay Games”, November 7). As a gay man and initially asked to be involved with this bid, let me frankly respond to her comments.

The bid was never supported by any government officials. They neither provided support nor sought to dissuade, they ­remained neutral. That the bid is successful is good but, to be blunt, it is not something that the majority of Hong Kong citizens are particularly focused on.

The city faces several issues right now and 2022 is deemed too far away. A sporting event, gay or otherwise, is not a priority. Discrimination will exist, before, during and after the games.

Those who argue that for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community to demand acceptance and tolerance and then request the opposite by hosting an event deemed exclusively for them (yes, we know the games are open to all sexual ­orientations), only confuse the issue.

Tolerance of alternate lifestyles can never be won if it is placed on a pedestal of egoism.

The government has “noted” the win and I am confident it will seek to liaise with the relevant people to ensure that by 2022 the city will be ready to proudly host an international event that reflects the open-mindedness of Hong Kong.

The success in winning this bid should be used as an avenue of communication with the majority of Hong Kong people who still question a lifestyle they remain ignorant of.

Winning the bid was the easy step, educating the city that tolerance of diversity isn’t just for an event in 2022 but a journey for life, is what is now ­required.

Mark Peaker, The Peak

Nations still failing to tackle air pollution

I refer to the report on pollution in the Indian capital (“New Delhi’s deadly winter smog reaches 10 times that of Beijing”, November 9).

This toxic smog affects daily life in Delhi, with many staying home when pollution levels are at their highest, or forced to wear masks if they step out. As the report pointed out, the poorest are more vulnerable, as they cannot afford the inflated prices charged for protective masks.

The situation in Delhi highlights a problem that affects cities around the world. All nations, developed or developing, must do more to tackle air pollution.

If action is not taken, then more citizens in cities like Delhi will die from breathing bad air.

Sara Wong Ching-wa, Kwai Chung

Healthy living depends on healthy eating

Because they face such a busy schedule at work, many Hong Kong citizens have unhealthy eating habits.

They grab quick meals and often it is fast food, with a lot of trans fats and salt or sugar. This market is monopolised in Hong Kong by chains like McDonald’s and Maxim’s MX.

They are very popular here because their meals are cheap, and it only takes minutes to ­order and get your food.

Their priorities are speed and efficiency, rather than nutritious meal choices that can actually be good for your health.

It is time for citizens to start paying attention to their eating habits and the Hong Kong government has a responsibility to help. It should be doing what it can to encourage people to adopt healthy ­eating habits.

The government should try to get the healthy eating ­message across to citizens of all ages, educating them through adverts on TV and online.

Also, diet-related campaigns should be launched in schools. Young people need to know how their health could be ­adversely affected later in life if they maintain an unhealthy diet now.

Carrie Chong, Hang Hau

Arrival times for luggage getting longer

I refer to the letter from Doug Miller (“Airport falling short of former high standards”, ­November 7).

The approved design criterion for Hong Kong airport was for the first bag to arrive at the carousel not later than 12 minutes after the aircraft docked at the gate. This criterion had often been met in the past but it would appear that it is now rarely, if ever, the case.

I would therefore request the Airport Authority to publish the shortest, longest and average time between docking and the first bag arriving at the carousel.

If these figures are substantially below the design criteria, what steps are being taken to ­improve the situation and what will be the impact of a third ­runway?

Heinz Rust, The Peak