Letters to the Editor, November 21, 2017

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 November, 2017, 4:57pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 November, 2017, 4:57pm

Not all citizens are uncaring and selfish

To some extent I agree with those who say that Hongkongers have become more selfish and aggressive, for example, when they want to grab a spare seat on public transport. In her column (“Do you hold the lift door for a stranger? The answer says a lot”, November 14), Luisa Tam says that people often do not hold lift doors open for ­strangers.

I think sometimes we can mistakenly see someone’s ­action as rudeness when that is not the intention. Hong Kong is a highly efficient, cosmopolitan city, and many residents have difficult and demanding jobs.

They commute on a crowded public transport system during rush hours and have to succeed in this fast-paced society. People are often in a rush as they commute, and also in the office where they face a lot of pressure from a heavy workload.

They are not going out of their way to be rude or nasty, but are focused on getting to their destination.

In fact, there are a lot of kind people in this city. Tam referred to one in an earlier article, a restaurant owner in Sham Shui Po, known as “Ming Gor”, who provides free meals for the underprivileged.

Of course, there are people who are downright rude, but we should not judge a city by the few bad ­apples.

Joey Wong, Tai Po

Even in school, children very competitive

I agree with what Luisa Tam says in her column of November 14, that there has been a major change in the behaviour of Hong Kong people. In the past, residents chatted to neighbours and, when needed, would give them a helping hand.

That kind of attitude no longer exists and now it has got to the point where you won’t even hold a lift door open for a ­stranger.

I was once rushing to a tutorial class and the person in the lift pressed the close-door button. It made me really angry. Couldn’t they have just waited for a few seconds?

You see many examples of rude behaviour and sometimes this leads to conflict. The pace of life is fast in Hong Kong and this often creates feelings of tension and anxiety.

People walk fast to get to their destination; they do not have time for others and their needs. And this high-pressure way of living ­extends to the ­education ­system.

Children are taught that the most important thing is to get good exam results.

They see themselves as being in competition with their classmates. They will often not share notes or study material.

It is a shame that Hong Kong has developed into such an ­aggressive and overly competitive society.

Kimberly Chan, Yuen Long

All shoppers should make green choices

I agree with Joy Al-Sofi that ­excessive packaging is bad for the environment (“Waste charge should aim to cut packaging”, November 8).

Consumers seem to want products that have special ­packaging, even when it is ­unnecessary. Even a small item can be enveloped in thick plastic wrapping and this creates so much waste.

When we are shopping, we have to make a conscious decision to be environmentally-friendly and choose products with the minimum packaging.

Janet Cheung Cheuk-lam, Kwai Chung

Youngsters must speak out against bullies

You see posters in schools ­announcing a policy of zero tolerance when it comes to dealing with bullying, but such behaviour is still rife. The Department of Health even holds talks in schools to help pupils deal with mental health issues resulting from bullying, but it ­remains a serious problem.

Unfortunately, pupils are sometimes reluctant to come forward as witnesses, concerned that they could then be targeted by the bullies.

Bullying is a serious issue both inside and outside the classroom. It can take various forms, including verbal, physical and ­cyberbullying.

Zero tolerance must mean just that, and more must be done to encourage young people not stay silent if they witness an act of bullying. Schools must also encourage pupils to always report ­incidents.

Schools have to do more to curb bullying and make sure that the victims get the support they need, instead of so often feeling helpless and isolated.

Laura Tam, Tsuen Wan

Custodial sentences can be a deterrent

The government should establish new laws with tougher punishment for people found guilty of bullying, including custodial sentences. Anyone under the age of 18 can be sent to a facility for young offenders.

People might think twice about bullying if they know they could be jailed and then come out with a criminal record.

The government also has to raise levels of awareness, so ­people realise that this is a serious problem and that anyone who witnesses bullying must report it to the authorities.

Other things can be done, such as having smaller class sizes in local schools. This has happened in Japan and has led to a decrease in the incidence of bullying.

Leo Tse, Yau Tong