Letters to the Editor, December 20, 2017
Think carefully before deciding to adopt a pet
A lot of people consider adopting pets in Hong Kong and some may be considering it at this time of the year. However, they must think very carefully about this before deciding whether to go ahead with an adoption.
They have to look at their own lifestyles and their accommodations and ask themselves if they can realistically cope with an adopted cat or dog, given that this a major commitment that lasts for the life of the animal.
Unfortunately, a lot of people who buy pets do not think it through and the animals end up being abandoned and often have to be put down by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department or organisations like the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
It is especially difficult to look after a pet in this high-pressure society where so many people have to work long hours. Some pets, such as dogs, should not be left alone for long periods at home, and potential pet owners have to think about this.
The problem of abandoned animals is serious in Hong Kong and I hope all citizens will act sensibly when they are thinking about taking on the responsibility of a pet.
Peter Tam, Tseung Kwan O
Dumped bikes can find new lease of life
The bike-sharing industry on the mainland has run into a few problems.
Some bike-share firms find it tough to survive. They struggle to make enough to even cover the cost of purchasing the bicycles. With so many operators there is a lot of competition and so they cannot make the hire charge too high.
There is also the issue of some users dumping a bike on the pavement rather than returning it. A lot of these bicycles, some of which have been stolen, are discarded in this way.
Some firms that have failed to break even and go out of business also sometimes just dump their supply of bikes. At the moment there are just too many companies and this is not sustainable, with supply massively exceeding existing demand.
The local authorities in mainland cities and towns should not dump discarded bikes in landfills. They should find a way for them to be put to good use by giving them to citizens on low incomes whose children could use them to get to and from school.
It is bad for the environment when tonnes of bikes are thrown into landfills when they could still be ridden by citizens.
Angela Fok, Kowloon Tong
Children gain so much from regular reading
I refer to the article (“Why are Hong Kong parents not reading to their children?” December 16).
So many parents have to put in long hours at work and are tired when they get home in the evening. They may want to read to their children, but do not have the energy. Also, by the time they get home in the evening their children may already be in bed asleep so they do not get a chance to read a book together.
Also, children are busy with their homework and so their time is limited and they have to get a good night’s sleep so they are not tired the next day at school. And with the growth of new technology some children would rather play a computer game than read a book.
However, despite these obstacles, parents should appreciate the importance of reading with their children. It can help to build a closer relationship.
If people get into a reading habit in childhood this can become a lifelong and rewarding habit. And it helps youngsters develop their creative and critical thinking skills.
Parents should be encouraged to try and allocate time to read with their children.
Ng Tsz-wing, Tseung Kwan O
Buskers are welcome in the right locations
Busking is becoming increasingly popular in many cities including Hong Kong.
You see a lot of buskers in some urban areas throughout the day, in particular, Tsim Sha Tsui.
However, there have been complaints, for example, from nearby residents and business owners, who have concerns over noise pollution and congestion problems.
I think busking can have a positive effect on the city’s street culture, as long as it is properly regulated to avoid disruption and excessive noise. Street artists are often popular with tourists.
At all times the buskers must act responsibly and avoid locations where they will cause problems for residents.
Daniel Hui, Hang Hau
Smart city status will help boost economy
There has been a lot of discussion about how to move forward with the development of Hong Kong as a smart city through enhanced use of information and communication technology, or information technology.
The six components of a smart city are smart economy, smart environment, smart people, smart mobility, smart living and smart government.
Hong Kong already has the advantage of being an international finance centre. Making further advances in IT will strengthen our position, boost our economy and improve the living standards of citizens. Where necessary we must import the necessary IT talent if people cannot be found from the local workforce.
Fully embracing the smart city concept, for example, with internet-controlled water supplies and fully coordinated traffic systems will improve efficiency in our daily lives.
Ensuring that Hong Kong climbs the global rankings in smart city league tables will improve our international status.
Laurent Li, Tseung Kwan O