Letters to the Editor, December 27, 2017
Many young people are so disillusioned
Earlier this year, a youth policy consultation found that many young people were not interested in government plans to involve them in policymaking.
I think this is due to the breakdown of trust between our youth and the Hong Kong administration. It is a pity that so many of them feel this way, as the city will depend on them as future leaders.
If they are already giving up on their government, this does not bode well and calls into question the effectiveness of the administration. It needs the input of talented young adults when it comes to drafting the right policies that can help citizens of all ages and from different walks of life.
However, so many of these youth feel disillusioned, convinced that top officials will not listen to their ideas.
These officials need to recognise there is a problem and figure out how to deal with it and bridge the gap between them and young citizens.
As a young person in Hong Kong, I understand why this gap exists. I also realise that many youngsters are fully occupied with their studies or careers and have no time to participate in consultative groups that look at policymaking. But we cannot ignore what is happening around us. We have to show that we care about our society.
Cheng Sin-hei, Tseung Kwan O
Stop seeing depression as taboo subject
K-pop is hugely popular in Korea and throughout the region. However, the suicide of K-pop artist Kim Jong-hyun (Jonghyun) shows how much pressure these celebrities face. They are constantly in the spotlight because of their adoring fans and everything they say and do is analysed and sometimes criticised.
What happened to Jonghyun shows that there is a dark side to the entertainment industry. In a suicide note, he said he was “broken from inside” suffering from a depression that “finally engulfed” him. I suspect that many K-pop stars have mental problems that have not been made public.
It is also a reminder that mental illness is often a subject that is avoided in traditional Asian societies like Korea and Hong Kong. People are often reluctant to share their thoughts, especially if they are feeling depressed and lonely.
We all need to be more aware of those around us and be there to help a friend or relative when they are having mental health problems. It can make a big difference if you can show your support and be willing to listen.
Telling someone to snap out of depression is not the answer. You have to recognise this person has a problem and show that you are there to help them if they need it. In our society, we have to show more consideration for people with mental health problems.
Chloe Sze Sin-ching, Kwai Chung
Cut textbook prices with ring binders
I agree with Scarlet Poon’s letter (“Spread the word on used textbooks”, December 24) that we need to spend our resources and money wisely.
I think it is feasible for publishers to agree to modify all textbooks so that they are bound in ring binders. Editors can make revisions as they are needed. Students would then be able to purchase the pages with revisions and replace the old pages, by paying a fee, which would be a lot cheaper than buying an entire new edition.
This can be done every year in all subjects unless there is a major change in the curriculum and a new edition of a book is deemed to be essential.
Also, pupils can take the relevant pages from the binder that they will need in class on a particular day, which will lighten the load in their schoolbags. There have been many complaints about overweight bags.
David Lam, Mid-Levels
Trump making peace process more difficult
I do not think US President Donald Trump fully considered the consequences of his decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
It brought strong condemnation from leaders of Muslim countries or nations with a predominantly Muslim population. Even America’s closest allies in Europe refused to follow Trump’s lead on this contentious issue.
Previous US presidents have tried to restart the peace process in the Middle East and get both sides, Israelis and Palestinians, to return to the negotiating table.
However, this decision by Trump will make that process more difficult.
Billy Sit, Tseung Kwan O
Stereotyping caused by lack of dialogue
I believe that stereotyping is a common problem, affecting people from different generations and walks of life.
For example, older people often criticise the attitudes of millennials, saying they complain all the time, while others say they are misunderstood.
This can happen when there are different platforms of communication, so that young people mostly keep in touch on the internet and many older citizens do not use it as frequently and in some cases do not use it at all. This can result in a lack of dialogue.
Getting people with differing views and from a variety of age groups to talk can help to clear up prejudices and stereotyping and unproven suspicions and assumptions.
This is not just a problem between different groups in Hong Kong. Some local people create stereotypes which unfairly see mainlanders in a negative light, because of bad behaviour by some tourists from north of the border.
We all need to be more sensitive and tolerant.
Crystal Chu Yung-kuen, Kwai Chung