Letters to the Editor, January 3, 2018

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 January, 2018, 4:49pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 January, 2018, 4:49pm

Children living in poverty still get a raw deal

The annual report of advocacy group Civil Children’s Ombudsman ­includes strong criticism of the government when it comes to helping low-income families (“Government failing on child poverty, study finds”, January 1).

The group gives officials only 25 marks out of a possible 100 for “their work in addressing child poverty”.

I agree with the report that the administration should do more to improve the situation for children living in poverty. Many of such children and their families have no choice but to live in subdivided flats while they join a long waiting list for public housing.

Officials should be looking at ways to alleviate the plight of these families, such as offering more allowances and subsidies to help them with, for example, daily ­necessities such as food and transport.

These parents struggle to supply their children with all that they require for school, such as textbooks. They need more help to be given the best chances, including the opportunity to achieve their potential in school and hopefully have a better life than their parents.

In 2018, the government must do far more for the children of Hong Kong than it did in 2017.

Ronnie Tse, Tseung Kwan O

Other nations have joint checkpoints

Joint immigration checkpoints work well in other parts of the world.

For example, Eurostar passengers can go through French and British checkpoints before boarding a train. It is the same in some Canadian airports [with US immigration officers] for travellers bound for the US.

These arrangements work well and no country sees them as a breach of sovereignty. There is already a joint mainland/Hong Kong immigration checkpoint on the mainland side of Shenzhen Bay bridge, and there have been no objections.

The proposed joint checkpoint at the West Kowloon ­express rail terminus will benefit Hong Kong citizens. It will ­enable them to take a fast train from Kowloon to mainland cities which are on the country’s high-speed train network.

They will not have to disembark and then line up for immigration and customs checks on the mainland. Beijing is taking a common-sense approach to this issue, with the National People’s Congress Standing Committee approving the plan last week.

Navis I. Kim, Sha Tin

Who cares about Lam’s lack of sleep?

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is apparently so busy that she can only get three to five hours of sleep a night (“Sleep and free time in short supply, says busy Lam”, ­December 28).

I admire Lam a lot and think she does a far better job as a leader than, for example, US President Donald Trump, but does she really have to share with us all her problems with lack of sleep? There are far more important issues to discuss.

Also, she is not alone in having to deal with sleep deprivation. A lot of Hongkongers don’t get enough sleep, including ­students who often have to stay up late to finish ­homework. As a society, we need to focus on more pressing matters.

Sandy Yuen Sum-ting, Kwai Chung

How to get kids hooked on reading

I refer to the report on parents needing to read more to their children (“Why are Hong Kong parents not reading to their children?” December 16).

Reading is important for everyone, especially children, as it helps them to learn and perfect a language. But it is not just about doing well at school. If children start reading at an early age, they can develop an enjoyable and lifelong habit. But getting them started can be difficult, as they may think reading is boring and they can learn more from online videos.

Parents should lead by example. If their children see them reading regularly, even on their smartphones and tablets, they might follow suit. And even though they have busy schedules, parents should set aside some time to read with kids.

Schools could also help, by organising parent-teacher reading ­workshops.

Jason Ng, Tseung Kwan O

Fight hackers with much better vigilance

Cyber hackers have wreaked havoc globally, affecting the ­operations of companies, governments and hospitals, and getting into the private accounts of ­celebrities and ordinary ­individuals alike.

It has become easier to do this with the growth of the ­internet and the fact that most of us use it and regard it as an essential part of our daily lives.

We communicate via hugely popular social media sites and apps such as ­WhatsApp, Snapchat, ­Instagram and Facebook.

However, many users, ­particularly young people, are unaware of the potential risks involved in failing to keep ­personal information secure.

Cybercriminals can hack into your accounts and use that data, such as credit card numbers, to make online purchases.

All users need to raise their levels of awareness and be wary of potential risks.

We must all do whatever is necessary to install the right kind of security in our computers, in order to make it much more ­difficult for hackers to break in and steal our data.

Katherine Chan, Kwun Tong