Letters to the Editor, January 6, 2018

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 January, 2018, 9:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 January, 2018, 9:00am

Long hours throwing life off balance

Hong Kong is globally renowned for its economic prosperity. However, there is a cost to maintaining such prosperity, and that is our long working hours.

A survey last year by investment bank UBS found Hong Kong had the longest working hours in the world, averaging 50 hours per week, compared with 39 for Tokyo and 41 for Taiwan.

It is obvious that the longer time you dedicate to work, the less time you have for rest. While Hongkongers place a high value on the financial rewards brought by long working hours, most seem to have forgotten the importance of having a good work-life balance.

Is it really impossible for long hours and a right work-life balance to coexist? I believe there are a few ways to achieve this.

One of the most effective ways is to fully enjoy rest days, and not bring any work home. The purpose of having holidays is to truly relax, so it is extremely injudicious to take on extra work during holidays. Time spent with family or loved ones during holidays helps reduce pressure and promote mental health.

Another key to work-life balance is drawing up a daily schedule of work and rest hours, and judiciously sticking to it. Tasks that are not done can wait. The only thing that matters is to have enough rest so that one is in a good mental and physical ­condition for the next work day.

Lum Chi-lok, Hang Hau

Lam’s fashion with a purpose is right attitude

I refer to your article on the chief executive’s fashion choices (“Carrie Lam’s fashion style comes with a purpose: to promote Hong Kong’s creative ­industries”, December 25).

I support Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on this. Our creative industries, such as fashion ­design, should be promoted more. These days, with more ­career development choices ­before them, some teenagers may choose the creative industries. However, many are apprehensive that these industries lack adequate promotion.

Hong Kong’s creative industries could do with more support from the top, as they create a lot of quality products that ­highlight Hong Kong features.

Carrie Lam is the first woman to become our chief executive. If the chief executive chooses to wear the work of city designers, she might be a great influence upon the public, who may then think local fashion designers ­aren’t too bad. That will increase interest and sales, and boost the sector.

More youngsters will then be attracted to the creative sphere and add to the talent pool there. This will contribute to the development of Hong Kong’s economy in the long run.

Chloe Sze Sin-ching, Kwai Chung

Beat gaming disorder with phone detox

I am writing in response to your article on gaming addiction (“Put down your phones if you are concerned your children may get gaming disorder”, ­December 30).

With rapid advances in technology over the past couple of decades, electronic devices are ubiquitous in society. Each time we step out of our homes, we can see people engrossed in their smartphones or tablets, maybe we are even one of them.

After the WHO announced it may add “gaming disorder” to its list of mental health conditions, many parents started to worry about time spent by their children on electronic gadgets. However, do the parents realise that they are addicted as well?

Again, it seems all liabilities are placed on parents, but have we considered the role of schools in making sure children do not use e-gadgets too much?

After all, teachers spend far more waking hours with children than do most parents. Moreover, many schools use tablets as part of e-learning. Then how can students stay away from the device?

In my view, everyone should practise putting down their phones for a while each day. For the sake of preventing teenagers from developing gaming disorder, this is what everyone around them must do. We should care more for our children, instead of our phones.

Cheung Wai-ting, Tsing Yi

No excuse for animal abuse to continue

It was really heartbreaking to watch a recent video of a man throwing and kicking a dog in a supermarket in Tuen Mun for no valid reason, and the dog too weak to resist such abuse.

All animals, strays included, deserve our respect and have the right to be protected from such vile abuse. All lives matter, not just human ones.

As humans, we are responsible for safeguarding and protecting the rights of animals. Animals feel pain just like us, there can be no excuse to vent our anger or frustrations with violence towards them.

Pet owners should also act more responsibly. Animals are not toys and we should not treat them as such. Abandoning pets when they are sick or too much trouble is also cruelty.

The frequent cases of animal abuse point to a desperate need for strict laws against this.

The government should use its power to ensure animals are properly protected, and review its policies frequently.

It is obvious that current policies of animal protection are not effective and stronger deterrents are needed, like increasing the fines and even jail time.

People who have a problem with animals, whether pets or strays, should seek help from the government or NGOs like the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Strict laws and harsh penalties are sure to make people think twice about hitting or abusing an animal.

Ethan Cheung, Tsuen Wan

Better policy needed to deal with strays

There is an increasing number of stray dogs on the streets of Hong Kong. Pet owners cite many reasons for abandoning dogs, such as their new homes being too small, or the animals becoming pregnant or sick.

Strays can cause serious problems for passers-by. First, the animals’ experience of being abandoned or abused makes them lose their sense of security, and they are scared of people or even their own species. That may make them react violently or even attack if ­approached.

Second is the risk of disease transmission. Since they stay outdoors and lack regular physical checks and vaccines, bacteria can grow on their bodies and infections like rabies can spread.

Public health is at stake. The government should take the responsibility to prevent pets from being abandoned. It should also set up a centre where stray animals are given regular physical checks and vaccines, and from where they can be taken home by new owners.

Secondly, the government should organise talks to educate potential pet owners on proper care of animals and what they should do when they can no longer keep them.

Wong Lok-yi, Yau Yat Chuen

Troubled stars are not unique K-pop feature

I refer to Yonden Lhatoo’s column (“K-pop is an infectious disease”, December 30). I do not agree with his assessment that Hallyu is “a pandemic of trashy, shallow entertainment”.

Suicide, plastic surgery or abuse occur in other entertainment industries as well. I don’t think Lhatoo needed to single out K-pop as reflecting a “deeper cancer in South Korea”.

Actually, there are many reasons for K-pop’s worldwide popularity: music style, lyrics, performance, and so on. The stars’ appearance is just one of the factors. There are talented and popular K-pop singers who have not had plastic surgery.

Moreover, as K-pop stars have to train hard for years to realise their dreams of performing, this inspires youngsters to work hard to reach their goals.

Chow Sin-ying, Kwai Chung