Letters to the Editor, January 8, 2018
Pricier buses can help ease congestion
There were some negative comments about a proposal by KMB which showed a misunderstanding of the objective of these new services (“50pc fare increase for premium bus services ‘too high’ ”, January 4).
I was away from Hong Kong for a long period last year and since returning I have noticed a marked worsening of traffic congestion – not just on Gloucester Road, but also on Nathan Road and around Hung Hom and Kwun Tong.
It would be logical for the government to restrict private cars usually carrying only one or two persons from busy parts of Hong Kong, while promoting use of buses which carry up to 150 passengers. Premium bus services, at a modest 50 per cent premium, with greater comfort and faster journeys, offer good value compared with standing for an hour on a standard bus or a train on the West Rail Line.
These services also offer a very cheap alternative to using a private car and parking in Central or using a taxi.
With inevitable future restrictions on private cars, I predict there will be scope for even more luxurious services in the future. How about buses with 50 per cent more leg room, serving milk tea and the South China Morning Post for HK$100 from Yuen Long?
Glyn Thomas, Tsim Sha Tsui
Boost recycling sector with subsidies
Because of new import restrictions imposed by China for waste, the Hong Kong government has revised its advice to citizens in recycling (“New recycling policy targeting plastic and paper types not well-received by Hongkongers”, December 30).
It wants people to deposit only two types of plastic and three types of paper into recycling bins. This will leave some citizens confused about what they can and cannot put in a recycling bin and could lead to a lot of other items not suitable for recycling being thrown into the designated bins.
When there was a temporary ban on recycling paper last year I saw a lot of paper just discarded on the streets.
What the government should be doing is developing the recycling sector so that more plants can be opened here. It can achieve that by offering generous subsidies. The ultimate objective should be to reduce the huge volumes of waste ending up in landfills.
If we were handling our own recyclable waste, the government would not need to introduce these latest restrictions on some plastic and paper.
Tsui Kit-lam, Kwai Chung
Reforms in education are long overdue
I think local students are lagging behind their counterparts in countries like Singapore and South Korea, when it comes to being competitive, because of the education system.
With STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) education greater emphasis is now placed on encouraging pupils to be innovative and acquire problem-solving skills through trial and error.
The rote-learning culture here does not encourage this kind of independent thinking that would enable youngsters to excel in STEM subjects. They may do well in exams, but they are not being taught to be team players and leaders in society.
The government should reform the spoon-feeding form of learning in schools.
Beatrice Fan, Sha Tin
Stricter food labelling can curb obesity
With the problem of obesity among schoolchildren in China getting worse, the government needs to act to promote healthy lifestyles. One way of doing this is to impose tighter controls on food labelling.
Many food manufacturers in China are reluctant to print a full list of all the ingredients on packaging, especially if what they are selling has high salt, sugar or fat content.
Parents need to be able to make educated choices so they can help their children have nutritious diets and lose excess weight. For example, they can avoid food which is high in calories.
This can help the country to deal more effectively with obesity among young people. This problem with obesity was caused by the introduction of the one-child policy, which led to parents often spoiling their only child.
Vanessa Wong Lok-yu, Kwai Chung
Regulations for subdivided flats necessary
Unfortunately many citizens on low incomes have no choice but to live in unhygienic subdivided flats. And their plight gets worse in the summer when with they have to endure high temperatures because of poor ventilation and poor or non-existent air conditioning.
As it is unlikely that this kind of accommodation will disappear in the near future, the government has to take action so that conditions are more tolerable for residents.
It must impose regulations forcing landlords to provide air conditioning and sufficient ventilation as some of the units have no windows and the residents no access to decent ventilation.
It should also be offering subsidies to grass-roots families staying in these apartments so that they can purchase fans that can make them more comfortable in the summer.
Helen Woo, Yau Yat Chuen