Letters to the Editor, January 20, 2018

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 20 January, 2018, 9:01am
UPDATED : Saturday, 20 January, 2018, 9:01am

Cut pollution with electric motorbikes

The Hong Kong government is trying to reduce air pollution caused by vehicles, and with good reason. Anyone who has followed a diesel-powered bus or lorry can see and smell the pollutants.

There is a programme to replace older diesel-powered vehicles by offering incentives, based on the age of the vehicle, but more should be done to improve the air quality on our streets. The transport authority should encourage the use of electric-powered motorcycles, preferably the three-wheeled models which can be more ­easily driven and parked.

The benefit? An immediate reduction in polluting fumes and noise at street level and a better utilisation of street space and parking space.

Some may argue that electricity generation also causes pollution, but it is dissipated high into the sky, not directly into our lungs on the street.

If the transport authority were to buy cars from their owners and replace them with a shining new electric motorcycle, I’m sure thousands of polluting cars would be removed from the roads within a year and we could all breathe better air. The purchased cars could be sold to places with less congestion and better air currents.

Jack Khong, Tai Kok Tsui

E-sport image needs buffing by government

E-sport, or competitive video gaming, has become very popular but needs government help if it is to gain wider acceptance with Hong Kong parents and the public.

Last year’s music and e-sports festival in Hong Kong was a good start but much more promotion is needed. The government seems unwilling to devote more attention and support to e-sport but it should help educate the public.

Many people think that those who play computer games are freeloaders and symbolic of teenagers who don’t like to study. Most parents stop their children from developing a career in e-sports and the government needs to spread the message that e-sport is not just a hobby but can be an alternative career path.

More government resources would greatly help development of e-sport and its image in Hong Kong. Why are so many South Korean players champions, regarded as celebrities and household names who earn big money in tournaments and sponsorships? It is because the Korean government created the Korean E-Sports Association years ago to manage e-sports and teams.

The Hong Kong government should learn from Korea by training its own e-sports team. Players need intensive training and practice and the ­government should offer ­financial aid.

Jimmi Pang, Tseung Kwan O

Healthy living begins at an early age

Problems with tainted food are not uncommon, but we can all do more to avoid potential health issues by being careful in choosing what to eat.

Occasional food poisoning is certainly not pleasant and may be unavoidable in some cases but if we eat the wrong food often enough, we run the risk of much more serious illnesses. For example, many people will buy preserved meat instead of picking up some fresh cuts simply because it is cheaper, more convenient but still tasty.

People just have to take simple precautions when choosing what to eat.

Adults should know better but children need help to avoid health problems associated with increasing obesity among young people.

It’s not just high-fat junk food that adds weight, but lack of exercise. They must make time for exercise and develop dietary discipline for a healthier adult life.

Ma Suet-sin, Yau Yat Chuen

Developers allowed their own rules

The Buildings Department has made a comprehensive study of buildings in Hong Kong, Kowloon and the New Territories and sent out notices to tenants and landlords to remove illegal structures.

Small air-condition ducts and flower pots did not ­escape their attention.

It is therefore a puzzle how they missed the illegal structures in houses belonging to former financial secretary Henry Tang Ying-yeng and former chief executive Leung Chun-ying, and in one now owned by incoming justice chief Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah.

Did the department have to learn of these structures from the news-hungry media ?

What is wrong with home improvements by landlords who have a vision to upgrade the ambience of their house?

They should be allowed to by using registered engineers but instead they are being asked to demolish and thereby increase construction waste.

In contrast, our pampered developers are allowed to make alterations in their shopping malls without government ­hindrance.

One complete elevator in the original plan of a shopping mall in Tsim Sha Tsui was removed to gain more retail space. In another mall the original entrance was turned it into a new shop.

Many other shopping malls have congested their passageways by opening up more ­pop-up stores.

Why are they not being classified as illegal by the government? Are these large developers ungovernable?

Choith Ramchandani,Tsim Sha Tsui

Take pressure off young schoolchildren

I agree with correspondents who have said that the high stress levels pupils suffer in local schools are unacceptable.

As many have pointed out, learning is important but it must be effective learning.

For many children nowadays learning is just for academic results and not about acquiring knowledge. They are not appreciating the learning experience.

In my view, the policy address from Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in October was not that helpful, because it just referred to how much money was budgeted for equipment and hostels for universities. She did not offer any change to the curriculum that gives young children too much stress.

I suggest the Education Bureau cancels the extra exams for Primary Three students such as the basic competency assessment (BCA) and we should also have a higher weighting on sport and other subjects instead of the four main subjects.

Social mobility in Hong Kong is lower than countries such as the United States or the United Kingdom.

Having a higher weighting on other subjects will help in better-balanced social mobility in Hong Kong.

Alan Ong, Tseung Kwan O

Trains and buses no match for car comfort

I keep on reading letters about the increase in private cars on Hong Kong roads but nobody seems to be addressing the real issue.

More individuals are deciding to buy cars because they want the comfort and status, and they need to transport their families but also the population is increasing – mainly through migration from the mainland.

Until we convince wealthy individuals it is a good idea (and they won’t be looked down upon) to take public transport, things aren’t going to change, no matter how good the transport system is.

It is crowded at times and making it more comfortable might help.

Andrew Tjaardstra, Tai Hang