Ng Ka-hei, 13, Sheng Kung Hui Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School
The new high-speed rail is good for Hong Kong because it will make things more convenient for people. They will be able to get to school or work sooner in the mornings and not be delayed by traffic jams on the road. They will also be able to get home quicker in the evenings, too.
Grace Ho, 14, Carmel Secondary School
I think the high-speed rail is bad for Hong Kong. Our city is supposed to be a “special administrative region”, which means it is governed by a different set of laws from the mainland. The new rail means there are now many mainland officials that work at the station at West Kowloon. Both the local and the central government say we shouldn’t fear or worry about this, but with more than 800 central officers to be stationed in the area, it is hard not to believe that the mainland is using this as a tool to control Hong Kong.
Chan Wun-yin, 15, Holy Family Canossian College
Yes! It is definitely a good thing for Hong Kong. The new high-speed rail connects Hong Kong with the mainland, bringing convenience, business opportunities, and even new or renewed friendships to both sides. Some are worried that the high-speed rail will bring about mainland rule, but Hong Kong (as an international city) should embrace diversity. The city’s welcoming vibe is what makes it so prosperous, dynamic, and fantastic.
Hailey Szeto, 13, Daughters of Mary Help of Christians Siu Ming Catholic Secondary School
Obviously, the new high-speed rail is bad for Hong Kong. I read that the new high-speed rail was only busy for its opening day. I think that most people weren’t really interested or cared. Before the rail opened, I remember reading that the government had no plans to give money to the MTR Corporation, in which it owns a 75 per cent stake, to run the express rail. Instead, the corporation would have to pay HK$2.7 billion over the next 10 years for the right to run the service. I don’t think there will be a profit. If you look at the number of people who took the train on its second day, it was way less than the first. It’s not fair that all Hongkongers will need to pay for this rail out of their taxes. It’s not like all of them will need to use this service.
Kalista Liu, 16, Fung Kai No.1 Secondary School
I think the rail is good for Hong Kong, but there are many serious issues that need to be looked at. Not many people care or want to know about the high-speed rail, and there are very strict limits on how heavy or how big the luggage taken on board the train, which means most people will not want to use it. I believe that raising the limits of the luggage size and weight would definitely make the high-speed rail more appealing. Only then could we really say that the high-speed rail will benefit Hong Kong.
Cheung Ming-ho, 15, Pui Shing Catholic Secondary School
Thanks to technology, we now get from one place to another easily, and we get to choose how we get there. Years ago, one of the only options to travel anywhere was the train. Now, we can also use a plane. The high-speed rail is open for business now, but can we say it’s been good for Hong Kong? According to the MTR Corporation’s official website, the high-speed train can reach to 200km per hour – but a plane can go much faster than that. Sure, a train will never be as fast as a plane, but my point is that we shouldn’t have spent so much money on this. What’s the point of building a high-speed rail in 2018 when it’s cheaper and faster to travel via an alternate means of transport? The only people who have said this rail is fast and convenient are the government. I think it’s a scam.
Ken Chan Yuk-kin, 16, SPHRC Kung Yik She Secondary School
I think it is good for Hong Kong because it connects us to the mainland, making our relationship with it a better one. I also think the new high-speed rail is convenient and comfortable to use. With a short travel time, more people will be willing to work on the mainland. This creates new opportunities for people who are currently unemployed.
Lee Siu-lun, 14, Tin Shui Wai Methodist College
I don’t think the new high-speed rail is good for Hong Kong. It cost HK$84.4 billion to make, but doesn’t make many peoples lives in the city any easier. The government said in 2010 there will be nearly 100,000 people using this rail. There are only 40,000 using it each day. It isn’t cost effective. A lot of people are actually saying that the new high-speed rail isn’t that much more faster or slower than the existing through-train service from Hung Hom, but costs far more.
Ma Hiu-ki, 14, Baptist Lui Ming Choi Secondary School
Though many people oppose the new high-speed rail because of the agreement the city has made to work with the mainland on it, the rail is a good thing for Hong Kong. The city now has a better chance of promoting itself to nations around the world because of its link with the mainland. More tourists can now also come to the city from the mainland, bringing in more money.
Yang Shi-yin, 13, Henrietta Secondary School
I think the new high-speed rail is good for Hong Kong. It’s fast and convenient. Passengers can relax on it, and buy food and drink on the train. I also don’t think it’s that expensive. Cheap, easy to use, and you can eat on it – what’s not to like?
In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:
Should the government enforce a meat-free day each week?
We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to [email protected] by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.