TOP STORIES

Filipino President makes move to improve relations with China

  • 2018-04-13
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Katherine Li、Rachel YeoEdited by: Raphael Blet、Michelle Ng
  • 2018-04-13

More than 2,000 members of the Filipino community in Hong Kong gathered in Kai Tak Cruise Terminal to meet the Filipino President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on the evening of April 12th, where he expressed his intentions on strengthening Filipino-Chinese relations and continuing to combat criminal activities. "Just like my grandfather, we are of Chinese descent. In Hong Kong especially there is a lot of Chinese descent Filipinos, so this is part of destiny." said Duterte. According to the Census and Statistics Department, there are around 222,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong, with more than 355 Filipino community organizations registered with the Philippine Consulate General, the ties run deep between the Philippines and Hong Kong. "China has being very good to us. As a matter of fact, among other things amounting to billions, I got a grant of 500 million yuan (around $625 billion) which would be about 4 billion pesos." said Duterte. He revealed that the grant from China will be used on hospitals and improving the situation in Marawi, an Islamic city in Mindanao province which was occupied by terrorists in 2017. After battling the terrorists and implementing martial law, the government besieged the city. He assured the Filipinos in Hong Kong not to worry about their country because it is doing well, while he pledges to create more work opportunities for them so that they no longer have to become domestic helpers in the future, but professionals with careers. He also made the first official apology over the Manila hostage incident in 2010 which caused eight people from Hong Kong to lose their lives, although the incident did not occur under his presidency. "There has been no official apologies regarding the August 2010 incident. May I address myself to the Chinese people. From the bottom of my heart, in behalf of …

Culture & Leisure

Lacking writers and readers: the critical art writing industry is in dilemma

The critical art writing industry is always considered as something obscure and profound by the general public. It has become hard to stick solely to the art industry in the commercial society to which we live in nowadays. Compared to other financial and economic-related jobs, things related to art are the minority. Asked about the writing ecology, Elaine Ng, Editor and Publisher of ArtAsiaPacific in Hong Kong, stated that finding professional art writers is "super challenging". "I would say that in terms of a career choice in Hong Kong, it’s not even an option," Ms.Ng said. Ms.Ng also suggested that it’s difficult to be critical in some Asian countries like the Philippines because of cultural reasons. Keith Wallace, Editor-in-Chief of Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, also pointed out that some of the younger writers have a language problem whilst writing, which need to be fixed and improved upon. And he also emphasized the quality and professionalism of writers who write exhibition reviews. "They think they are writing to a professor, and you really have to change that language," Mr. Wallace said, "and I think the other point is if you are making a negative or a questioning comment, it has to be qualified in some way, and it can’t be just a personal opinion and a generalisation." Mr. Wallace added. The common language used in the art industry nowadays is English, and according to Mr. Wallace, the translations sometimes can be quite difficult. Due to globalization, the unification of language can also be a new problem for some local artists, who are only familiar with their own mother language. Denial Sehin Ho, Co-Founder and Editor-at-Large of Ran Dian, which is a magazine that aims to promote contemporary art in China, and publish in both English and Chinese, brought up a previous …

Health & Environment

Beware of sugar-coated Lunar New Year food health snare

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Rachel YeoEdited by: Alexandra Lin、Chan Sum Yi、Maggie Liu
  • 2018-03-19

Can government do more to ease unhealthy consumption of Chinese New Year food? Eat one Lunar New Year rice cake and you’ve almost hit your daily sugar limit. With 21 grams of sugar, a rice cake comes close to the World Health Organisation’s recommended 25 grams a day. “Sugar is just as addictive as cocaine with similar effects on our brain, making it extremely irresistible,” Denise Tam, a Holistic Nutritionist at the brand Food for Life, said. “That is why once we start, it's hard to stop.” According to SingHealth, a healthcare institution based in Singapore, Chinese New Year delicacies contain excessive carbohydrates and sugar, which can cause weight gain in the short-term and much more serious long-term problems. Sugar plays a major role in the development of diabetes and heart disease, the institution warns. Both diseases are among Hong Kong’s top causes of mortality. Diabetes even enters the top ten and heart-related diseases account for 13.2% of all deaths in the city, according to government statistics. Eurasian CrossFit coach Anthony Haynes, 29, said he never eats traditional New Year’s treats, even during obligatory visits to his Chinese relatives’ homes. Instead, he consumes lean meats, steering clear of anything with excess MSG, salt or sugar. “I try to avoid them like a plague as much as I can, even for (the) festive season,” he said. “It’s a bit sad, but I’m quite extreme.” With a plethora of annual treats - such as deep-fried niangao (rice cake), peanut snacks and candied fruit - it is not easy to abstain while socialising.   Holly Liu Hoi-ning, 19, said she knows they are unhealthy but eats them anyway. “We only eat (Chinese New Year) food once a year, why not be carefree and eat all we want? If people calculate how much calories …

Will School Social Workers be a Panacea for Child Abuse Problem?

  • 2018-03-14
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Amy Ho、Wallis WangEdited by: Erica Chin、Jade Li、Japson Melanie Jane、Wing Li
  • 2018-03-14

With scabs covered all over her limbs and face, bedsores on the soles of her feet and bruises all over her body, a 5-year-old girl died in January from being repeatedly abused by her father and stepmother. Lam Lam’s life was full of sorrow, pain, and tears. But she was just one of many child abuse cases that happened in Hong Kong. According to government statistics, there have been more than 800 cases of child abuse every year in Hong Kong since 2006. The data also shows that more than half of the victims were abused by their parents. According to Dr. Louis Kok, Child and Forensic Psychologist of Hong Kong Institute for Children’s Mental Health, children tend not to report abuses by their parents because they want to protect and stay with them. Since 2000, every secondary school has to have at least one social worker. Law Chi-kwong, Secretary for Labour and Welfare has suggested extending the policy to primary schools and kindergartens. Social workers who work for primary schools nowadays are not only in charge of students’ guidance services, but also their activities, according to Emy Law Yee-ming, member of the Reclaiming Social Work Movement and the social worker of a local primary school. She said that social workers have to spend time on other duties so they do not have enough time for counselling. “They have to deal with after-class care, arrange extra-curricular activities for students, prepare, contact and make other arrangements as well as to recruit students to join activities,” said the social worker Law. Ip Kin-yuen, a member of the Legislative Council and the vice-president of Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union, hoped that the new policy would help social workers in primary schools to be employed under a new long-term contract system. Mr. Ip said …

Health & Environment

Getting rid of insomnia with an app?

Jola Mok tosses and turns in her bed for hours every night. The death of a close relative when Ms. Mok was 19 has taken its toll on her mental health. “I am afraid of going to bed,” Ms. Mok said. Every evening, she feels anxious to face another long night. Some 40% of people in Hong Kong suffer from insomnia , according to a survey conducted by the Surveillance and Epidemiology Branch of the Centre for Health Protection in 2015. Nearly half of the respondents said they had sleep disturbances, including difficulty in falling asleep, intermittent awakenings or difficulty in maintaining sleep during the night” and waking up early and unable to sleep again. “Stress is usually the main cause of insomnia. If people cannot handle stress well, insomnia may be one of the consequences,” said Dr. Dennis Cheung Ching-ping, a specialist in psychiatry. Ms. Mok is among them. She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and that led to insomnia. People who suffer from sleeping problems sometimes seek help from doctors or psychologists. Recently, patients with insomnia look for alternatives, for example, applications on their phones that might relieve  insomnia. Might these apps be a handy way to alleviate sleep disturbances? “Sleep Better with Runtastic”, “Void” and “SleepTown” are some mobile apps that help people arrange a well-organised sleep schedule. Some track users’ sleep cycle, help them relax and provide motivation to eliminate the habit of using mobile phones before sleep. “Sleep Better with Runtastic”  was by Runtastic, an Austrian mobile fitness company. The app focuses on tracking users’ diet and exercise habits and links them with sleep quality. After users enter their stress level, caffeine consumption and dreams in the app, it then analyses the data. Users can then understand the fundamental causes of their sleep disorders …

Business

Government launches project in Sham Shui Po in support of new fashion design businesses

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Katherine LiEdited by: CHAN Yeuk Hang Erin、Rob McGain、Kobie Li
  • 2018-03-14

The textile market in the district of Sham Shui Po has a long history of being a garment and clothing outlet. It used to house many factories and now has a full spectrum of products ranging from fabric, clothing, semi-precious stones, to accessories. While the market is idiosyncratic to local fashion, the government has announced its plans for a new fashion design project to be launched in Sham Shui Po, next to the fabric and textile market. The Commerce and Development Bureau said the project will help nurture a younger generation of local designers, as well as enrich the traditional fabric and retail business with new elements. Based on a report by the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department, the latest figures show that Cultural and Creative Industries have shown at an average of 7.6% a year, faster than the average annual growth rate of the nominal GDP of Hong Kong. The report also shows that in between 2005 to 2018, the growth seen in local design industries has more than quadrupled, from $1 billion to 4,15 billion. “The uniqueness of having this project in Sham Shui Po carries two meanings,” said Edward Yau Tang-wah, the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development. “First of all, we want to support young fashion designers. On the other hand, finding a home in Sham Shui Po is a recognition of the synergy and the very special ecology that Sham Shui Po has, (it) is itself a big icon.” Mr. Yau believed that this project is giving the new creators in the fashion industry an old home. Mr. Yau emphasised that the goal can be summed up in three words: synergy, space, and support. “Synergy is between new designers and the local ecology,” he said. “Space does not only refer to space for incubation, …

Local schools getting bogged down with teaching STEM

  • 2018-03-14

As the government continues a push towards investing in STEM education, local school teachers can only equip themselves with more appropriate trainings. STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, is a curriculum emphasises on creativity and critical thinking instead of technical skills. Lucas Luk Chi-hang, a chief information officer at Pak Kau College, said that they need to spend more time preparing for lessons and designing courses around research-based approaches. He said the school holds mandatory STEM-related activities almost every Tuesday after school for all Form 1 and 2 students while IT and science related teachers have to tailor the curriculum for students’ needs. “My colleagues and I have to apply for additional training courses by ourselves and we have been busy with our own preparation, especially when we need to redesign what we’ve learnt via outside training,” he continued, “because we cannot copy from others directly.” “There are always difficulties in the teaching STEM,” he added. “We have no option but to voluntarily join a STEM exchange outside of Hong Kong to sharpen our skills and widen our horizons so that we can figure out the most effective and efficient way to teach our students.” His anecdotal account is borne out by the latest study by the Youth Research Centre of the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Group. Conducted between November and December last year, the survey polled 105 local secondary schools. 78.8% of the schools said that they started STEM education after the one-off grant from the Education Bureau. Schools that responded gave an average of 5.6 points on a scale of zero to ten, with ten denoting “very effective”. Five major obstacles encountered by the secondary schools while implementing STEM education were also discussed in the research. Those include insufficient lesson time for STEM education, …

Build an Active Hong Kong Through Healthy Urban Planning

  • 2018-03-14

Jeff Tsang Pui-san, a 19-year-old Hongkonger, seldom exercises. The only chance he gets to work out is during his daily commute, running from his home to the metro station for about 10 minutes. “I live in Cheung Sha Wan, a densely populated district in Hong Kong. Although there is a sports ground near my home, it is usually occupied by trainings as well as athletic meets,” Mr. Tsang said. “When it is opened to (the) public, it would be packed with people. This makes it difficult for me to jog there.” Mr. Tsang’s level of physical activity is far below the standard recommended by the Hong Kong government, that is, to exercise at least 30 minutes a day. Like Mr. Tsang, one-third of the respondents in a  survey conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong. said they rarely or did not exercise in the past six months. Yet according to the Planning Department, 2.3 % of the land, equivalent to twice the size of Hong Kong International Airport, is zoned for recreation and sports. An international study conducted by Professor James Sallis of the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California found that urban planning is an important element to encourage people to exercise. The findings also indicated residents who live in activity-friendly environments could achieve 68 to 89 minutes more physical activities a week than others. The report said that people who live in walkable neighbourhoods that are densely populated, have interconnected streets, and are close to shops, services, restaurants, public transport, and parks, tend to be more physically active than those in less walkable areas. This is because a less car-dependent lifestyle means people are more likely to walk. Apart from safety, jobs and access to services, Paul Zimmerman, a district councillor …

Legco By-election: democrats reclaim 2 of 4 places, still losing ground to secure veto power

  • 2018-03-12
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Wallis WangEdited by: Ezra Cheung、Raphael Blet、Michelle Ng
  • 2018-03-12

Eventually, candidates from the pro-democracy camp managed to retain half of the four disqualified seats in the Legislative Council by-election yesterday, showed in the final voter turnout rate today. However, these equal shares do not enable the whole camp to reseize the power to block most bills as it still falls short of the influence significant enough to strike a balance in this semi-democratic legislature's split voting system. Au Nok-hin in Hong Kong Island and Gary Fan Kwok-wai in New Territories East were the two victorious democrats. But the pro-Beijing competitors, Vincent Cheng Wing-shun and Tony Tse Wai-chuen, outran the pro-democracy camp in Kowloon West and the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape functional constituency respectively. Au, a Southern District Council member who left the Democratic Party last year, obtained 137,181-strong support whilst his pro-Beijing arch-rival, Judy Chan Ka-pui of New People's Party, got 127,634 votes. Gary Fan, current convenor of Neo Democrats, won 183,762 votes to defeat Bill Tang Ka-piu, representing both Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong and the Federation of Trade Unions, who got 152,904 votes. This time, Fan acquired 7% more votes than his ally, Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu of Civic Party, in the 2016 by-election. Yeung received 160,880 votes back then. Yet, previously ousted Legislative Councillor, Edward Yiu Chung-yim, failed to recapture the seat in Kowloon West. He requested a re-count at about 5 am because he was just trailing Vincent Cheng by about 2,000 votes. But in the end, he did not manage to combat Cheng's 107,479 votes with his 105,060 votes. Winning the 2016 general election, Yiu was the representative of the Architectural, Surveying, Planning and Landscape functional constituency. But he was disqualified and expelled from the Legco by the High Court for his "improper" oath-taking following Beijing's interpretation of Article 104 …

Highlights on Carrie Lam's First Policy Address

  • 2017-10-11
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Sharon PunEdited by: Cecilia Wong、Isabella Lo、Daisy Lee、James Ho
  • 2017-10-11

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor kicked off her first Policy Address of 2017-2018 by emphasising "one country two systems" this morning in the Legislative Council.   She quoted President Xi Jin-ping's remarks during his visit to the city in July, that the framework of "one country two systems" is the best path for Hong Kong.   Pinpointing on her maiden policy, she introduced the two-tier taxation system in which the profit tax rate is lowered from 16.5% to 8.25% for the first $2 million. Rate beyond $2 million remains unchanged. The government will set limits to big corporations, so that only one of the subsidiaries can be benefited.   For housing, Lam put emphasis on the "Green Form Subsidised Home Ownership Pilot Scheme" which is expected to offer more than 4000 public housing flats by the end of 2018.   Lam detailed the "Starter Homes" plan in cooperation with private developers to help young families with the income capped by about 30% higher than the home ownership ownership limits get onto the housing ladder.     To alleviate the existing pressure on housing, Lam suggested several measures to increase transitional housing supply, such as utilising idle governmental premises to provide rental housings, and converting industrial building into transitional housing with land premium wavering.   Lam suggests providing a maximum of $300 monthly travelling allowance to each Octopus user who spends over $400 on commuting by MTR, franchised buses, green minibuses and ferries. The policy using the dividends from MTR Corporation is expected to benefit 2 million citizens territory-wide.   In order to encourage the youth's voices in policy discussion, she said the government will increase the ratio of teenagers within her government to 15%.  In addition, the government will recruit more than 20 young people to take part in …