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Society

Loneliness during the pandemic

It has now been more than a year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The social distancing rules and general restrictions have been particularly tough on people who live on their own. Tobey Chan, David Ren and Nicholas Shu talked to some elderly about how they cope with loneliness during the pandemic.  

Business

Lan Kwai Fong bars under Covid-19

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: LIM Jia Qi 林家琦、LI Chen、Lyu Chenyu、GU LinEdited by: Simran Vaswani
  • 2021-02-14

While Hong Kong was on the edge of a fourth wave of Covid-19 cases in November 2020, bars in Lan Kwai Fong violated the gathering restriction in which no more than four persons might be seated together at one table. We went to an underground bar and privately asked them if we could sit together if we had two more friends coming, which made a total of five.

Society

Hong Kong ethnic minority face racial discrimination when seeking for housing

Malik Omar Zaman, a Pakistani who moved to Hong Kong 6 years ago, has been rejected more than 35 times when seeking a house in Hong Kong. He looked at about 50 apartments before he finally got to rent the current one.  "We found a nice apartment and the agent told us the landlord is not willing to give it to you," said Mr Zaman. Mr Zaman lives in a 350 square meter apartment in Yuen Long, one of the less expensive districts in Hong Kong, with his wife and two daughters.  Mr Zaman is among the 90% of ethnic minorities in Hong Kong who face racial discrimination when looking for a home, according to a survey  by two local NGOs, Hong Kong Unison and Hong Kong Ministry Refugee Group in late 2018. And though Hong Kong’s discrimination law makes this illegal, there is little recourse for rejected tenants who are often forced into illegal sub-divided flats and other substandard housing. There are a total of 583,383 ethnic minorities residing in Hong Kong, constituting 8% of the whole population. This includes Filipinos, Indonesia, Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalese, Bangladeshis, and Sri-Lankans, according to the 2016 population By-census Thematic Report. Many of the ethnic minorities live in Tsim Sha Tsui, Yuen Long, Sham Shui Po, Tin Shui Wai, and Tuen Mun - where living costs are relatively low and around 40% of them live in a subdivided flat, according to the survey.  According to local ethnic rights advocacy groups, preconception about ethnic minorities and no legal charge for a rejection of tenants based on nationality are reasons for landlords not to lease apartments to ethnic minorities. The race discrimination ordinance in Hong Kong states that in any circumstances if on the ground of the race of that other person, a person treats that …

Society

Operation Santa Claus: Food experiences for pupils with disabilities

With help from Operation Santa Claus, Caritas Jockey Club Lok Yan School plans to develop simple and healthy recipes for their pupils suffering from "complex medical cases". OSC is an annual charity campaign that aims to support the Hong Kong community and beyond, through the combined charitable fundraising power of two of Hong Kong's most respected news organisations - South China Morning Post and Radio Television Hong Kong.

Health & Environment

Flexitarian: an easy way to go green

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Sharon Pun、Candice WongEdited by: Richelia Yeung、Ellen He
  • 2017-11-21

To become a flexible vegetarian in Hong Kong "I'd like to have the Pesto Chicken Salad, but please take away the chicken," said Ms. Chan at a bakery cafe. Her friend surprisingly asked her, "What? You're taking away the best part of the dish!" This is a situation often encountered by Chan Wun, but her diet habit is different from that of traditional "vegetarians". She is a member of a rising group, "flexitarians", a combination of "flexible" and "vegetarians". The number of flexitarians rose from 5% in 2008 to 22% in 2016, while vegetarians only account for 3% of Hong Kong's population. Up till 2017, over 1,000 restaurants in Hong Kong have joined an initiative programme to offer vegetarian-friendly menus, according to a social startup, Green Monday. "In order to lose weight, I had become a vegetarian for around two months during high school," said Ms. Chan, an 18-year-old university student. She had no choice but to constantly ordered Indian curry since it was the only vegetarian choice at school. Things become more difficult during family gatherings. When Ms. Chan's mother cooks vegetarian meals for her non-vegetarian father and brother often complain that the meals lacked protein. "It is difficult to avoid eating meat especially when we are living in Chinese culture where specific cuisines and dishes will be offered during celebratory events and festivals," said Ms. Chan. "Then I decided to quit because of inconvenience, time cost and expense." Instead of being a strict vegetarian, she opted for a flexitarian-style diet. In fact, the problem was not faced just by Ms. Chan when she was a vegetarian. To Hiu-yan, 20, a university student who has been a vegetarian for two years, said that the once-athlete started this eating habit to keep fit.   Ms. To said she faced limited …

Culture & Leisure

Hip-hop geeks leap forward with local rap battles

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Daisy Lee、Jianne SorianoEdited by: Daisy Lee、Jianne Soriano
  • 2017-10-26

At eleven o'clock on Saturday night, when it's past bedtime for the city, the nightlife hub in Hong Kong's Lan Kwai Fong just kicked off its day. Standing at the entrance of an underground club, Hector "SCF-SAiNT" Telmo, in a plain black t-shirt with the words "Straight Outta Home Kong" was busily distributing leaflets for his hip-hop show held later night. Unlike others, he's looking for the chance to break the deadlock of hip-hop on the 'cultural desert' by organising regular rap battles in Central hipster clubs. Straight Outta Home Kong is a underground music project co-founded by two non-Chinese rappers, Telmo and Mohit "DJ Mojito" Kailandasani. Telmo has been stuck for a while in developing his career as a rapper. "Nobody opened the doors for us, nobody gave us opportunities. We felt like outcasts, so our mission was 'how do we bridge the gap, how do we connect, how we get to work with them,'" he said. Though the road to success is not as simple as he expected, the 25-year-old didn't stop. Instead, he started searching for way-out for his fellows—to connect Cantonese, English and Tagalog rappers, who were also looking for a place in the hip-hop industry for a long time. "Now that there's a platform, an opportunity and the fact that the younger generation can see this...at least they have something to look up to, especially on the ethnic minority side," he added. Invited by Telmo, Eric "Heartgrey" So, a Hong Kong beatboxer who debuted about 10 years ago, sees hip-hop battles held in bars as a chance 'to show [their] passion and energy to the local people'. "It's already hard to do music in Hong Kong so if there's a platform...why don't you perform and participate?" Describing the times when he was still starting as …

Politics

Activists call for support of jailed mainland dissidents

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Raphael Blet、Tracy Zhang、Jade LiEdited by: Lam Ka Sing、Tracy Zhang
  • 2017-10-05

An activist group organised a temporary exhibition in Hong Kong's Tsim Sha Tsui Wednesday evening, calling for support of jailed activists in mainland China.     The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China hopes the Democracy Lantern Action can make the public pay more attention to the "patriots" in custody and the human rights issue in the mainland, said Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong, vice president of the organisation, referring to dissidents such as the 709 lawyers, a group of lawyers under government surveillance.   The number 709 refers to the fact that the lawyers were arrested on July 9 in 2015.   "The annual event we hold next to the Tsim Sha Tsui harbour every year at Mid-Autumn Festival is to advocate for those in custody who cannot get united with their family members," he said.   "We also hope to increase awareness on the suppression on the defendants of human rights in mainland on the night of a traditional Chinese festival when people unite with their family members," he added.   Chow Hang-tung, barrister and vice president of the Hong Kong Alliance, also regarded the Mid-Autumn Festival as a symbolic time to call for the activists' reunion with their families as it is when Chinese families traditionally gather to celebrate.   "The most vocal lawyers have been either placed in jail or put on probation since the 709 crackdown, severely reducing the number of human rights lawyers who can still work effectively" said Chow, who believes that the situation for mainland human rights lawyers has worsened since the jailings in 2015. The alliance has delivered moon cakes to the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government on Chinese National day on Monday, asking for the release of jailed mainland dissidents to reunite with their families. …

Bus Drivers Forced To Work Overtime

  • 2017-10-04
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Wing Li、Alexandra Lin、Dorothy Ma、Kobie LiEdited by: Richelia Yeung、Tiffany Lui、Choco Tang
  • 2017-10-04

The Federation of Bus Industry Trade Union is calling for shorter working hours and higher salaries for Hong Kong bus drivers, after a fatal bus accident killed three people in Sham Shui Po last week. Lau Kai-him, officer of the Union, said that bus companies have an unhealthy pay structure that forces bus drivers to work overtime. Hong Kong has five franchised bus companies, including Citybus, which was involved in the recent accident, and numerous minibuses and other non-franchised buses. Chu, a Citybus driver who didn't want to reveal his full name, said he works 10 to 12 hours a day, depending on the route he is assigned. He calls this a disguised form of compulsory overtime. "You need to do it when the company assigned it to you," Chu said. Lau also said the drivers don't make enough money without working overtime, another reason for longer working hours. The basic salary for a bus driver starts from around $12,000 for new drivers up to around $15,000 for drivers with good records, including no customer complaints, Chu said. Nowadays more and more passengers like to complain, Chu said. But bus companies advertise a salary of $19,000 to attract new drivers; however, this includes overtime, Lau said. Bus companies need to hire more drivers to reduce the need for overtime, he added. Lau is saying bus companies are having a hard time attracting new blood. "If we only decrease the working hours without raising the salary, the problem cannot be solved," Lau said. "Our bus company has never forced the drivers to work overtime. If the drivers think their working hours are too long, they can ask for a switch," said Wong Ka-lok, Director of Citybus Branch.  

Culture & Leisure

How Chinese treats hungry ghosts

Commonly known as the Chinese Halloween, the Hungry Ghost Festival falls on the 14th of the seventh lunar month. This year, a Chinese community organisation held the third Hungry Ghost Festival exhibition in Victoria Park from 1 to 3 September. Watch the video to know more about the customs and traditions of the festival and visitors' view about the event. Reported by Holly Chik and Michelle Ng Video edited by Angela Cheung    

Have yourself a Merry Lamma Christmas

  • 2016-12-13

Treasure hunt, hiking and biking on the island for local charities by Angela Cheung, Emily Cheung and Richelia Yeung This is the 18th year for the community of Lamma Island and Operation Santa Claus collaboration to raise money for the local charities in Hong Kong. On December 4th, a bike race, a 10km marathon, a family scavenger hunt and a treasure hunt were held on the island. Robert Lockyer, the organiser of the events, said they hope to bring the community together for a good cause. He said there are around 300 to 400 participants this year. Most of them are from the island. "We have to spread out the events on the island," he said. "People even suggest additional events, so next year instead of a one-day event we will do two-days as we are hoping to do ten to twelve events next year." Mr Lockyer said it has been really busy to organise all the events, but fortunately, the members from the Lamma community are so supportive. "It's been a tradition that OSC is something Island Bar supported, so we took over that job as well," said Brad Tarr, owner of the bar, who took over it about six months ago. He said they tried to make as much money as they could by putting on bigger events this year. Mr Tarr hoped he could continue to support the campaign next year even if he could not make any profit. He also thanked those who had come to participate in the OSC events in Lamma Island this year as the events would not be here without them. "We do the event for OSC, not for us," Mr Tarr said, "If we can help a little bit these charities we will do it." Family Fun Island Scavenger Hunt The …