The Young Reporter

Health & Environment

Stretched to the limits

A shortage of nurses at public hospitals adds tension to patient care By Richelia Yeung & Tiffany Lui Public hospitals in Hong Kong serve 90 percent of all the patients in the territory, yet employs only 40 percent of doctors according to a report published by the Food and Health Bureau in 2015. Medical staff were pushed to their limits during a recent outbreak of influenza. Miss X, a registered nurse working in the orthopedics department of a public hospital, says medical staff feel like they are ‘fighting a war with no weapons '. "As nurses, we want to provide a good care for the patients," she says, "but the hospital is not giving us enough support, especially when it comes to manpower." The nurse says there are only six nurses per shift taking care of more than 50 patients. Sometimes it is down to four or five nurses if someone falls ill. "We are lucky if the patients are all in stable conditions, otherwise we would be under a lot of psychological pressure if anything happens all of a sudden," she said. The Association of Hong Kong Nursing Staff addressed an open letter to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in March. They said  medical staff is overworked. The nurse-to-patient ratio, they said, was 1:12, far exceeding the international standard of 1:6. "No matter which department it is, there are more patients during the influenza season," says the nurse. "When one department is in need, others departments need to give a helping hand. There is a ripple effect." She says Lunar New Year is the only time when they get some relief because it is taboo for Chinese people to go to hospital during the holiday. "Experienced staff quit their jobs in public hospitals and  work at private hospitals because they …

People

Bobsy Gaia: 25 years of Ecopreneurship in Hong Kong

The story of an entrepreneur and his eco-friendly businesses By Celia Lai and Crystal Tai Wearing a man bun and a long grey beard, Bobsy Gaia almost has the look of a Taoist priest from Chinese mythology. The "ecopreneur" was born in Lebanon and has been pioneering socially responsible business in Hong Kong since 1992. He is the co-founder of several vegetarian restaurants, including "MANA! Fast Slow Food". Just like its owner, "MANA! Fast Slow Food" is vibrant yet relaxing. The furniture is made of recycled materials and the menu is on a chalk board. The restaurant regularly promotes eco friendly campaigns. For example, "World Water Day" was written in delightful colours on March 22 on the board to remind people to conserve water. Mindful of the environment, Bobsy is on a mission to educate consumers to "eat like it matters". His restaurant serves organic produce. Bobsy became an "ecopreneur" when he started to promote social responsibility in business in 1989. He was a fashion designer at the time, but came up with the idea in a moment of despair. "I was financially broke at that time in Bangkok. At the same time, many profound changes were happening in the world such as the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War," said Bobsy, "there were also Nelson Mandela, mass protests over the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest and women fighting for equality. These movements showed the awakening of human power. It was speaking to me. I suddenly realized there was something bigger than me going on," he said. The awakening, Bobsy thought, was a game change in man's perception of the world. That is similar to the realisation that the Earth is round and not flat. "The people in this humanitarian movement are amazingly creative …

People

An Aussie turned Hong Konger

by Paulus Choy, James Ho   Gregory Charles Rivers considers himself every bit a Hong Konger. " I care about the city, I love the Canto songs, and the language," he said. Mr. Rivers  is Australian. He moved to Hong Kong nearly 20 years ago, and has since acted in a number of Hong Kong drama productions and TV shows. He shot to fame again recently with his  performance in the 100Most Magazine award ceremony. Rock and heavy metal music was popular when he was in college, but Mr. Rivers was not fond of those. Several of his Hong Kong friends introduced him to Cantopop and that was exactly what he liked. His stage name, Ho Kwok-wing, came from the famous deceased Cantopop singer Leslie Cheung Kwok-wing. His love of Cantonese music drove him to learn the language. He got his hands on a cassette tape when he was in university, but the program only taught six of the nine intonations of Cantonese. He eventually came to Hong Kong in 1987 with a friend. Later on he auditioned for a role at TVB, and has never looked back. "I did not have confidence that I could do what TVB wanted, I think I got in because TVB didn't have another choice," he said. Mr. Rivers feels that the Hong Kong entertainment scene has done little to welcome foreign actors. "Script writers seem to forget that foreign actors could add flavor to a story, and I don't understand why,." he said. He acted in a number of TV shows, and also sang on the side. But his big break came when 100Most invited him to rap on stage. He was crowned the "real Hong Konger", and he feels that a true Hong Konger needs to really care about his home town …

Culture & Leisure

Kung Fu in 3D

  Motion capture technology helps to preserve traditional martial arts by Susan Gao & Tracy Zhang He's dressed in a skintight black bodysuit dotted with 99 position markers.  A martial arts master demonstrates his Kung Fu styles in a 3D motion-capture studio, equipped with cameras and sensors. Certain Hollywood Sci Fi films, such as Avatar, are shot in a similar way. But here, the purpose is to document hundreds of different martial art styles in Hong Kong. The clips will be used to compile a new "Kung Fu Bible" called "The Hong Kong Martial Arts Living Archive". High technology such as 3D modeling, is used nowadays to revive traditional martial arts.Motion capture allows swift movements to be recorded in an accurate, lively and precise way. " 3D technology brings us closer to reality," said Hing Chao, Chief Executive of the International Joshua Association who launched the archive in 2013. He said 3D imaging approximates live instruction to a greater degree, in comparison with manuals, photographs or videos as references for learning complicated martial arts. "The technology will be used at exhibitions, installations, mobile apps and other digital learning applications, in order to preserve the art of Kung Fu as well as promote it to the public public," according to Chao. The novelty of motion capture is fascinating to some traditional martial arts master. "In the old days, we followed the movements demonstrated by our instructors. It depends on whether the instructor can explain well," said Tsang Ho-pan, a veteran master of Wing Tsun, a form of concept-driven martial art rooted in Southeast of China and Hong Kong. The 36-year-old Kung Fu master is now a high rank instructor of the International Wing Tsun Association. "With the help of 3D technology, we can check if the movements are similar to those …

Culture & Leisure

Busking in a concrete jungle

  The Street Music Series introduces diversity to the local music industry by Emily Cheung & Morris Chan   Kung Chi-shing is a  musician and an activist. He has been trying to enrich the musical scene by organising the Street Music Series. It is a platform for young musicians and singer-songwriters to introduce themselves to the community. Mr. Kung started working  with the Hong Kong Arts Centre in 2009 to promote music diversity. Last year, the Street Music Series featured local street musician in 28 concerts. Hong Kong's music scene, Mr. Kung believes, is dominated by commercial productions. "A healthy society should be very diverse. When different aspects of Hong Kong  embrace diversity, local art does not reflect that. Why can't we do more to encourage diversity in art?" Mr. Kung said. He believed music should connect with the audience through emotions and the spiritual needs of a community at a given time. The artistic value of music , Mr Kung thinks, is undermined in commercially produced music. One of the performers Bao Kwun-ying said street music allows him to have a more freedom in his performance than in a traditional concert, partly because unlike commercial music, street music does not need to cater for the audience's needs. "A lots of factors, like marketing, are key to a concert's success, and those have restricted creativity in music," Bao said.   Shirley Cho, a street music enthusiast, agreed that Hong Kong should have more support for non-mainstream music because they are very unique. " They can touch your soul with lyrics and melody that truly reflect reality," Cho said.   The Street Music Series is not only praised by the audience, but also the performers. It provides everything they need: the equipment and a proper platform for their music. That makes …

Society & Politics

Bid Farewell to the Last Urban Walled Village

  by Nicki Wong & Melissa Ko The remaining tenants of Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen packed their belongings and cleared their houses  in the largely abandonned and messy village. Most of the other residents had moved out already They were ready to hand over their homes to the Urban Renewal Authority (URA). Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen in Wong Tai Sin district has a history of more than 650 years. It is known as "the last walled village in the city". The URA calls it a chapter in Hong Kong's " lost history".   A conservation project began in 2007 to preserve three of the relics: Tin Hau Temple, the village gatehouse and an embedded stone tablet. The target is to complete the works in 2018-19. "I think the whole village should have been preserved," said Mr Wing, who lives near Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen. Although many residents and neighbours may share his view, conservation experts find little reason to keep the whole village. "Since the development of Morse Park, living conditions in Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen has changed," said Wu Chi-wai, Legislative Council member for Kowloon East, and District Council member for Wong Tai Sin. Nga Tsin Wai Tsuen, which means "overflowing prosperity" was fortified against pirates and cannons in the 18th century. Ten years ago, it was full of shops and street food stalls, or Dai Pai Dong. "Had we started preserving the village then, it would have been worthwhile," he continued, "but now, I don't see any point in keeping it. Only eight blocks are left and that's not enough to represent the culture of the village," Mr. Wu said. Most of the old houses in Nga Tsin Wai have been torn down and there are fewer and fewer villagers over the years. All that's left are rubble and …

Culture & Leisure

Hong Kong Craft Beer: Local Style

by Henry Wong and Sing Lee Hong Kong craft beer brewery, Mak's Beer, has  been promoting their products for half a year. The based brewery's latest offering: "Cantonese beer" which they hope will attract local drinkers. The brewers got their inspiration from Yim Tin Tsai Village, a historic neighborhood in Hong Kong that produces  salt. The ingredients include traditional Chinese herbal tea,  wolfberries and longan fruit. "It's called ‘Cantonese beer' because we want to build a relationship with our community and educate local people on how to appreciate craft beers," said Mark Mak, co-founder of the company. Mak's brewery hosts free factory tours twice a month. Twenty per cent of their beer is offered for free at business and cultural events in order to promote their brand. Mak's beer is not alone. City Brew's beer "Kong Girl", for example, uses the nickname for Hong Kong women in their branding. The Bottle Shop is one of the largest retailers of craft beers  in the city They stock local brands such as Gweilo, Mak's  and Moonzen. " Some of the beers include creative local ingredients such as goji berries and chilies to spice up the drink,"  said Joey Chung Wing-yi , the brand and event manager at the Bottle Shop. But the cost of production is an issue for some of the breweries. Mak's produces 4000 bottles a month and they are priced higher than most commercially available beers. "The competitiveness is about branding and the  craft beer trend in the city," Mark Mak said. Ms Chung at The Bottle Shop believes craft beer market will become as popular as coffee and red wine in Hong Kong. "There is increasing demand for local craft beers and as more bars stock them, locals became more supportive of this emerging industry," according to Ms …

The Night Before Election - Taiwan Election 2016

  • 2016-01-21

  Tsai Ing-wen (Democratic Progressive Party) Tsai Ing-wen, presidential candidate of the DPP, finished her election campaign in front of the Presidential Palace in Taipei this evening. Speaking to thousands of supporters, she said their votes will be the first step towards reform. "We are here not to defeat any party. We are here to fight against the dilemma confronted with our country," she said. Democracy, she said, is not just about elections but about people's everyday life. "Go back to your home towns and vote," she told them. "The vote you cast tomorrow will bring a new era in politics, the economy and a new future for Taiwan," Tsai said. By law, election campaigns in Taiwan must end by midnight. The voting will begin at 8 am on January 16.   Eric Chu Li-luan (Kuomintang)  Eric Chu Li-luan of the KMT, who has spent the past two weeks sweeping through rallies across Taiwan, ended his campaign in Taipei this evening, in the city where he is the mayor. Chu visited the eight legislative constituencies in Taipei today and attended a climactic rally in Taichung His final stop was Banqiao Stadium in New Taipei where he's joined by other KMT leaders,including the former vice president Lien Chan. In the rally, Chu admitted that the KMT has made a lot of mistakes. However, he hoped the Taiwan people can give him as well as the KMT another chance He also expressed his view towards the union of the pan-blue camp. "Regardless of whether it is the KMT, the People First Party or the New Party, the pan-blue camp should be united and construct a better Taiwan." Wang Ju-hsuan, 54, the vice president candidate of KMT, said KMT's past policies have protected women by making the sexual harassment prevention law and family …

Youngsters with special needs go for goal in soccer fundraiser

  • 2015-12-08

By Aaron Au and Alvin Kor This video is also published on SCMP at http://bit.ly/1NDEHy0. Read full story by SCMP reporter at http://bit.ly/1SKEI3f. Operation Santa Claus, the city's annual fund-raising campaign jointly organised by South China Morning Post SCMP and RTHK Radio 3 Hong Kong.  

Ideal life with community supports at IDEAL

  • 2015-12-06

By Arisa Lai and Julianna Wu.   Charity IDEAL (Intellectually Disabled Education and Advocacy League) help people with intellectual disabilities and their families through training courses, education activities and provide them with community support. This video is also published on SCMP at http://bit.ly/1XSqpej. Read full story by SCMP reporter at http://bit.ly/1Nfrt6M. Operation Santa Claus, the city's annual fund-raising campaign jointly organised by South China Morning Post SCMP and RTHK Radio 3 Hong Kong.