Josh Wong, 16, S.K.H. Leung Kwai Yee Secondary School
Research has shown that Hongkongers don’t get enough exercise. So, if a new sports park encourages more people to work out regularly, I think it’s worth spending HK$32 billion. Many argue that the money could be used to tackle poverty in the city. But the truth is, the government is unlikely to spend that money to help the poor anyway.
The government has so much money that, if it were sincere about reducing poverty, it could have taken action a long time ago. But it hasn’t done so. Instead of wasting HK$32 billion on another “white elephant”, building a sports park will at least benefit the public.
Talking Points: should you have to pay a fine for delaying a flight due to non-health-related reasons?
Choi lok-lam, 17, Workers’ Children Secondary School
Despite Hong Kong’s economic growth, poverty continues to be a big problem here. It, therefore, seems irresponsible for the government to spend HK$32 billion on a sports park.
Firstly, there is no desperate need for it. There are already many spaces for exercise in the city, such as Victoria Park.
Secondly, around 20 per cent of the city’s population is living below the poverty line. More income, housing and medical support could help raise their living standards. This is clearly a much more pressing issue than building a sports park.
The government needs to spend its money wisely.
Omme Kulsoom Akhtar, 18, Workers’ Children Secondary School
Absolutely not. There are thousands of Hongkongers who lack the basic necessities of life. They can’t afford to eat three meals a day and live in cage homes, or even on the street. Building a HK$32 billion sports park is a complete waste of taxpayers’ money. The money could instead be used for health care welfare services for the poor.
What’s more, Hong Kong has so many sports parks there is no urgent need for another one. Why not use the money to benefit society as a whole rather than target a certain group of people? Surely, it is more important to put food on the table rather than provide recreational activities for some people.
Janice Lee Wing-Tung,15, Ma On Shan Tsung Tsin Secondary School
The answer must be “yes”. Sports development is important for Hong Kong. It can enrich people’s lives, improve their health, and boost the economy. We cannot stop the city’s progress just because there are people living below the poverty line.
Going ahead with development plans, such as the sports park, is the best way to help the poor in the long run. It will improve people’s quality of life and create job opportunities, thereby tackling poverty at the same time.
Michelle Ng, 13, Madam Lau Kam Lung Secondary School of Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery
It would be a terrible idea to spend such a huge sum on a sports park while thousands of Hongkongers have only just enough money to live. They are in desperate need of financial support, not a new sports ground they don’t have the time or money to use.
Sports parks also take up a lot of space, which could be used to build flats for the needy.
I think the government should spend part of the money on setting up free cafeterias for the poor and the disabled. Many non-governmental organisations run such places, and the government should support their efforts.
In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:
Should schools in Hong Kong be allowed to make children as young as two have interviews before being accepted?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.