Moses Ma Ho-sum, 14, Sheng Kung Hui Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School
Yes, because people love the fireworks display and its cost cannot be compared to the government’s “white elephant” projects. The government is spending HK$32 billion on the Kai Tak Sports Park and more than HK$100 billion on the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge. Hongkongers believe these projects are a waste of taxpayers’ money and won’t help to boost the city’s economy.
Nowadays, people care a lot about the environment; some say the fireworks display on the Victoria Harbour causes air pollution. Yes, I agree, but it is watched by hundreds of thousands of locals as well as tourists. In comparison, only a few hundred people watch the daily fireworks display at Hong Kong Disneyland. The New Year’s Eve fireworks display has a much smaller impact on the environment than the one at Disneyland.
Christy Lam,14, Sheng Kung Hui Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School
The simple answer is “no”. Although the fireworks display is a magnificent spectacle, it is not very environmentally friendly. The fireworks produce a lot of smoke, making our pollution problems worse. It is also a waste of money: the government spends millions of dollars for just 10 minutes of entertainment.
The government could instead spend that money on more important things like public housing and improving the living conditions of poor people.
Talking Points: should you have to pay a fine for delaying a flight due to non-health-related reasons?
Henry Chan Cheuk-hang, 15, PLK Ma Kam Ming College
It’s undoubtedly worth it. From an economic standpoint, the spectacular fireworks display attracts a lot of tourists, offering great opportunities for local businessmen. From a social and cultural perspective, the fireworks represent the beauty and prosperity of our community. This display can be interpreted as a celebration of a year of hard work and effort by the people of Hong Kong. Therefore, it’s obvious that the New Year’s Eve fireworks display is beneficial to our society.
Sue Lam, 16, St Rose of Lima’s College
There is no doubt that the fireworks display brings joy and happiness to us. However, it is not worth spending millions of dollars on it, especially because it adds to our city’s pollution levels. The fireworks display is not the only way to make people happy at the beginning of the year.
Why can’t the government spend that money on solving the city’s long-term problems, such as poverty and a shortage of public housing? This would improve our quality of life and make Hongkongers much happier in the long run.
Kelly Choi Lok-lam, 17, Workers’ Children Secondary School
There are several reasons the government should not be spending so much money on the New Year’s Eve fireworks display.
First, it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money. The fireworks only last 10 minutes, but they cost millions of dollars. I think the government should spend the money on social development. Hong Kong has many urgent problems, such as poverty and a housing shortage, that need to be solved.
Second, the fireworks display causes air pollution. Rather than putting on an eye-catching spectacle at a huge cost, the government should introduce measures to reduce the city’s air pollution.
In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:
Should basic self-defence lessons be compulsory in the physical education curriculum?
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