Talking Points: should we have mandatory military service for a year in Hong Kong?

Talking Points: should we have mandatory military service for a year in Hong Kong?

Jack Lam, 17, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary

I don’t think so, because military service would be too difficult for teenagers. Having just finished the HKDSE, they would already be under a lot of pressure. And then if they have to do military service, they would be completely exhausted. This would be very inhumane. Instead they deserve a break.

Young people don’t necessarily have to join the military to learn self-discipline; it can be learned at home or work. For some people, the skills they learn in the military may prove to be useless in later life. This means they would have wasted an entire year, which would be a terrible thing.

Leung Ho-chi, 16, Henrietta Secondary School

In this city where people put knowledge above physical labour, mandatory military service should not be introduced. There are many reasons for this, and one of them is that it could hinder a teenager’s education. They should not spend a year in the military when they could be at university or at work learning new skills that would prepare them for a successful career. Serving in the military does not guarantee that you can adapt to society and survive in this ruthless world.

Talking Points: should a mainland study tour be part of the local curriculum?

Queenie So, 16, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

I am sure more than 90 per cent of Hong Kong residents think that military service is useless and I am one of them.

First, Hong Kong is a safe place and there are no wars here. If there is a conflict, I believe that China will help us.

Second, Hong Kong people are very busy; students have to study and adults have to go to work every day. I really don’t think they have the time to do any military service. They use the little free time they have to relax or bond with their families.

Finally, introducing mandatory military service could cause more bad blood among residents. Society is already divided, so do we want more arguments and protests? I don’t think so.

Hong Kong does not need mandatory military service.

Talking Points: what’s one life skill every secondary school student should have before graduating and entering 'the real world'?

Clara Chan Hoi-ying, 18, The Chinese University of Hong Knog

Why not? I think it would be a great opportunity for maginalised people or the unemployed to make a contribution to Hong Kong. They may return with more confidence and be more engaged in community work. The military service would also help enhance their sense of belonging to the city. Hong Kong is a safe city, so the risks of being involved in the military are very low when compared to some other places. Teamwork is one of the most important lessons you’ll learn from the military. What’s more, young people will learn about communication, leadership, loyalty, perseverance, adaptability, how to take responsibility, how to form good habits, and how to keep fit.

Leung Chui-yi, 16,Workers’ Children Secondary School

I think serving in the military for a year is a good thing. Nowadays, more and more teenagers depend on their parents to take care of their day-to-day issues. If they joined the military, they would learn to become more independent and solve their own problems. Also, it would serve as a distraction from taking part in anti-government protests. Military service can help enhance their self-discipline and knowledge about China’s history. This can help young people to have a better understanding of the mainland. In addition, military service is beneficial for their health, and the training could become very useful in the future.

Our topics always get a lot of responses. Check out what other students had to say and join the conversation at Young Post's website

In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:

Should we double the price of gas to force people to rethink driving? 

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 by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.

Edited by M.J. Premaratne


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