Letter to the editor: Shameful state

Letter to the editor: Shameful state


Workers move the homeless woman body at McDonald.

Recently, a middle-aged woman who was believed to be homeless was found dead in a McDonald's.

This tragedy shows how sad the situation is for homeless people. Many of them can't afford to pay rent, even for a tiny flat, even if they work around the clock. Instead, they sleep in 24-hour restaurants, parks, or on the street.

In my opinion, this is a shameful reminder to everyone in Hong Kong, a so-called affluent city. We should all be more concerned about this issue.

The government should impose rent controls to lower the cost of rent and give the homeless a chance to afford a place to live. It should also build more shelters in the short term, and more public housing in the long term.

If Hong Kong people really want a harmonious society, everyone should play a part to help those homeless people in this prosperous city.

Chan Hiu-laam, STFA Tam Pak Yu College

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Hiu-laam. Hong Kong is an amazing city. It is one of the safest places to live, and it has one of the best transport systems in the world. Since Sars, it is very clean, and it is beautiful.

But the homelessness problem - and the poverty issue - is hard to understand. Hong Kong is a rich city. It's not rare for the financial secretary to announce a "surplus" in the budget - in other words, say that the government has more money than it expected.

In 2011, all permanent residents - from homeless people to billionaire bankers - could register to receive a HK$6,000 handout from the government because there was all this extra money. Of course nobody is going to say "no" to free money!

But what if the government had only given it to those who really needed it? What if they'd used it instead to build homeless shelters, or public housing?

I don't pretend to understand economics. I'm sure there's a reason for the decision. But it seems that if there was some extra money in a city with the highest number of Rolls-Royce cars per person, it should have been spent on people who really needed it.

Like you, Hiu-laam, some of our readers had some great ideas as to how to ease the homelessness problem. Check them out at on our website and add your thoughts.

Karly, Deputy editor

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
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