Sustained and unremitting as the government’s effort is, there is still a long way to go
before we, Hongkongers, succeed in fulfilling our coveted dream of transforming our place
into a genuine cosmopolitan city in the eyes of foreigners. Economic recession, political
uncertainty and hectic lifestyle are not the stumbling block. Presumably the case of Chan
Pak, a retired old man, speaks volumes about our deficiency. Chan Pak, born in 1950s,
contributed a lot to Hong Kong, leading a hand-to-mouth existence during Japanese
occupation, working hard to convert our place to the stage of industrialization from an
entreport economy, and playing an invaluable role in our progress to an ...view middle of the document...
A forceful illustration of this should be the sensation of an experienced and distinguished doctor beating up his father when he claimed him the money invested in opening the clinic.
Not only physical abuse but also psychological abuse plagues the old. These days, on the
grounds of the advance of our society and the advent of new concepts which strike the new
generation, many young couples deem cohabitation after marriage as a more preferable
option than living with their parents, some of whom, as a consequence, live in undesirable
conditions with tons of problems like lack of space, poor ventilation and shanty design
prevailing. What compounds the problem is the lack of friends, followed by an array of
diseases associated with ageing as dementia. These, irrefutably, dampens the quality of life of the elderly. Coupled with the fact of being not occupied with jobs, they are doomed to feel lonely as well as fall victim to emotional sufferings.
In the face of the ordeal of the group which did a lot for Hong Kong, standing aloof from
it should by no means be adopted. We, the caring ones, should give a hand to bail them out of the abyss of dismay lest more tragedies would crop up.
Probably the first that should be held responsible is the Government. Gone are the days
when purchasing a flat seemed to be an easy task. Nowadays, with the booming property
prices, even professionals like doctors and lawyers can no longer seek a “utopia” for
accommodation, let alone those who have lost their working skills. In response to this, the
government should set aside more funds to proffer the old a decent place to live in so that
they will at least have their basic living requirement met. This can be done by lifting the
amount of Housing Subsidies and providing more non-profit elderly homes, the services of
which should cover a broad range of service packages ranging from meals to checkups. It
would also be advisable if the government considered making raising parents a legal
obligation, thereby ensuring the basic livelihood of the old.
In no way should we overlook the prime role of community groups in wrestling with the
adversity. As mentioned before, it is not difficult to comprehend that the...