Eason Cheung Yik Hoi

Hong Kong – Two Sides of One City

Well-embellished pillars, exotic carvings, luxurious ornaments, sparkling crystalline Louis XVI figurines and the priceless furniture construct an immersive portrayal of a typical ‘home’ for an affluent family in Hong Kong. Maids, chauffeurs and stewards are all dressed in brilliant white liveries while the family members are all decently dressed even during their bedtime.

The description is never an exaggeration appalled to those affluent and eminent families in Hong Kong – their luxurious lives are beyond our imagination for some time. It is of no unusual circumstances that the wives of the famous big businessmen waving their credit cards, piles of cash or even cheques at the managers of the branded shops, craving more luxurious trendy goods even though they have already owned most of them. Yet, the insatiable heart persists. It always comes to denouement that the workers are hastily carrying tons of goods for the wives and the other family members back to their enormous houses. It is in fact the act of being shopaholic; shoes, clothes, jewellery … you name it, they own it. Indeed, they can afford such luxuries the others can’t.

When you train your binoculars to the other side of the city, you will be astounded to find stories of the opposite. Rusting cages, gloomy rooms, unrepaired windows, flashing tungsten light bulbs and dusty air; they form another type of ‘home’ for the unemployed and the disadvantaged. It is already commonplace for the impoverished to dwell in places like that, but it seems the government is planning nothing to save them from their predicament. We are too busy to admire the rich – at present, nothing has been done to lift them from poverty.

The impoverished lead a desperate life, generally. Not only do they need to work long hours for measly incomes if they are lucky, but they also need to tolerate the unacceptable living environment they have rented at astronomical prices. The fact remains unattended in the society when there is an increasing number of people living under the breadline, residing in places like cages, subdivided units or even ‘flats’ not much bigger than 5 tiles.

The city is sick. There should not have been such a huge contrast between the wealthy and the impoverished. Such a phenomenon is worth the government’s solemn attention and consideration before it gets even worse. Hong Kong, with two opposing sides, is waiting for the help from not only the government but also us. To maintain our city’s incomparable reputation, it is of utmost importance for us to join hands and alleviate the serious wealth disparity.

Grade
Content: 7/7
Organisation:   7/7
Language:       7/7

Student Writer
Eason Cheung Yik Hoi
Hoi Ping Chamber Of Commerce Secondary School

Candidate for 2015 HKDSE (5** in English; 5** in Paper 2 Writing)

Comments
This is an outstanding piece of work with impressive detailed descriptions and potent insightful arguments. With a vivid, detailed and thorough description of the two sides survive in the very same city, Eason successfully reveals the grave concern of wealth disparity and the dire need for feasible solutions. A great range of sentence patterns, in particular the ‘magic three’ pattern, plus well-chosen vocabulary items describing the consumerism of the rich and the predicament of the poor, enhances the force of his argument.