I can read some, that’s why I could understand they are councillors (Sai Kung, not Saigon, maybe if it was Joshua could be).
Problem is the only Chinese literature I am exposed to on a regular basis are menus, lol. I learned Chinese (Cantonese) for many years actually. The problem is that to really be skilled, you have to force yourself to do something like read the news in Chinese. However, then since it is only my second language in a literacy standpoint, I need to look things up in the dictionary, and it becomes too much of a chore over reading English news. I’m fairly confident that my skill would be considerably improved if I moved to HK/China.
Funny story, one time going to dim sum with my cousin and some friends. My friend handed my cousin the menu, but she couldn’t order a thing. Problem was that she knew all the dishes’ names in Chinese, but couldn’t read them. The English names were unhelpful like “pork dumpling”. Could be 燒賣, 鍋貼, or some other 餃子. It was probably the most clear example of being stuck between worlds I’ve ever witnessed. 有飯吃, good enough right? lol
This is why I insist on having my child write one page of Chinese characters every day. The human brain is hard-wired to learn language most efficiently at an early age.
A lot of other Chinese parents do not pay enough attention to their children's Chinese education, and are worried instead about their English education. As someone who learned English as a child, those are simply the wrong priorities. English is a relatively simple language that a child can easily pick up naturally if they are in an English-speaking environment. Chinese, on the other hand, need some hard work to get to a functional level.
It's likely that those parents are influenced by their own experience learning English in China in their early teens, and the difficulty they had back then, and believe their children would have the same difficulties.