I am writing in response to the article, “Hong Kong must show it is home to all races” (SCMP, October 31).
I appreciate the measures introduced by the government to tackle racism in the city. There are many immigrants from all over the world living in Hong Kong. There are people from developed countries such as Japan, Britain, and the US, as well as those from less-developed countries, including India and Pakistan.
Many Hongkongers do not accept ethnic minority groups because of cultural differences and different skin colour. For example, some locals treat their foreign domestic helpers very badly. I have read many newspaper reports about helpers being abused by their employers. Some even physically assault their helpers. All this is proof that racism in a severe problem in Hong Kong.
Unfortunately, the government hasn’t had a lot of success with its anti-discrimination policies. It should review those policies immediately and take action to deal with the issue of racism in Hong Kong.
Lauranda Wong, SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School
From the editor
Thank you for your letter, Lauranda. For such a diverse, modern, forward-thinking city, Hong Kong is quite backward when it comes to accepting people of other races, religions and backgrounds.
Many people refuse to sit on the train or bus next to someone of a different race, or react to them as if they smell. Non-Hongkongers sometimes say that they have suffered unfair treatment when it comes to applying for a job, or renting a flat.
As for domestic helpers, it is bizarre that a huge number of employers trust them to look after their children, yet treat them incredibly badly.
One of the greatest things about Hong Kong is how long it’s been a home for people from all over the world. It’s such a unique place to live because of the diversity of residents, whether you are a born-and-bred Cantonese, or a Hongkonger by adoption.
I have a lot of hope for your generation, that you can be more open-minded and accepting of people who are “different” than the generations who have come before you. We are all people, no matter the colour of our skin or the language we first learn to speak. The sooner we all treat this notion as fact, the sooner we can achieve a more peaceful society.