Chinese policy - a piece of ethnic cleansing

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 February, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 10 February, 1997, 12:00am

Whilst I am pleased for the minorities who have gained some sense of relief with the granting of British passports, we must not forget that the reason behind this is the refusal of the Chinese to grant them the rights of birth which are enshrined in law in most civilised countries.

However people care to dress this up, the end result is a piece of ethnic cleansing that Idi Amin would have been proud of.

I would suppose that the efforts of Emily Lau and other local legislators in pushing for these British passports have been altruistic, however I do not recall any of them being very vocal on the racial bias of the Basic Law. In particular I do not remember a single peep from any legislator over the case of Haider Barma, a third generation Cantonese speaker, who was prevented from retaining high office in government on the basis of his race, and his race alone. How silent the 'local' people are when non-Chinese who have contributed years of their lives to Hong Kong, are being done-down.

Whilst there may be some celebration in the ethnic communities I am sure their feelings are mixed knowing that they have been forced to take an option that many must regard as a second choice. They must also be pondering the downside of this arrangement which includes the possibility of having their right to land being removed at some future date and the cheering prospect of falling within the UK taxman's grasp for estate duty.

Why is it that the Chinese cannot accept Hong Kong as a multi-racial and cultural society in the mould of Singapore, with equal citizenship based on international norms? HOWARD MCKAY Mid-Levels