Indoctrinated by church

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 September, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 September, 1997, 12:00am

For someone who, some years ago, wrote glowingly about Imelda Marcos, it is surprising that Kevin Sinclair is rather ignorant about Filipino mores.

His defence (South China Post, August 18) of the employers' organisation which opposes maternity privileges for pregnant domestics shows his ignorance of the Filipino psyche. Having had 400 years of Catholic indoctrination, and hence ordered 'to go forth and multiply', Filipinos have carried out that injunction faithfully through the ages. Hence its overpopulation which drives so many of its women abroad in order to survive.

Ideally, the answer to the problem of pregnant Filipino amahs would be to extract pledges from them, in their contracts, not to become pregnant while employed. But how to make such a pledge stick if the women see their husbands/boyfriends every two years, or are preyed upon by men of various nationalities in Hong Kong? (Of course some women actively look for foreign men who they hope will be able to save them from having to return to their country's poverty).

Human nature being what it is, such a pledge obviously would be impossible to implement. This is why those employers want the right to fire women who become pregnant. It's a heartless but practical proposition, in the view of those employers.

Since Hong Kong is known as a heartless society, those legislators who promoted the bill protecting pregnant amahs are probably trying to show they're decent human beings. But in a hard-nosed society like this, it is easy to see why it has become such a contentious issue.

Perhaps employers should consider hiring Filipino men as domestics instead - they don't get pregnant, and many of them can drive and make good cooks. Unfortunately they're not as smart as their women.

L. M. CASTANEDA Mid-Levels