Facing two choices

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 June, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 June, 1998, 12:00am

As a Eurasian I have been the subject of and witnessed several acts of racism.

I was therefore, interested to read the articles, editorial and letter on the much discussed issue of racial discrimination (South China Morning Post, June 1).

There were, however, several statements that I found rather ill-considered.

The first two are quotes from Christine Loh taken from the front-page article reporting on the racist admission policies of certain public bars in Wan Chai.

Ms Loh expresses surprise that there is racism towards the Chinese in Hong Kong as it is usually the 'foreigners', particularly Indians or Africans, who experience this problem. I am interested to know if Ms Loh would still refer to these people as 'foreigners' if they were born in Hong Kong? Ms Loh also states that discriminating against the racially Chinese majority was not exactly a 'good business move'. Does this mean that if it was a good business move it would be acceptable? When considering whether or not Hong Kong should have anti-racial discrimination laws, is economics, rather than equal opportunities, the deciding factor? Exactly where do the new legislators stand on the issue of racial discrimination? I also read the letter from HC Lau headlined, 'Doubtful', in which he states that the British ran Hong Kong in a blatantly racist way. Certainly this may have been the case up to the 1980s, but is HC Lau seriously suggesting that the SAR Government has a right to carry on a policy of racial discrimination just because the British did? Does HC Lau realise that the British community in Hong Kong numbers fewer than 50,000 and to castigate the other 200,000 or more non-Chinese Hong Kong residents on the basis of what the British did is extremely short-sighted? The bottom line in this debate is that the Government has two choices: It tackles the problem of racism and introduces legislation to outlaw discrimination or, It publicly states that race is a deciding factor in a person's opportunities and prospects in Hong Kong and the Government supports this policy.

K. CLARKE Causeway Bay