Anti-race legislation can only achieve so much

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 January, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 January, 1999, 12:00am

I refer to the news reports about a new anti-racism alliance which has been set up in Hong Kong.

I am an 18-year-old Australian with parents who are both Chinese.

I was brought up in Australia and often made trips to Hong Kong. I am currently on holiday here.

Australia has these so-called laws that protect individuals, but to think that these laws are going to solve the overall problem is completely incorrect.

Racism is a rather large issue in Australia at the moment especially with the 'Pauline' factor now getting stronger and stronger.

It is her presence in Australian politics that has allowed for some people to really show their true colours with regard to the issue. Take for example the Australian Aboriginals.

They have laws which allow them to receive money from the Government, make university entrance easier than for a regular citizen plus many other benefits.

These laws have all been implemented in order for them to 'fit in' with society in Australia.

The root of the problem is the people. If the people do not want to solve the problem then there will always be discrimination no matter what laws are implemented.

I am not saying that the laws should not be implemented, but I would hope that those seeking to become 'equal' as a result of their implementation do not think that they will not be discriminated against afterwards. Their lives in Hong Kong may not necessarily improve at all.

I do not think Ravi Gidumal is entirely correct when he says that the Government's position being that education alone, not legislation was the way to stop racism is 'quite ridiculous' (report, South China Morning Post, January 20).

The only thing that legislation is going to do is to help those who are being discriminated against in the workforce. The biggest problem is the way that people are being brought up here. The racism is in-built in their ways of thinking. Legislation is going to do something, but not all that much.

JASON LEE Perth, Western Australia