All residents deserve level playing field

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 November, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 November, 2002, 12:00am

I believe that Lam Pat-lin (South China Morning Post, November 12) who supports the proposal to tax foreign domestic helpers, needs to be corrected on several inconsistencies.

Firstly, in a fair and just society all people should be treated the same, therefore, all individuals whether foreign domestic helpers, expatriates, or local Hong Kong Chinese, should pay tax on their income once it reaches a pre-determined level. Using your correspondent's reasoning, therefore, once a Hong Kong Chinese citizen started to earn $3,670 or more a month they, too, should pay 12 per cent tax.

Secondly, your correspondent's insistence that this tax should be used to pay for the cleaning up of Central is nonsensical, because not all litter in Central is left by the foreign domestics. The country park barbecue sites are worse than any site in Central. Hong Kong Chinese leave these sites in a disgusting state as witnessed by anyone who walks the country park trails and sees these places early on a Sunday or Monday morning.

Thirdly, Lam Pat-lin ignores the fact that much of the cleaning of Central is done (when helpers have a day off) by Filipina volunteers from the numerous church groups in Hong Kong. They do this so they can contribute to the society in which they live and to ensure their country folk do not become the subject of unwarranted discrimination.

I agree with your correspondent, we should all pull together, but that includes Hong Kong Chinese who do not pay taxes until they reach salary levels greater than $4,000 and who never clean up country park barbecue pits.


Ma On Shan