System racist from the start in Hong Kong's civil service

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 August, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 August, 1993, 12:00am

DAVID Ford, Sir David if you really must, has said reaction to revisionist interpretations of localisation policy has been ''over strong''.

It's also been hinted in Hong Kong's gentler precincts that racism has been introduced into the fight to keep localisation, as originally understood, on course.

The Chief Secretary pretends that nothing changes when the pith helmets are left on the pitch while competent locals are left endlessly to warm the bench. This is nonsense, just as it's nonsense to suggest that those opposed to changing the rules at the eleventh hour are racist.

The system was racist from the start, which explains why members of the landing party have better housing, why grants to their schools are nearly 50 per cent higher than grants to Chinese schools, why an expatriate lives on one level while his local equivalent lives on quite another.

If anyone is in any doubt about this, he ought to cast his eyes over the different types of housing provided local and expatriate police families.

(In any case, a community so easily prepared to herd Filipinas, Sri Lankans, Thais and others into a garage on their day off is best advised to tread gingerly around questions of racism).

Local civil servants haven't responded nearly strongly enough. They should close the Government down until these late-breaking changes - drawn up in the name of human rights, for heaven's sake - are thrown out.

Can anyone seriously look at the record of the Attorney-General, or the Environment Secretary, or any other expatriate secretary - and honestly say there aren't a hundred, or a thousand, or 10,000 locals who could do the job considerably better? Let's get real.