Call for new racial law to be hastened

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 June, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 June, 2010, 12:00am

Although many domestic helpers come from other countries, they still are part of Hong Kong's workforce. Also, they are people, too. They shouldn't be accused of being dirty and smelly. They should have equal job opportunities.

Hong Kong is a modern and free city, with a booming tourist trade. If we do not give a good impression to tourists or imported workers, its reputation may be damaged. We should learn to accept and respect people who are different from us. If we discriminate against others, we are not only being rude but ignorant.

The government should establish a law to protect people from racial discrimination. We should urge the government to speed up the legislation against racial discrimination and ensure stiff punishment for violators.

Rachel Ng, Carmel Secondary School

From the Editor

Thank you for you thoughtful letter, Rachel. Hong Kong has been a cosmopolitan city for decades. People from all over the world live and work here, and a visitor might believe that everyone is treated fairly equally.

But the truth is sadder than that. Many people in Hong Kong are very easily influenced by the colour of a person's skin, or their place of birth. Sadly, someone with fair skin will often be treated better than someone with dark skin, and someone from Europe, the US or Australia will get better service than someone from Southern or Southeast Asia.

It seems very strange that, in a city as advanced and international as Hong Kong, there is so little legal protection against discrimination. Perhaps this is an example of when common decency should dictate people's behaviour: we are all equal, and nobody is worth any more than anyone else.

If you would like to be treated a certain way - with respect and kindness - make sure you treat everyone you come across the same way, regardless of their background.

Karly, Deputy Editor