Opinions flare on ad

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 02 February, 2012, 12:00am


HONG KONG - Students have mixed opinions about a full-page 'anti-locust' ad in Apple Daily yesterday that was funded by netizens outraged by mainland visitors.

The advert featured a locust - a label netizens use to refer to mainland visitors - looking at Hong Kong Island and a statement requesting the government to review Article 24, which states children born locally are entitled to the right of abode.

To finance the ad, more than HK$100,000 was raised in less than a week via the Golden Forum site.

'Mainlanders have crossed the line,' said Yung Jhon, the campaign organiser, who refused to disclose his real name. 'Why are mainland mothers flooding our public hospitals, getting our benefits and social welfare? Why do mainlanders ... refuse to follow our rules and order? We can't accept that.'

Samantha Lau Pui-ching, 19, supports the ad. She thinks many mainlanders are inconsiderate. 'We should tell them about our grievances, and let them reflect on how they behave,' she says.

Sonia Tsui Wing-hei, 16, of Fukien Secondary School in Kwun Tong, agrees. She says mainland children with the right of abode will increase competition for local universities and place more stress on housing.

But Caleb Lin, who goes to Columbia International University in the US, criticises the netizens for claiming superiority over mainlanders. He says mainland tourists help the city's economic growth. 'Saying Hongkongers 'allow' mainlanders into the city [for their own good] show how arrogant and ignorant they are,' Caleb says.

Meanwhile, public hospitals may stop admitting mainlanders seeking to give birth in Hong Kong to make more facilities available to local women, a senior Hospital Authority official said yesterday.

A quota of 3,400 births has been set for non-local women in public hospitals this year, down from 10,000 last year, and the official said it could be lowered even further.

Medics are worried a change may lead pregnant mainlanders to rely on emergency wards. It is risky to give birth this way.

Additional reporting by Lo Wei, Colleen Lee and Emily Tsang