Death of Sixes a snub to minorities

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 September, 2013, 2:00am

Tsim Sha Tsui residents were astounded to learn that the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes will not go ahead because a title sponsor could not be found ("Organisers pull the plug on HK Sixes", September 12).

The organisers of the Sixes applied for help from the taxpayer-funded Mega Events Fund, which it appears has nearly HK$200 million in its coffers.

This fund was set up to assist local non-profit-making organisations to host more attractive arts, cultural and sports events in Hong Kong with an emphasis on sports events involving top international teams. The objective is to reinforce Hong Kong's position as the events capital of Asia.

The Sixes would qualify on all counts as it attracts wide media coverage overseas and brings top players and their supporters to our city. This helps the local economy, particularly small businesses run by people from ethnic minorities, who miss out on the mainland tourist trade.

For the past 20 years the Sixes has been the highlight of the year for cricket-mad residents, particularly the large Indian and Pakistani communities, and has become a fixture on the international sports calendar.

Why did not West Kowloon lawmakers stand up for their constituents?

Yau Tsim Mong District Council is asleep at the wheel. During election time we are overrun with banners promising minorities all sorts of support but when it comes to upholding our right to a small piece of the pie that minority taxpayers have contributed to, we are on our own.

As for the Home Affairs Bureau, which is entrusted with minority affairs, it is obvious that it has no concept of the glue that binds the local community together. There is an obvious bias on its part towards "Chinese" activities such as the Dragon Boat festival, while those events that appeal to the minorities, many of whom have lived in Yau Tsim Mong for generations, are excluded.

This is yet another example of discrimination and failure to appreciate the contribution these ethnic minority groups have made to the success of Hong Kong.

It is also indicative of the narrow focus of the Tourism Commission with regard to encouraging diverse sources of commercial and tourism income.

P. Kumar, for Tsim Sha Tsui Residents' Concern Group