• Thu
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Updated: 1:24pm
NewsHong Kong
DIPLOMACY

Lawmakers propose ban on maids to force apology over Manila bus tragedy

Lawmaker Albert Chan's group wants to change immigration law to ban Filipino workers until Aquino apologises for Manila hostage tragedy

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 October, 2013, 7:33pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 October, 2013, 11:39am
 

Poll

  • Yes: 27%
  • No: 73%
10 Oct 2013
  • Yes
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Total number of votes recorded: 721

A radical pan-democratic group is seeking law revisions to ban Filipino domestic helpers from working in the city until Manila apologises for the bungled rescue in a Manila hostage-taking crisis three years ago that killed eight Hongkongers.

Under the People Power plan, all Filipinos would eventually be barred from entering Hong Kong.

The idea was met with reservations by the security minister, legislators and the family of one of the dead hostages, expressing concerns about the effect on Hongkongers in general.

The move came two days after Philippine President Benigno Aquino insisted in an official talk with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in Bali on Monday that he would make no apology for the messed-up rescue action.

"Aquino has been humiliating Hongkongers," lawmaker Albert Chan Wai-yip, of People Power, said. "The government has the responsibility to take a tougher stance to penalise the country for its response to the tragedy."

The political group plans to table a private member's bill to amend the Immigration Ordinance. The bill must be signed off by the chief executive before the Legislative Council votes on it.

People Power seeks changes to the law in three steps: first, to ban new Filipino domestic helpers; secondly, to stop renewing the entry permits of existing maids; and lastly, to bar all Filipinos from entering Hong Kong until the Philippines apologises.

The city has about 160,000 Filipino domestic workers.

Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok said any follow-up action on the hostage tragedy had to be reasonable. "We have to be careful about any idea that will affect the public," he said.

New People's Party lawmaker and executive councillor Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said the ban would only harm the middle class. "Hongkongers should stop pressing for an apology from the Philippines as Aquino will only continue playing tricks," Ip said.

She proposed that the government set up a fund to help survivors and families of the dead.

Wong Kwok-kin, a legislator from the Beijing-friendly Federation of Trade Unions, said it would not oppose the idea of restricting Filipino helpers.

"But any policy change concerning Filipino maids could affect more than 200,000 local families and needs careful consideration," Wong said.

Tse Chi-kin, elder brother of slain tour guide Masa Tse Ting-chunn, said he did not want their cause to undermine the interests of Hongkongers.

Eman Villanueva, spokesman for the Asian Migrants' Coordinating Body, said Chan was "barking up the wrong tree".

"Chan is just exploiting the political situation to gain popularity. What does the visa issue have to do with the Manila hostage incident?" Villanueva asked. "This is racist and he should be ashamed."

A video released by the Philippine presidential office shows Leung's meeting with Aquino.

Ip said Leung was the underdog in the talks, as he lacked experience in diplomacy. "From the seating arrangement and the lack of a joint statement you can see the Philippines disrespects Hong Kong," she said.

Leung and two other Hong Kong officials sat on one side while Aquino sat alone at the centre of the room. That was "inappropriate" and contradicted diplomatic norms for leaders to sit side by side even when both were not state leaders, said Simon Shen Xuhui, director of global studies at Chinese University.

The International Federation of Journalists condemned the Apec summit organisers for barring Hong Kong journalists who asked Aquino about an apology.

Video: Apec summit staff kicked out Hong Kong reporters for "screaming" at President of Philippines

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63

This article is now closed to comments

isko.n.bayan
We thank HK but most Filipinos wish that HK employers treat these people properly since it's clear that most of you depend on foreign domestic labor. Not all employers are mean but others really are inhumane & other Filipinas even are killed in the process. When they go on holidays, they lock their hired helpers inside their homes. Most living spaces in HK are really small for a family with a maid. At least treat them properly. We do welcome a ban. This would challenge the government and other sectors of our society to generate more jobs for Filipinos inside the Philippines. Don't worry about us. We've been through so many trials in the past. This is also the time rich Filipinos should help more those who are less fortunate.
RicRobinCagnaan
What's this? A McCarthyist witch-hunt set up by Hong Kong lawmakers against Filipino workers? How racist! And it's gonna hurt the middle class people! Stop pressuring the Philippine government to apologize for that botched hostage rescue at Quirino Grandstand in Manila three years ago. We've had enough of this, and we don't need it, and we don't have the guts to do it.
ecpath
I was in Central last weekend. OMG, what a mess those Filippino maids made !
I will suggest that a surcharge be make (to be paid by the Philippines Govt) for the use of Central on weekends. In fact, the charges should be based on the hotel rates in Central area, so that the cost of maintenance and security will be paid for.
The above is totally justifiable based on (i) the maids does not contribute adequately to be entitled to the facilities; (ii) what if the citizens wish to "camp out" in CWB, we will not be able to have that priviledge; (iii) are the street vendors paying tax and obtain license for selling goods ? The answer is probably no !
As such, those maids (and the Phillippines Govt) should consider themselves very priviledged and thus we should expect the President of the RoP to pay tribute to the citizen and residents of HK, to the extent to 'kou tou' at the grvaes of those killed at the hostage incidence.
isko.n.bayan
Hello there. If that's what you think about your hired Filipina helpers then send them home. This way racist remarks hurled against us would stop too. It's every Filipino dream to bring back all foreign domestic helpers home. This would create a problem at first but this would be a big challenge to our government and related sectors to generate more jobs in the Philippines. We are still grateful to you for all these years but sorry to say that there are also many documented abuses against these Filipinas. I know you value human life as shown by how you mourn the victims of the hostage taking but I hope that concern extends to other group of human beings.
nan_disco@yahoo.com.ph
HONG KONG, JUST LIKE THE EGYPT OF OLD, LET THE ISRAELITES GO. LIKEWISE, WE WELCOME THE HONG KONG PEOPLE TO LET THE FILIPINO GO. AS A FILIPINO, WE DON'T WANT THIS KIND OF RACISM. WE HOPE THE PEOPLE POWER LAWMAKERS WIN IN THEIR QUEST TO BAN THE FILIPINOS ALTOGETHER AND WE ALSO HOPE THAT THE FILIPINO LAWMAKERS TOO WILL ISSUE THE SAME LAW, TO BAN ALL FILIPINOS IN GOING TO HONG KONG. AND LET ALL FILIPINO TOURIST GOING TO HONG KONG TO THINK OTHERWISE. THERE ARE OTHER PLACES TO GO LIKE THAILAND AND SINGAPORE OR MALAYSIA.
mercedes2233
You can go home, 'Israelites'. You have legs and nobody is stopping you. The Red Sea, or the HK harbour, doesn't even need to part.
anson
Those of us with friends and family of both HK Chinese and Filipinos wish that the racists from both sides would simply belt-up and consider moving to that new island off Pakistan.
lighthouse1971
When you look at the way Hong Kong people exploit those women and provide them with so few rights, I say all power to them. They should occupy more areas in their leisure time and continue to highlight the inconvenient truth that they are here and treated poorly by this society. Open some day care facilities or stop complaining.
chanaa
haha, with racists idiots like you, no wonder those 2 clowns are representing hk
mercedes2233
Were Marcos and Mrs Marcos any better? At least our 'clowns' did not bankrupt HK like your clowns did.

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