• Wed
  • Jul 30, 2014
  • Updated: 9:28pm
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
 

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  • Yes: 27%
  • No: 73%
10 Oct 2013
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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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This article is now closed to comments

14u2nv
WTF?
chuchu59
These 2 lawmakers are a disgrace to HK but luckily we have other lawmakers who wont support these childish acts. I listened to the radio last night and was surprised to hear some citizens backing that ludicrous idea. Somehow these 2 idiots draw strength from people who dont have a clue about what they are saying and the consequences of the intended action. Spare a thought for the employers of the maids and the maids themselves. I dont like CHAN for being rude during Legco sessions and I want him to apologise for that. Can I suggest terminating his tenure of being a lawmaker?
daily
It is most embarrassing to think that HK has such low-level political lawmakers (and I mean these two are at the point of pure stupid idiotic imbeciles) to even suggest such a stupid and irrelevant tactic against the Filipino maids in HK......this group of Filipinos in HK are innocent to this issue that happened in Manilla 3 years ago............why even drag them into this issue............One of the worse things bad about HK these days is that stupid imbecile lawmakers like these two are even around and still trying to gain popularity through such childish measures................What HK needs first is not Universal Suffrage.............it is to get rid of lawmakers like these that are a disgrace to HK and society.................
anson
But you know the only way we can get rid of these idiots is through the ballot box. When there is universal suffrage - and there will be soon no matter what form - then they will lose their only platform, i.e. calling for universal suffrage. If they are re-elected after this then it will be a great shame on Hong Kong's voters and will call into question their ability to make educated choices.
ssslmcs01
These are amongst the lawmakers who were elected by the people of Hong Kong.
shafinhk
we being Hong Koners, always handle the matters with care. we should never overreact. under the existing light of Mr. Aquino, we must NOT over react. we should take proper channels to ask his government and him to apologize.
It is the responsibility of the STATE to ensure the safety of its citizens and citizens of other nations who visit their country. he can not simply transfer the burden to one individual, when the world knows that he failed to send proper and right people to handle the sitatuion immidiatly and with responsibility.
i would SUGGEST Hong Kong government should revoke with immediate effect the VISA-FREE access for Philippine passport holders. this should be implemented within overnight. all FILIPINOS coming with out visa should be deported and new application for foreign maids should be REJECTED without Consideration. To avoid Chaos NOTHING should be done with maid of valid visas at this moment.
i ask you to like my comment and force Hong Kong government to take these immediate steps.
We must fight for the rights of our citizen.
robaston
It seems you need to work on your English a little. Fear not there are many courses availible to you in the Philippines which will be able to suit your budget.
mercedes2233
I challenge you to use Chinese as well.
lighthouse1971
Why do people in Hong Kong so often use English errors as a way to discredit someone's argument? Frankly it's juvenile behavior.
mercedes2233
Can you use Chinese without errors?

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