• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 1:26pm
NewsHong Kong

Head of equality watchdog condemns lawmakers' ad on mainland migrants

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 12 October, 2013, 8:27pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 October, 2013, 8:49am


  • Yes: 10%
  • No: 90%
13 Oct 2013
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 982

The head of the Equal Opportunities Commission has condemned lawmakers for a newspaper advertisement he says might promote discrimination against mainland migrants, amid growing cross-border tension.

NeoDemocrat lawmaker Gary Fan Kwok-wai, one of those who initiated the advertisement, could further fan the flames of discord with a Legislative Council motion calling on the government to put the interests of Hongkongers first in every policymaking decision.

The advertisement, signed by more than 300 people, was published in two local and one Taiwanese newspapers. It called for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to step down, for a review of the individual visit scheme for tourists and changes to the 150-a-day quota of one-way permit holders arriving from the mainland to settle in Hong Kong.

Commenting on the rights of new migrants and the rising number of mainland visitors, commission chairperson Dr York Chow Yat-ngok said there were no grounds for discrimination regardless of background.

"I am aware of the comments, in particular against mainlanders, new migrants and mainland parents," he said. "Hong Kong has limited resources, but anyone who comes to the city must be treated equally. Those who hold public office, or those lawmakers who represent our people, should not make irresponsible remarks."

Chow's remarks followed criticism of the advertisement made by a concern group for cross-border families last week. The group demanded Fan and Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching apologise and said it would file a complaint to the commission this week.

Mo and another person behind the advertisement, Roy Tam Hoi-pong, yesterday rejected the discrimination claim.

"We never said the new migrants were a burden on Hong Kong," Mo said.

Fan reiterated that Hong Kong should grasp the right to screen applicants for a one-way permit, a power that rests with mainland authorities.


For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Good for Dr. York Chow; one of the few people in Government who remains true to his statutory duty instead of applying his personal views.
sudo rm -f cy
First, the admission of PRC Chinese under the One-Way Permit scheme without any screening mechanism on the Hong Kong side is discriminatory against non-Chinese would-be immigrants who do not enjoy such benefits. Second, the current admission quota is unsustainable in the long run. Third, if the families are really that desperate to reunite, the ones on the Hong Kong side can always move back to the mainland.
It is dead wrong for the head of the Equal Opportunities Commission to condemn lawmakers for a newspaper advertisement which he says might promote discrimination against mainland migrants. The issue of daily 150-migrant entering Hong Kong is about the policy not about the actual migrants in the city. More likely any criticism of the curtailment of such migrants would come from the business sector which is looking for cheap labors. The Commission should more keep an eye on the business sector ensuring that equal opportunities must be extended for the ones who are already here. The Commission has undermined its credibility by partaking in an area outside of its mission. At the mean time, Dr. York has stirred up confusion in contriving a migration policy into an equal opportunities issue. For the lawmakers using advertisement is even further irreverent to his and the Commission’s authority.
Dr. York Chow may have been ordered to take up the criticism.


SCMP.com Account