• Thu
  • Aug 28, 2014
  • Updated: 1:45am
Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 June, 2014, 2:32am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 June, 2014, 2:32am

There should be more to life than stereotypes


Michael Chugani is a Hong Kong-born American citizen who has worked for many years as a journalist in Hong Kong, the USA and London. Aside from being a South China Morning Post columnist he also hosts ATV’s Newsline show, a radio show and writes for two Chinese-language publications. He has published a number of books on politics which contain English and Chinese versions.

There should be more to life than stereotypes

Now listen up children: all Filipino women are maids. They clean your toilets. All South Asian men are construction workers. They build your roads. All Westerners are rich. They're a class above you. It's called stereotyping. Learn that word well. Burn the word racism into your brain too. The two are interchangeable. You'll need to apply both as you make your way in life. Only when you learn to use skin colour to determine who are toilet cleaners and who belong to the upper class will you have gained a true Hong Kong education. Why else do you think our schools use textbooks that show Filipinos as maids and Westerners as rich? Why else do you think the Education Bureau condones this by shrugging its shoulders? So when you next see a South Asian, regard him as a builder, even though there are more rich Indians than poor in Hong Kong. Commentator Chip Tsao drew flak some years ago when he called the Philippines a nation of servants. Now it looks like he had great foresight. Our school books are teaching the children the same thing too.


Where are the protests against this brainwashing?

Remember the firestorm over national education two years ago? Tens of thousands of students backed by teachers, parents, and politicians massed outside government headquarters. They condemned national education as code for brainwashing. The government backed down. So how come these people are not kicking up a fuss over schoolbooks that teach children how to stereotype? Does their silence mean they consider it brainwashing to learn about China and the Basic Law but not brainwashing when children are taught to be racists?


When the only way to rule is to get nothing done

The Martians, if there are any, must think us a peculiar species as they spy on us. First, pan-democrats put Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying through the meat-grinder for not listening to the people moaning about high home prices and a shortage of flats. He listens and proposes 60,000 new flats in two new towns. Villagers storm the Legislative Council in protest. Then the pan-democrats put Leung back into the meat-grinder for not listening to villagers who don't want him to listen to people who want more flats. There's only one way to govern Hong Kong nowadays - listen to everybody and get nothing done. It's called true democracy. Hope the Martians are reading this. It might make them want true democracy too. That will doom them before they have a chance to invade.


'Re-education' can't stop world's oldest profession

Public Eye had never heard of mainland television actor Huang Haibo before the public furore over his 15-day detention for being with a prostitute in a Beijing hotel. The authorities have decided to lock up the star for another six months for "re-education". Huh? A superpower wannabe still has re-education camps? Surely, that's something that belongs to China's repressive past. Aspiring superpowers that want global respect can't just throw people into detention camps without trial. OK, the US has Guantanamo Bay - a disgrace to the country, created by George W. Bush. But at least it holds hard-core terrorists, not innocent people out for an evening of lust. Besides, US President Barack Obama is trying hard to shut down Guantanamo. What's there to re-educate anyway? Huang was simply satisfying a human need when he paid for sex with a willing partner. There's no way you can re-educate against the oldest profession in the world.


Michael Chugani is a columnist and television show host. mickchug@gmail.com



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This article is now closed to comments

A vast majority of maids and nannies are actually Filipinos regardless if it's a stereotype. South Asian construction workers are practically non-existent where I am but make up most taxi drivers and a disproportionate many are hired in Western countries to be CEOs/executives often straight from India.
I don't see many South Asian construction workers in HK but I do see plenty of them in the wris****ch merchandising profession and in fine haberdashery. "Copy watch sir? Tailor?"
I do give the touts credit though for introducing me to some of HK's best South Asian eating establishments in Chungking Mansion! I'll take these ANY day over Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsey...
Seriously?? W R I S T W A T C H is an "evil" word here??? SCMP's computers can't tell the difference between a timepiece and a piece of p u s s y??
Like everyone in Hong Kong, the villagers don't mind the proposal for new homes, as long as the new homes don't take away their space, they can take away someone elses space.
This is sadly how everyone thinks, If anything, the 60,000 new homes should appear in thin air when you go home but then disappear after you enter your home - that would be the best option.
Hong Kong is a city with finite room, there's going to be people who pays the costs during these expansions...isn't that just life.
Well- said Mike - re: only way to rule is to get nothing done
Mike, stereotyping is not on the agenda of politicians and uncle sam. They scream over national education because they are in denial of who they are or are China bashers.
On a happy note, almost one third of the students taking A level Chinese yesterday in HK centre were South Asian. Most said they found the exam easy. This is assimilation. I wish the students - who are trilingual - every success in their future undertakings in this city. Their English was very impressive too.
While I dislike their NIMBY attitude, there is something to be said for the villagers who protest the demolition of their villages to make way for flats while there is a little-used gigantic golf course sitting on prime land nearby.

CY & Co would gain a lot of credibility if they also announced the redevelopment of this golf course and the CE summer residence that adjoins it.
1. I had to check the date on this piece about the controversial textbook. This was widely reported and condemned about two weeks ago.
2. Are you sure it is the villagers, as in the indigenous villagers, who are strongly protesting against the new town? Or is it - a) those people living in the villages who are simply being made homeless without huge compensation. and b) troublemakers who have latched onto the latest way to disrupt government in Hong Kong?
What do you think A or B? Who do you think taught them to storm the legislative council in such a number?


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