I am writing in response to Winky Lai Wing-ki's article, 'Farewell to days of love and faithfulness' (Young Post, December 8). She recalls the days of ma jie and how faithful and loving these women were.
However, she has missed several important facts about the issue of permanent residency for foreign domestic helpers. Also, her arrogance makes me think that she believes there must be people on this planet whose sole ambition is to serve her.
Many of the helpers who come from the Philippines and other countries are well-educated. Their ambition is to make some money so they can have a better life back home. To link their love and devotion to whether or not they should be allowed to stay in Hong Kong and be treated like other expatriates living in the city is wrong.
Some people are afraid that helpers who get permanent residency will quit doing household chores and get a proper job.
I think the modern world has moved on from the days of slavery and servitude. It's time Winky did, too.
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Mimi. You have strong points indeed. Times have changed, and it really is down to circumstances and economics as to what sort of career a person can have. Children who are raised by nannies often have a close relationship with them and some will even care for their helpers when they can no longer work. That is a very loving relationship.
You're right when you say devotion is not grounds for deciding whether or not one is allowed to get residency in Hong Kong. Many people who come to Hong Kong do several jobs before they complete their mandatory seven years.
The problem of whether or not domestic helpers should get permanent residency is not an easy one to solve. There are many things to consider and it might be a while before things are worked out.