Labor rights group Asian Migrants Coordinating Body addresses the media after the Court of Final Appeal ruled that foreign maids were not eligible to seek permanent residency in a legal battle that has split the city. Photo: AFP

Court's ruling enforces semi-apartheid

Hong Kong now has full judicial backing to continue treating foreign domestic helpers as a special class of people to be excluded from many basic rights accorded to legal residents who, in the jargon of the Basic Law, "ordinarily reside" in Hong Kong. Everyone can now breathe a sigh of relief, especially the government, following the judgment yesterday by the Court of Final Appeal - all except the maids and their supporters.