Social Inequality | South China Morning Post
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  • Jan 27, 2015
  • Updated: 2:20pm

Social Inequality

Looming surplus of university places offers chance to target inequality

Michelle Li Mei-sheung, deputy secretary for higher education in the Education Bureau. Photo: May Tse

Hong Kong is heading for the unfamiliar position of having more university places than it knows what to do with. Within three years, education authorities say, we will have 1,200 more places than the number of students expected to meet entry requirements. This compares with an expected shortage of 5,000 places in the coming academic year.

Monday, 13 May, 2013, 1:52am 1 comment

Give York Chow a fair chance

Dr York Chow Yat-ngok. Photo: Felix Wong

Three years ago, when Lam Woon-kwong was appointed the head of the Equal Opportunities Commission, he was criticised for his close links to the government and his lack of some sort of human rights credentials. Now that he has concluded his tenure at one of the most controversial positions in local politics, it's fair to say that those criticisms were unfair, to say the least.

8 Apr 2013 - 2:04am

Skewed take on domestic helpers

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen Kwok-yung. Photo: David Wong

In Alex Lo 's column ("Court's ruling enforces semi-apartheid", March 26) he is hopelessly confused. His premise is that no society may treat any segment of its population less favourably than the rest. So far so good.

27 Mar 2013 - 3:09am

Court's ruling enforces semi-apartheid

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

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.

26 Mar 2013 - 3:28am 16 comments

Don't use the law to discriminate against domestic workers

Don't use the law to discriminate against domestic workers

In Hong Kong, people enthuse over the "rule of law" and its long-standing presence here. It is the cause of our economic miracle and social stability, and is purportedly the main difference between us and the mainland.

26 Mar 2013 - 3:28am 21 comments

A shame to forget the poorest of the poor

President of Indonesia Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Photo: EPA

All eyes will be on Bali this week as Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono hosts a meeting that will define the next global development agenda. The UN High Level Panel for the post-2015 agenda, co-chaired by Yudhoyono, has put ending extreme poverty on their agenda - but this goal will only be realised if the world tackles rising inequality.

25 Mar 2013 - 2:37am

European nations and China seek to curb pay for executives and bankers

Illustration: Henry Wong

Sickened by years of financial crises and reports of huge salaries and bonuses for the executives and bankers they say plunged the global economy into chaos, governments and voters around the world are moving to put the fat cats on a pay diet.

8 Mar 2013 - 5:30am

Education is key to closing Hong Kong's wealth gap

Professor Chou Kee-lee, of the Institute of Education.

Using government census figures, Professor Chou Kee-lee, of the Institute of Education, has found disturbing inequity that could entrench the wealth gap that officials are trying to close.

22 Feb 2013 - 4:04am 3 comments

Wage increases part of approved income distribution plan

Wen Jiabao

The State Council on Tuesday approved long-delayed guidelines to reform the mainland's income distribution system, under which wages will be raised and state-owned enterprises will be required to hand over a greater share of their profits.

6 Feb 2013 - 5:30am

Slower economic growth prompts Beijing to shift focus

Ma Jiantang. Photo: Xinhua

With the mainland's economy growing at its slowest pace in 13 years, officials are shifting their focus from speed to sustainability, addressing the issues of an ageing population and social inequality.

The economy expanded 7.8 per cent last year, the slowest since 1999, the chief of the National Bureau of Statistics, Ma Jiantang, said yesterday.

19 Jan 2013 - 4:02am

Human desire for equality is innate, science suggests

Frans de Waal brings up convincing evidence of collaboration and empathy in primates, our closest relatives in the animal world.

In the 17th century, the philosopher Thomas Hobbes described the natural condition of humanity as "every man against every man". But more recently, research on primates is suggesting that we are naturally hard-wired for collaboration and communality.

7 Jan 2013 - 5:44am

Easing of college exam barriers fails to satisfy migrant parents

Inequality hampers migrant children's schooling.

Migrant parents expressed disappointment yesterday after three of the largest magnets of migrant labour - Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong - announced only a modest relaxation of residency restrictions for college entrance exams.

31 Dec 2012 - 5:37am 1 comment

Time to begin the debate on gay rights

If Hong Kong accepts the principle of equal rights for all, it cannot continue to suppress an honest debate on our society's treatment of its sexual minorities.

Human rights legislation is an all-or-nothing business. Its purpose is to protect all of society's vulnerable groups - women, people with disabilities, racial minorities, sexual minorities and more. While Hong Kong has made progress on the first three of these, there has been a marked reluctance to place the issue of sexual minorities on the agenda.

22 Nov 2012 - 3:18am 5 comments

Stargazers' camp puts blindness in a new light

Stargazers' camp puts blindness in a new light

A few weeks ago, I attended the Stargaze Camp for All and the Blind, an annual event organised by the Social Welfare Department in partnership with non-profit bodies and volunteers from the private sector. To me, this camp is a highlight among the many events I attend, because it helps its participants challenge old, tired thinking on "disability" and "possibility".

12 Nov 2012 - 5:31am

Chinese cities shut out migrants at their own cost

Migrant workers watching a video on a laptop under a self-built shelter shared with several hundred others in Hefei, central China's Anhui province. Photo: AFP

In the traditional values of an agricultural community, the home and land are the centre of one's being. Leaving one's homeland means forsaking one's roots; the call for a migrant to return to the homeland is described as "falling leaves return to their roots".

5 Nov 2012 - 2:32am