South China Sea
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Some more equal than others

ACCORDING to Mr P. K. Lee's letter (South China Morning Post, February 9), maids in Hongkong should keep their voices down because they are visitors here, while locals are free to shout as loud as they please.

I am myself a visitor here, and I don't recall being informed upon entering Hongkong that I faced this sort of restriction during my stay here.

Nor do any of the guide books for tourists state: ''Hongkong residents frequently engage in shouted conversations in public places, but visitors are required to modulate their voices out of sheer gratitude for being permitted entry.'' I am worried, because I have been planning to loudly cough up and spit on to the pavement.

Now I am afraid this is another privilege that is afforded only to locals.

I certainly wouldn't want to overstep my rights as a visitor to Hongkong or offend the delicate sensibilities of the likes of Mr Lee.

Throughout this entire debate about the so-called public nuisance caused by the maids on their days off, I can't recall seeing one very important point being mentioned: these workers generally don't have homes of their own in which to gather.

Are any of their employers willing to open their homes on the occasional Sunday so that their domestic helper may invite her friends and family in to visit? I suspect not.