Deafening silence of Filipino expats

IN all the emotive brouhaha about the provision of recreational centres for the 130,000 Filipino domestic helpers to spend their Sundays, the silence of one particular group has been particularly deafening.

We refer, of course, to Hong Kong's 'expatriate' Filipino community - professionals working or posted here - most of whom steer well clear of anything even remotely connected with the predicament of their worse-off compatriots.

This point was raised by a Keeping Posted reader who happened to look in at the Filipino Club in King's Park on Sunday afternoon.

She was struck by the excellent amenities: the impressive clubhouse complete with restaurant, a karaoke room, sauna facilities and, outside, the well-manicured bowling green.

But what jarred her senses was that only about a dozen Filipinos were using the place at the time.

'How can some Filipinos sip ice-cold beers in comfortable surroundings and remain oblivious to the controversy generated by the plight of their fellow citizens, squeezed out in Statue Square or squatting under flyovers?' wondered our informant.

She added: 'I have since found out that membership in the Filipino Club appears to be restricted to local Filipino bankers, lawyers, consular staff and their elitist like.' It will be interesting to know how much Crown rent the club is paying, and whether its charter decrees that it provide recreational facilities to all Filipinos in Hong Kong.