My Take

New target for ever hateful nativists

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 June, 2015, 2:31am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 June, 2015, 2:31am

Here we go again. Fresh from their victory in hounding 12-year-old Siu Yau-wai out of Hong Kong, xenophobic nativists will now escalate the fight against children born to mainland parents.

Two groups which call themselves Localism Power and Civic Passion plan to stage a protest at a school in Sheung Shui today against such children. They claim such students take school places away from "real" Hong Kong children.

Yau-wai was the boy who hid in Hong Kong for nine years without identity documents and was the target of protests after his plight was revealed by unionist lawmaker Chan Yuen-han. Under intense public pressure, he has voluntarily moved back to the mainland with the help of his grandmother.

Now, the ever hateful nativists have a new target. This time, it's a Sheung Shui school which will announce the placement results for primary one places today under the government's central allocation exercise. Because of the school's location, it is popular with the parents of cross-border pupils. I suggest those nativist protesters do their maths and conduct some research first before venting their hate and prejudice against innocent young children.

There are about 60,000 children entering primary school this year, and all have found a school place. Of these, about 2,600 are children of one or both mainland parents. They don't take places from locals because 1) they are Hongkongers 2) everyone has got a place.

Perhaps the complaint is that parents in New Territories North find it difficult to find a school in their own districts having to compete with those mainland-Hong Kong students. That argument has more merit. To mitigate this problem, the Education Bureau last year launched a separate allocation system for cross-border children to keep them from competing with local children for places near their homes. Short of banning those mainland-Hong Kong students from coming to Hong Kong, and these are children who have the right of abode, it's not clear what more could be done.

Our spineless education bureau has appealed for calm. I am sorry but when people are planning to harass little kids, it demands the strongest denunciation possible to make known your unequivocal stance.