Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities deserve our respect and empathy

By Cara Chan, Pope Paul VI College

The government and its citizens must stamp out negative stereotypes about minority groups, and be bold enough to call out those who are in the wrong

By Cara Chan, Pope Paul VI College |

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Every person in our city deserves respect and empathy.

I writing in response to the article, “What it’s like to grow up an ethnic minority in HK, and why the Diversity List is needed to address our city’s discrimination”, written by Rhea Mogul (Young Post, March 21).

People from many different races and religions live in Hong Kong. A lot of people from ethnic minority groups are unskilled so they have to take up low-paying jobs. This is very unfair.

Many ethnic minority students cannot have a good education because Cantonese isn’t easy to learn. A recent study found that these students only understand 70 per cent of what is being taught in class. This shows a lack of support for them in the education system.

The government should help ethnic minority students more. Otherwise, they face a bleak future.

Cara Chan, Pope Paul VI College

Ethnic minority students in HK lack support and Cantonese assistance at local schools

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Cara. We are certainly lucky to live in a diverse, multicultural society like Hong Kong.

The government has a moral obligation to assist all people, including those from non-Chinese speaking backgrounds.

There is no doubt that Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s administration has taken steps to improve the lives of ethnic minorities living in Hong Kong. This includes lowering the Chinese language requirements for certain government jobs, and increasing ethnic minority representation on government bodies.

Chinese-American author Wendy Shang on the importance of diversity and cultural representation in young adult literature

But while efforts so far have mainly focused on minority groups, we must not forget the majority. It is equally – if not more – important to change certain attitudes within the ethnically Chinese population, too. Minority groups face barriers when it comes to dealing with hospital staff, landlords, shop assistants, and in many other situations.

The government and its citizens, including you and me, must act as ambassadors for change. We must address these negative stereotypes, and be bold enough to call out those who are in the wrong.

We can all – with a little empathy – ensure that everyone in Hong Kong has equal access to a bright future.

Rhea, Junior Reporters’ Club Manager

Edited by M. J. Premaratne