Racism is a problem all over the world.
And, in many so-called ‘civilised’ nations, ethnic Chinese people are often on the receiving end; but, ironically, some Chinese can also dish it out.
In Hong Kong, where white skin is prized, manual and domestic workers from Nepal, Indonesia and the Philippines are poorly paid, forced to work long hours, often treated badly, and sometimes abused. Some Hong Kong Chinese even look down on their compatriots from across the border in mainland China!
Of course, most Hong Kong Chinese vehemently deny this charge, but you only have to travel on a Hong Kong bus or the MTR to witness their attitude towards foreigners. Even during the rush hour, visitors from Africa or India (especially those with very dark skin) usually sit alone. Only the most enlightened will sit next to them; the others prefer to stand.
You would naturally think, therefore, the government introducing a Race Discrimination Bill to combat racism is a good thing – a bit overdue, maybe, but definitely a good thing. And I would agree with you.
But, sadly, the government has taken the sparkle off this legislative gem by exempting themselves from litigation if any of its policies or functions is found to be discriminatory. Yes, the Hong Kong government wants to ensure it cannot be sued for breaking its own law!
What message does that send?
(Now go forward to – What a difference a day makes!)