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This page is updated on 2008-11-18 10:33
Christian Service News

Issue 53 (October 2006)


Chief Executive's Column
Who are Our Neighbours?
Chief Exectuive NG Shui Lai

Hong Kong has always been a city of immigrants. Most of them are from various parts of Mainland China. There are also non-Chinese.

The non-Chinese population in Hong Kong consists of 3 different categories. The first group is those who come to Hong Kong to work. They include investors, business people, professionals and migrant workers. The second group is refugees and asylum seekers. The third group consists of ethnic minorities who are permanent residents of Hong Kong.

These 3 groups of people face different issues. Here we will focus on the ethnic minorities who are permanent residents of Hong Kong. Among them South Asians is one of the largest groups.

As ethnic minorities have their own cultures and languages, promotion of social inclusion is an important issue. The delay of enactment of the legislation against social discrimination is very disappointing. In fact a more proactive approach should be adopted. Relevant legislations should aim at enhancing social inclusion of ethnic minorities in Hong Kong and not just taking preventive and remedial measures to forbid social discrimination.

Besides legislation, education is also important. We should try to cultivate a culture of social inclusion, in particular the inclusion of ethnic minorities among Hong Kong citizens. After all, Hong Kong is always a city of immigrants. Civic education has to be conducted so as to change the mindset of citizens to perceive ethnic minorities as a family, and Hong Kong as a home for all races. Mutual respect should be one of the major themes to be advocated.

One of the ways to achieve all these is to set up a high power social inclusion commission to implement the Racial Discrimination Ordinance. The jurisdiction of the Commission should be given the authority to actively investigate cases that break the Ordinance. The Commission should also be given sufficient resources to promote, educate and advocate for a society free from social discrimination.

A world class metropolitan is not made up of buildings. A world class metropolitan is a city of multi-culture and social inclusion.


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